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Your Remote Learning & Development Resources Blog

Why Remote-Focused L&D Belongs in Your Remote Business Strategy

 

"Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."

 

Perhaps unsurprisingly, this oft-quoted proverb holds true in modern work scenarios as well. Anyone who has worked with external consultants conducting one-off training workshops and intensive sessions know that the knowledge shared typically begins and ends with those present. 

Far too often, dust winds up settling on even the liveliest learning and development experience, and desires to make big internal changes give way to the inertia of the status quo. It’s unfortunate that such a significant investment in terms of time and money is often allocated toward a short-term impact.

These isolated experiences that lack sustained attention to an organization's culture can lead to a general avoidance of learning and development (L&D) programs. Rather than approaching these efforts strategically, some companies have sidelined training or left it up to those...

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The Remote Work Competency Model - Creating Success at Every Stage of Remote Work

Remote work, telecommute, live/work—whatever you want to call it—the concept isn’t new. Humans have been making their living outside of co-located offices for years. The resurgence of the “workhome” came on slowly, but it’s reached a fever pitch and the writing is on the wall for businesses and job seekers alike; remote work is here to stay.

However, in our mad dash out of the offices, there hasn’t been much time dedicated to addressing the skills needed to be successful at working remotely. Hiring managers the world over find themselves now in situations of back-filling competencies that haven’t been comprehensively considered. Hiring remote workers isn’t just about the bullet points on a resume—there are layers of innate and learned skills that are often difficult to suss out or even control for when hiring and evaluating team members. 

And that’s just the beginning. It’s just as important to understand...

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Ending Remote Work Isn’t The Answer

We’ve all read the declaration that 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.

 

A recently published SHRM article (“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:

  • Employers allow people to work remotely without giving them the proper training or resources to do so productively.
  • Supervisors—untrained on how to properly manage and monitor remote workers—find it easier to manage someone face-to-face.
  • Some supervisors—perhaps because they feel they must be in control or don't trust their workers—are uncomfortable having...
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How to Build the No. 1 Skillset All Remote Workers Need

 

Ever ask yourself if you might lose your job to a robot soon? For some jobs there may be an adequate machine or AI replacement; for other more nuanced roles, however, machines may not be able to replace us. As London Business School professor Lynda Gratton puts it in this article about the challenge of scaling soft skills: “... right now and in the foreseeable future, machines are generally poor at understanding a person’s mood, at sensing the situation around them, and at developing trusting relationships.” So really what it boils down to is that robots have poor soft skills. Lucky for us, this is where we as humans can shine and make ourselves irreplaceable!

 

As LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner points out, it’s not coding where we currently have the biggest skills gap, it’s soft skills. He calls it the NO.1 job skill that American employees are missing.

 

Isn’t it time that we but more effort into developing these sought after...

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Remote Skillbuilding: A Team Approach to Training

 

In our April Networkplaceless virtual event, remote workers and leaders from all over the world shared their thoughts on the top interests, knowledge, and skills that are necessary in remote work, which included curiosity for learning, time management, problem-solving, and adapting to new technology. (See learnings infographic below.)

 

Developing these, and other job-and remote-work specific skills, is critical to keeping remote teams flexible, competitive, and engaged. Employee training doesn’t just help with skillbuilding, but also improves employee engagement and retention, and can even have a positive impact on your company’s bottom line.

Who wouldn’t want any of that?

 

So, what’s the hold up?

 

If you are a manager, trainer, or HR professional and have begun looking into remote skillbuilding, you might find yourself at a loss regarding where to start. There’s a lot of content out there about what remote work skills...

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Should I Restructure My Business and Go Remote?

Have you considered ditching a brick-and-mortar business set up to enable your teams to work remotely?

Your bank account would certainly welcome the significantly lower overhead and fixed costs. And your conscience would likely rest at ease knowing that you’re decreasing a broader carbon footprint, thanks to lower utility consumption and eliminated commutes. Plus, there’s that massive talent pool you are now able to tap into... hiring, retaining, and training all-star professionals without location-based or cost-of-living salary constraints. More research-backed reasons companies can benefit from going remote

According to Werk’s recent research report, “96% of employees in the U.S. workforce need some form of flexibility at work, yet only 42% have access to the type of flexibility they need, and only 19% have access to a range of flexible options.” To be able to offer flexible options puts your organization at a serious advantage in the...

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Remote Leaders: Ignore L&D at Your Own Risk!

Training doesn’t just work simply by making employees more efficient; it boosts morale, builds foundational knowledge and discourages turnover. (But you know this already from reading our latest email. If you missed it, though, here’s a link to sign up!)

Good deal. But what about those companies that don’t offer learning and development options for employees? Do they get by unscathed, somehow?

Sadly, no. That scenario comes with its own set of repercussions:

  • No succession plan. It would be great to know who could step in to fill the big shoes left by an outgoing member of your leadership team, wouldn’t it? Without providing the right training, you’ll have a harder time identifying who could step up and truly be ready on day 1.
  • Talent loss. Tell me your star employee just gave her official two weeks, and I’ll read your mind: ‘Uhhh...can we somehow download the contents of her brain?’ Knowledge management crises aside, if only...
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Remote Onboarding Insights & Powerful Protips

Updated with new Onboarding Templates - at bottom of article.

Let’s Reminisce: Your First Day

How about a brief trip down memory lane? Recall your first day in a new role.

  • If you worked in a traditional office, was a workspace set up just for you? (Maybe a fun company swag bundle came along with it!)
  • Did a supervisor or teammate walk you through internal processes, giving you the inside scoop on resources and a list of where to go for help?
  • When Day 1 concluded, were you left feeling positive about your next professional chapter?

Your responses indicate whether your first onboarding experience was wholly worthwhile—or worth forgetting altogether. The hard truth: even the best recruiting efforts go to waste when faulty processes disengage employees on Day 1.

So how do we describe this all-too-important intro to a new role and workplace? Onboarding is the process a company employs to acclimate recent hires to its culture, team, workflows and policies. Traditionally, it...

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Remote Work Conference Roundup: 2019

Conferences are valuable learning experiences no matter your industry—but if you work remotely, conferences can provide you with the rare opportunity to connect with other people in real time, in the same space.

Get ready to block off some time on your calendars—we've highlighted some of the best conferences you can attend if you want to learn more about remote work and learning & development. 

 

Grow Remote 

Dates: April 16, 2019

Location: Tubbercurry, Ireland

Audience: Remote workers and employers

Website: https://growremote.ie/ 

Grow Remote's mission it is to bridge the gap between remote work and local impact. They've grown to 43 chapters across Ireland and Europe, and at their event in April, they're hosting talks, meetups and the activities of the west for attendees to experience the best of what rural Ireland has to offer. 

 

 

Association for Talent Development International Conference &...

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New Year, New Workplaceless: Growing Our Remote Training Programs

In the weeks and months to come, you’ll notice an all-new Workplaceless. We’re really excited to share our revamped company branding with you—and not just because a fresh look and feel is a fun change for the New Year.

Kickstarting 2019 with branding that better reflects who we are and what we offer was important to us. And since our specialty is in learning and development programs for the remote workforce, this represented a different kind of journey for our team. Reflecting on the key tenets of our brand meant that we had to define our purpose, core values and mission. (It’s an exercise we would recommend for any company that hasn’t conducted a deep dive on the subject, as there’s no more important work than getting to the heart of what you do, and why you do it.)

 In the process, we landed on the following mission statement, which we believe simply and concisely states our reason for existing:

Workplaceless helps remote workers and...

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