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Your Remote Learning & Development Resources Blog

Protect Your Time When You Work Online: How to Protect Your Most Valuable Resource

There are only 480 minutes in a typical 8-hour workday. That's not much time at all.

Especially when you think of the number of minutes that you spend:

  • In meetings
  • Clarifying misunderstandings
  • Writing emails
  • Trying to find documents/emails/etc.
  • Creating or adjusting processes
  • Scheduling meetings
  • In meetings

If your job description includes nothing but meetings... then, great!

But for the rest of us, this is a real problem. How do you protect your time when you work online?

We Spend Much of Our Workday on Anything But Work

How much time do you actually get to spend on your work?

The ugly truth is that a lot of our workday is wasted. That's true for traditional workplaces and it's also true for distributed teams. Here are the four biggest time sucks in remote workplaces:

1. Meetings

There is a tendency in remote teams to think that because the team is distributed, you need more meetings. This is a big mistake—more meetings simply lead to more wasted time....

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You Can Climb the Corporate Ladder Virtually

By Christina Lewellen, MBA, CAE

Any opinions expressed within the blog are those of the author and not necessarily held by Workplaceless itself.

Like many career-minded individuals, I had professional development and advancement goals for climbing the corporate ladder long before I had heard of the concept of “telework.” As my career has unfolded, I’ve had several opportunities to work virtually but I never lost sight of the trajectory I envisioned for myself. As it turns out, you can have the best of both worlds—but it does take planning, focus, and a willingness to pedal a little bit faster than everyone else.

 

VIRTUAL STRENGTH TRAINING

I started my career in journalism, working for daily newspapers, television, and magazines. Looking back, I now realize that these jobs were my virtual employee strength training program. I worked when the stories broke, but the deadlines were firm and constant. I experienced a boot camp, of sorts—I had...

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Best Remote Work Podcasts

With remote work becoming more and more common, it comes as no surprise that there are now several podcasts about the topic. If you're interested in remote work and/or the future of work, and like to hear about all the cool things that people are doing while location independent, have a listen to these great shows.

 

21st Century Work Life

21st Century Work Life is a podcast is hosted by Pilar Orti and Lisette Sutherland. The format is varied: in some episodes, Orti and Sutherland co-host, in some episodes they interview guests, and sometimes, they have solo shows. The topics are just as diverse and cover important topics like communication and management in remote teams, as well as issues that are faced by subsets of remote employees, like complete newbies. This show is extremely well-produced and researched. Plus, the questions and perspectives on this show will get you thinking about how to improve your own remote work experience.

I especially recommend this podcast for...

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Easy Ways to Improve Communication in Remote Teams

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One of the biggest issues in all teams—virtual and not—is communication. While this issue is prevalent in all teams, it can seem that the problem is exacerbated in virtual teams. 

Why is communication in remote teams especially challenging? 

1. There are few (or no) existing opportunities for informal connections, which can be a good space for people to establish rapport and confirm understanding of situations or expectations.

2. A lot of virtual communication takes place with email or chat—which means messages are often misinterpreted. Not everyone is great at conveying or reading accurate tone when writing.

3. If your work day does not include collaboration, you might be working on your own for most of the day. You might ride the momentum of your work bubble, and not stop to clarify or confirm understanding of expectations.

No matter the reason for your team's challenges, there are some concrete steps that you can take to improve how your team...

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Remote Work and the Law: Legal Issues that Remote Leaders Must Know

Guest post by Natasha Bowman JD, SPHR, aka the Workplace Doctor, founder and CEO of Performance Renew and the author of You Can't Do That at Work: 100 Legal Mistakes Managers Make in the Workplace.

Employing a remote workforce can bring enormous benefits to an organization, like expanding attracting top talent and saving on overhead expenses that usually accompany a location-dependent workforce. But employing remote workers also comes with its own set of legal implications that remote leaders need to consider. Each of these legal issues could be a potential liability for your company. 

