Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Myth: Working remotely inhibits innovation.
Critics of remote work often make the claim that creativity and innovation are more effective when they occur in office settings. However, this claim lacks evidence. Now that a global workforce has been experimenting with remote work for nearing two years, the research is in: remote work can be an advantage for innovation.
Scientific American reports “extensive research shows that hybrid and remote teams can gain an innovation advantage and outcompete in-person teams by adopting best practices for innovation, such as virtual brainstorming.” The New York Times goes even further, saying, “people who study the issue say there is no evidence that working in person is essential for creativity and collaboration. It may even hurt innovation, they say, because the demand for doing office work at a prescribed time and place is a big reason the American workplace has been...
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Flexibility is the name of the game. Employees demand it. Companies know they need to embrace it. Yet, the way leaders are currently going about making changes are rushed, not thorough, and unsustainable. It’s no surprise, since much of the rapid shift has occurred during a global pandemic.
Friendly reminder: Emergency remote working is not sustainable remote working.
However, two other powerful dynamics are roadblocks to a sustainable shift to flexible work. First, misalignment on goals and priorities for future hybrid teams at an organization. This leads to different teams using their time and energy troubleshooting challenges in isolation—and often reverting to old behaviors. Executives hold the responsibility for setting and clarifying their remote work vision.
Second, leaders resist changing their own working behaviors. In order to help remote and hybrid team leaders overcome this resistance, we’ve...
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 25 seconds
September 2021 marked our 4th birthday at Workplaceless, and we hosted our final Networkplaceless event focused on async vs sync communication. While some news outlets represent remote work as a passing trend with an end in sight, savvy organizations are not only embracing remote and hybrid work, but empowering flexibility by shifting to async-first practices.
Since async-first work habits save time, reduce interruptions, increase autonomy, prevent burnout, reduce micromanagement, and combat inequity, we spent the majority of the session targeting attendee pain points and brainstorming solutions that leverage strategic use of synchronous communication and emphasize async. In fact, 100% of attendees expressed a desire to shift toward async-first communication to help solve some of their challenges.
Common struggles include:
Zoom fatigue first entered our work...
Sixty-nine percent of companies intend to involve some sort of “hybrid” in their workforce location plans for the fall of 2021 and into 2022. Yet, these setups are uncharted territory for many teams. Finding what works for your organization will involve experimentation. But, you can learn from those who have done this before. We reached out to experienced hybrid teams to ask about the practices they’ve established to ensure their teams are inclusive and productive.
We specifically wanted to focus on how teams overcome challenges that can make hybrid work harder, such as:
Here are some routines from a wide range of teams worth considering as you experiment with your own setups.
“At Loom, our very own asynchronous video messaging tool is foundational to how we communicate, collaborate, and...
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 30 seconds
Organizations continue to tackle remote and hybrid work challenges like overwork, Zoom fatigue, burnout, disconnection, and interruptions. Leaders, managers, and their teams recognize that finding the right balance between async and sync communication is critical. But coming from a work context where decision-making, creative thinking, and connection all take place in a co-located office environment, professionals often struggle to shift to this new paradigm of async-first work.
Before you start to learn how to implement asynchronous communication and collaboration, it’s critical to understand both:
But HOW can teams implement impactful async communication? Here are the seven fundamental steps to implementing effective asynchronous workflows, collaboration, and communication:
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 25 seconds
"If someone comes in five days, and another person three days, let me tell you I'm giving a promotion to the five day and I'm sidelining the three day." This sentiment is further reinforced in The Atlantic’s reporting of a series of studies that revealed “people will assume that those who put in a lot of office time are go-getters, even if they’re not.”
Unfortunately, leaders feel more comfortable when they can “see” employees working. If this is the leadership mindset when shifting to a flexible, hybrid, or fully remote structure, your organization is set up to fail.
Instead, organizations that are concerned with remote employee performance should evaluate the impacts of:
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 30 seconds
“I’ve been doing this for over a year, I’ve got it figured out and don’t need to develop skills.” This is the 2021 fatal mindset flaw for managers of remote employees. Reminder: emergency remote work doesn’t develop the same habits you’ll need for sustainable remote work. And critically important as offices reopen, hybrid is harder than everyone working fully remote.
Hybrid teams have an increased risk of inequitable experiences between in-office and remote team members. Establishing policies, practices, rituals, skills, and benefits that actively level the playing field and focus on inclusion will prove critical to the health and success of hybrid teams. Here are important themes and helpful ideas to get started.
One attendee referenced the quote “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.”
1. As we emphasize in our Placeless Playbook,...
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Have you heard? Hybrid’s the word.
Hybrid’s the word (is the word, is the word that you heard)
It's got a groove, it's got a meaning
Hybrid’s the time, is the place, is the motion
Hybrid’s the way we are feeling
Most executives still see the need for some in-person interaction and physical offices—63% according to this PWC report. This increased presence of hybrid work requires shifts in working practices and behaviors, especially for leaders. To unlock proven practices for leading hybrid teams, we welcomed Meaghan Williams, Remote Work and Inclusion Program Manager at HubSpot and Scott Wharton, VP & General Manager, Video Collaboration Group at Logitech to share advice at our most recent Networkplaceless event.
In the words of Meaghan, “Hybrid work requires us to pivot from a reliance on in-person communication and collaboration towards a more intentional, asynchronous, and...
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 20 seconds
Hybrid work is in demand. A recent study by Slack found that 72% of surveyed employees want a combination of office and remote, with only 12% wanting to return to the office full time.
But what is the optimal arrangement? Is hybrid a better alternative to fully co-located work? Is a fully distributed team better than hybrid?
Your answer depends heavily on your individual experience. Company culture, location, individual choices, and personal circumstances naturally influence work environment preferences . The structure you were familiar with prior to the pandemic influenced the quality of your remote work experience, which in turn influences your working model preferences moving forward.
Evaluating the effectiveness of remote work based on experience during COVID-19—at an individual or company level—is inappropriate because:
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 27 seconds
Buffer and AngelList’s 2020 State of Remote Work reveals that 43% of companies are hybrid, meaning part of the team is full-time remote and part of the team works out of the same office. However, an additional 24% of companies allow individuals to work from home on occasion. That’s a total of 67% of companies who are navigating the complexities of remote vs. in-office dynamics. We wanted to understand in more depth the challenges that these hybrid-remote teams face on a daily basis.
At our Networkplaceless event, we specifically asked attendees, “Does your company have a plan in place to address hybrid team communication gaps?” Thirty percent of respondents said yes, 39% said no, and another 30% said not sure. (Note: if your team members aren’t sure, it’s probably time to revisit your policy and make communication improvements).
In order to provide solutions to some of ...