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Your Remote Learning & Development Resources Blog

The Guide to Giving Feedback Remotely

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

 

One of the top mistakes remote managers make is failing to give timely and meaningful feedback. Improper—or a total lack of—feedback quickly leads to disengaged employees and poor performance.

As many leaders continue to work through how to best navigate virtual interactions with employees, we’ve developed a quick guide on how to give effective feedback, remotely

 

When providing remote feedback, DO: 

 

  • Be specific. Use extended messages to communicate the purpose and direction of your feedback. Highlight specific examples of what was committed to, what was said and done, as well as the implications.
  • Be prompt. It’s important to establish and communicate timelines for performance reviews. However, when addressing specific situations remote leaders must share the feedback as soon as possible. Even if you and the team member are not able to connect immediately, reach out via Slack or email and...
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6 Expert Steps To Improving Your Remote Team’s Communication

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 30 seconds

 

How do teams choose how to communicate? 

In a co-located work environment, the answer is pretty clear: walk down the hall or pop into someone’s office for a quick check-in; send an email if they’re not there. 

As researchers remind us, face-to-face may be the richest medium for communication, but when teams want to be more productive, cost-effective, and have access to talent, companies turn to remote and hybrid work. But as remote teams know, there are hundreds of choices for meetings, chatting, collaborating—synchronous and asynchronous communication tools . . . where does one start? 

The selection of communication tools begins with understanding the unique challenges of remote team communication and defining processes that work for professionals who are not physically located in the same office space.

During our July Networkplaceless event, we welcomed three experts who led us in a...

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Why Do Remote Leaders Need Training?

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...

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Top Skills You Need to Successfully Lead Remote Teams

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,...

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What Happens to HR When Everyone is Suddenly Remote?

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes, 55 seconds

 

The everyday role of human resources professionals includes ensuring that productivity and performance goals are met within an organization. However, the sudden shift to remote work in response to COVID-19 has presented a myriad of incremental people management concerns due to the anxiety and uncertainty employees are experiencing. Furthermore, AON’s recent study shared by Human Resources Director reports that HR responsibilities have been stretched to include crisis management and business continuity. On top of that, only 8% of HR respondents felt they were sufficiently equipped and ready to deal with the challenges posed.

Matters are complicated further, one attendee noted, because there’s often a lack of support for human resources. In other words, who takes care of HR when HR is taking care of managers and teams? HR professionals, in particular, are experiencing heavy loads of emotional labor, a term...

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Supporting Psychological Safety and Culture in the Midst of Emergency Remote Work

By Candace Giesbrecht, BSW, CPHR, Strategic HR Consultant.

 

We're grateful to Candace for sharing her expertise. Any opinions expressed within this blog post are those of the author and not necessarily held by Workplaceless itself.

 

It’s noisy out there, isn’t it? Alerts, bulletins, updates, and so much information. At the risk of adding to the clutter, the thing I most want you to hear is—you’ve got this. 

 

As a leader, being thrust into emergency remote work is more than disruptive. The changes in workspaces, tools, and workflows would be difficult enough. We’re additionally concerned about the effects of isolation, triggers related to pre-existing mental health struggles, kids also at home with schools shut down, wondering if our vulnerable family members will have access to the support they need when they need it, and all the varied considerations that each individual employee is encountering. We do not yet know how the...

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Remote Team Building Activities: Create Trust While Distributed

Estimated reading time: 9 minutes, 28 seconds

 

By Katie D. Scheuer, Curriculum Specialist at Workplaceless 

 

Ice Breakers. Team Builders. Structured Adult Activities.

For some, these words inspire an array of emotions: dread, joy, terror. For me, it’s pure and radiant “this is what life is all about” happiness. Team builders for me are what sports are for others.

It started with theatre games at summer camp (“This is a tick. A what? A tick. Oh, a tick! This is a tock!), and in college I insisted on being “Ice Breaker Chair”, a made-up role for my volunteer organization. I host “Teach Me Something New” parties with my friends. My dreams come true when Charades are played on ski trips and when baby showers have improv games led by zany aunts. 

When I started working remotely, I wasn’t sure how I would handle working by myself after years of leading workshops, teaching, and coaching live on college...

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Tips for Successfully Leading a Virtual Cross-Cultural Team

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes, 52 seconds

 

By Teresa Douglas, an American professional living in Canada. She is the co-author of Working Remotely: Secrets to Success for Employees on Distributed Teams.

We're grateful to Teresa for sharing her expertise. Any opinions expressed within this blog post are those of the author and not necessarily held by Workplaceless itself.


 

I walked out of the meeting with housing services feeling like I wasted my time. This was the second group session I attended as the finance chair for our local neighborhood association. After (what seemed like) a highly productive pre-meeting email discussion, I had expected to leave with a decision and a course of action. 

Instead, we spent the hour covering the same points discussed in our email chain. The only decision we made was to schedule another meeting to discuss this “very important issue.”

I’ve spent more than ten years as a people and operations manager....

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Expert Advice for Solving Hybrid Team Challenges

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 ...

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Top Challenges of Hybrid-Remote Teams

Remote work is growing—rapidly. Work-from-home roles have grown by 173% since 2005. But that remote work trend means different things for different people, and for different organizational structures. Some teams are 100% remote, but more often we see teams that are a mix, or hybrid of different working models. 

So when we refer to different working models, what do we mean?

 

  • Co-located: A company or team whose employees all work in the same location.
  • Distributed: An company or team whose employees all work remotely (also referred to as “fully distributed” or “remote-first”).
  • Hybrid: A company or team with some employees who are co-located and some who work remotely (also referred to as “remote-friendly” or specifically as “hybrid-remote”).

 

You can reference all of this terminology in our remote work dictionary

 

Within a hybrid team model, there can be variances of experience: if there’s only...

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