Make sure that you work through the proper channels to ensure that each issue is properly and adequately addressed in your:

  • HR policies
  • Employee handbook
  • Hiring process
  • Onboarding process
  • Organizational structure
  • Procedures
  • Additional organizational policies

Legal Issues with Remote Teams

Privacy and Security

With a remote workforce, all communication takes place in a...

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Remote Management Mistakes: Top Mistakes Leaders Make When Managing Remote Teams

Updated May 2020.

How do you manage remote teams? Whether your whole team is fully distributed, or you only have one employee who works from home, leaders need to have the skills to manage and motivate from a distance. For the most part, there are similarities between managing remote teams and general management best practices. However, some common remote management mistakes can severely impact the productivity and overall happiness of your team.

  

Top Remote Management Mistakes

 

1. Failure to Align

In order to lead a healthy and productive remote team, infrastructure, mindset, and education all need to be aligned throughout the team and organization. 

From a mindset perspective, the foundation of any remote team is trust. If you don’t trust your team to do their job and you rely on micromanaging techniques, a remote setup will not work for you, nor for your employees. Along with this, it’s important to focus specifically on metrics related to...

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5 In-Demand Skills You Can Leverage to Work from Home

Want to work from home but you’re not sure what you can do? You can leverage any of the five skills listed below to find a remote job that you love. Many job seekers spend their time searching by job title — but job titles can vary greatly from company to company and can be hard to understand. Instead, focus on the responsibilities listed in the job description. Look for job descriptions that list skills that you already have.

Each skill listed includes example jobs and companies, plus keywords to use when using job search sites, and alignment with skills listed in our Remote Work Competency Model.

5 Skills to Leverage to Find Remote Jobs

 

LANGUAGES

Do you speak more than one language? You can get a remote job as a translator, interpreter, transcriber, or customer service representative. Additionally, you can set yourself apart from other candidates for other types of jobs if you highlight your language skills.

If a job description does not directly say that...

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11 Reasons You're Not Getting Remote Job Offers

You've applied to remote jobs but you still haven't gotten any remote job offers. What gives?

Chances are it's because of one of these reasons. Some of these reasons indicate areas you can improve. Others you can't do anything about. Focus on the areas that you can actually work on to improve your chances for the next position.

 

Reasons You're Not Getting Remote Job Offers

1. Your experience didn't indicate that you could work well remotely.

If you've never had any experience working remotely, this can work against you. Working remotely requires you to be self-motivated and have excellent time management skills. Employers want to know that you will do the work how and when you need to.

Tip: If you've never worked remotely before, then make sure to highlight past experiences that demonstrate the above skills.

2. The qualifications listed in your resume or highlighted in your interview did not match the needs of the employer.

The hiring committee just didn't see you as...

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Friday Reflection: What Have You Done This Week?

Happy Friday!

Before you dance away from your work for the weekend, take some time to reflect on what you accomplished.

Reflecting on the week allows you to acknowledge your victories and the things you have learned. It will also prepare you to start next week off on the right foot.

Here are some questions to guide your reflection:

Friday Reflection Prompts

What major goals or deliverables did you complete?

Take a look back at the concrete deliverables or tasks you finished this week. Sometimes looking back on the things you've done is much more inspiring than looking at the things you still have to accomplish.

What conversations did you have?

Did you have any meaningful or important conversations with coworkers or clients? What did you learn from those conversations? How can that information help you in the future?

Did you find out anything new about yourself or others?

Note anything you've learned about other people and yourself —  about the way you and others work,...

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4 Startups Hiring Remote Workers

When you’re looking for a remote career, there are several options: work for yourself, a large business, or a startup. Large companies like AmazonDell, or Humana will have multiple job openings at any given time, which can expand your opportunities. But there are plenty of startups hiring remote workers, as well. Working at a startup can be fun and exciting and can be a pivotal point in developing your career. Below are four startups that are currently hiring in multiple remote positions.

4 Startups Hiring Remote Workers

Toptal

Toptal is a talent network focused on the software engineering, design, and finance industries. They have under 1000 employees and there are many remote positions available across many disciplines and levels.

Head over to their profile on Glassdoor and make sure to check out the reviews — here’s a highlight:

Having been in the workplace for over 20 years this is a...

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