Originally published June 2019. Just as relevant in July 2021.
As of June 2019, Remote work is on the rise and expected to grow exponentially in the coming years. Yet, some companies are changing course by banning and limiting remote opportunities, finding comfort in supposedly having more controlled work environments in brick-and-mortar offices.
An article published by SHRM (“Why Are Companies Ending Remote Work?”) discusses the reasoning behind the shift of large corporations such as IBM, ATT and Yahoo to recall remote employees. Specifically, the author identifies the following concerns with remote work:
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Imagine this scenario: your CEO announces in a major media outlet that your 10,000+ workforce will shift to flexible work for the foreseeable future. That’s the situation many companies are facing as CEOs are asked to predict when offices will reopen and what the workforce will look like. But these announcements, be they public or internal, usually leave more questions than answers. Who will be in the office and who will be remote? What type of infrastructure will be in place to support remote team members? How will leaders prepare to manage essentially two groups of employees?
One truth remains—your teams will need guidance throughout the months and years to come. They will need support to ensure:
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes, 20 seconds
At Workplaceless, we are passionate about learning, and grateful to learn from those whose experiences are different from our own. As the number of companies shifting to remote work arrangements exploded in 2020, we saw a significant influx of resources offering to guide employees and companies through the transition. This influx was essential for many experiencing remote work for the first time.
Now, as companies are shifting or settling into their long-term vision for remote or hybrid teams, we thought it would be helpful to provide a way to cut through the clutter and learn when to take advantage of free resources and when to invest in external remote work training.
Here are the top six questions to consider as you weigh the usefulness of paid training versus free resources for yourself and your teams.
We’ve said this since...
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
New Year’s Resolutions: Yea or Nay? During our January Networkplaceless event, attendees agreed that resolutions can be fun and inspirational, like Teresa Douglas's resolution to “eat better cheese." However, are resolutions useful when the goal is to make real progress? How many resolutions have we all let slide as the year progresses? How do we align our day-to-day energy with our bigger picture goals and aspirations?
With another uncertain year ahead, goal setting can undoubtedly help you and your teams feel in control. As remote workers and virtual team leaders, having a vision, setting goals, and meeting goals are especially crucial for remote career development and for virtual employees to document their value. Goal setting in a virtual environment can also look different than in-office—from the types of goals and the resources available to how you share and achieve your goals.
The four key steps to remote...
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 20 seconds
The debate continues: are remote teams more productive? If you’re in the Netflix CEO’s camp, there are no benefits to remote (our quick thoughts on that here) and you would feel bolstered by this study shared by Tech Republic. On the opposing view, some research has revealed stabilization or gains in productivity, such as from BCG.
The reality is that not all remote professionals are productive because not all remote professionals are given the tools and support they need to thrive. This is especially important in the context of COVID-19, when the shift to remote work for so many people has been unstrategic and unexpected. The two key factors that determine whether or not remote professionals, and subsequently remote teams, are productive are trust and training.
Effective remote work is based on the premise that professionals are more productive when they...
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 30 seconds
Companies across the world are currently faced with questions about how to reconfigure the way to work going forward after the suddenly shifting to remote work in response to COVID-19. Each week a fresh slate of executives are announcing adjusted remote work policies. For example, Chief Operating Officer, Sabine Keller-Busse, of UBS Group AG recently announced that as many as a third of its employees could work remotely on a permanent basis. In numerous sectors, including insurance, banking, media, and tech, the trend toward adopting hybrid-remote work models is spiking and becoming a defining feature of the future of work.
Often these announcements include detailed plans for what reopening co-located offices might look like, but what does that look like for employees who remain virtual? We fail to see the same level of care put into outlining a plan for the sustainability and productivity of remote workers. We created...
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
Is it true that “people who come into the office just get more done”? That was the position posed when Yahoo walked away from remote work policies back in 2013. Remote teams who have committed to learning and instituting remote best practices have known that this idea doesn’t hold true in typical remote work circumstances (and it also has been disproven by research). Of course, remote working during a pandemic certainly pushes the limits on remote work productivity. Our challenge back would be to ask if productivity is the only or best measure of remote team success, especially during times of crisis?
Not all remote teams are created equal and so much of the effectiveness, strength, health, and productivity of remote teams rests within the hands of leadership. When remote leaders have mastered the skills needed to effectively motivate and manage their teams, it has a tremendous trickle down effect on the health,...
Learning can help all of us—leaders, distributed teams, and new-to-remote employees—cope with the uncertainty and anxiety brought about during times of crisis, such as the current COVID-19 pandemic. Developing new knowledge and skills helps us feel competent and in control. Learning a new skill can offer a chance to break away from the repetition of news, chores, and work tasks. Furthermore, the structured nature of learning encourages a feeling of "flow" in a context that offers immediate gratification.
Learning is energizing, and there are tons of resources available for developing new skills such as General Assembly’s free training and webinars, or the creative platforms of Masterclass and Skillcrush.
For individuals who may transition to new roles or want to use this time to explore new opportunities, skillbuilding is a key part of professional development. If, on the other hand, you’re...
As COVID-19 continues to spread, educational institutions are updating their contingency plans. Italy has ordered the closure of all schools and universities. Inside and outside the US, responses from universities have varied from completely canceling classes to putting lectures online, while public school systems are considering shutting down completely.
The implementation of social distancing in education parallels the actions taken by businesses to encourage or require employees to work from home. Workplaceless has pulled together a Guide to Preparing for Emergency Remote Work full of immediately actionable resources to specifically meet the urgent remote work needs of those organizations. Yet, we also recognize the immediate need for resources...
Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 38 seconds
A new decade inspires all sorts of predictions about the soft skills and hard skills needed for the future of work. At Workplaceless, we've identified the skills that are needed to thrive in remote work environments, because being able to work, collaborate, and lead remotely is crucial to developing a career that can adapt to an increasingly distributed work environment.
No matter what skills you are looking to develop, in order to gain them, you need to start with the most important skill of all: the ability to learn autonomously and placelessly.
At no time has this skill been more critical than in our current economic reality, when all that’s certain is that it’s impossible to accurately predict how or to what extent changes like widespread adoption of workplace automation will affect our work and daily lives. This...