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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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Steps to Ensure 'Flexible' Work Maintains a Healthy Balance

First of all, we feel deeply enriched by this remote work community that continues to inspire and challenge us to be better every day. We are grateful for your input!

 

Last week we came together to specifically network and discuss health, safety and wellness solutions for remote workers and teams. We focused in on the top four categories of challenges discussed during our June Networkplaceless, but of course our conversations delved much deeper into the why, how and what next. With a high percentage of remote leaders joining us last week, we heard some management perspective as to the role leaders and companies play in implementing solutions. 

 

Here are a few specific solutions that rose to the top during our voting:

 

  • Set aside time for high quality breaks tailored to you, not just to check a box
  • Ensure your leadership team models taking deliberate and regular breaks
  • Establish non-work team calls/check-ins to encourage interpersonal connection

 

An...

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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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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.

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 supply and demand of the flexible workforce.

Now that the sky's the limit--and...

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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 Work Certification Helps Both Employers and Employees by Reducing Unknowns

New Employer + New Employee = Fear of the Unknown 

A new hire. A new job. 

The word new in this context expresses unknown

In a situation where a new employee is brought onto a team, there are a lot of unknowns on both sides: 

The employee is not certain of what to expect of their new position and team; and 

The employer is not sure whether the employee will be a good fit or not.

Those unknowns can cause tension and anxiety, not to mention unmet expectations, dissatisfaction, disengagement, and employee turnover.  

In a remote environment, there are even more unknowns because you must rely only on virtual communication methods to communicate and understand expectations. 

 

How can you reduce unknowns?

There are several ways you can reduce the number of unknowns in a new hire situation. 

Remote Employers can: 

  • Thoroughly vet candidates by going through various rounds of...
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Remote Management Mistakes: Top Mistakes Leaders Make When Managing Remote Teams

How do you manage remote teams? For the most part, there are many similarities between managing remote teams and general management best practices. However, there are some specific considerations that managers of remote employees should consider. Whether your team is entirely remote, or you only have some remote direct reports, there are some big remote management mistakes you can make that can severely impact the productivity and overall happiness of your team.

 

Top Remote Management Mistakes

Ignoring management needs

If you’re charged with managing a team, you have to be mindful of the skills, behaviors and attitudes that job requires. Identifying what you need to do in order to effectively carry out this responsibility. That means that if you do have a remote team, it’s up to you to identify what the management needs are for that situation. Reading this blog post is a great start — as you read, make note of exactly what you need to work on and make...

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