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Sponsorship Creates Pathways for Remote Career Opportunities

The top two challenges highlighted during the September Networkplaceless discussion about remote opportunities were: 

  1. Lack of leaders creating and fostering opportunities 
  2. Lack of relationship building opportunities 

During our October Networkplaceless we welcomed Julia Taylor Kennedy, Executive Director at the Center for Talent Innovation, who shared expert advice on how the area of sponsorship could apply directly to remote work environments in addressing these issues.

In all work environments, it’s critical to establish and foster relationships that encourage career growth, however, it’s also necessary to think through objectives and expectations for each relationship. Four categories of professional development relationships include: 

  • Coaching. A coach shares advice on closing discrete skill gaps.
  • Advocacy. An advocate helps a colleague by endorsing an idea or project. 
  • Mentorship. A mentor provides a safe space for nurturing,...
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Keeping Remote Talent: What's Your Company's Plan for Growth Opportunities?

Stagnancy is an innovation killer. In today’s marketplace, companies and remote leaders that want to encourage and sustain a culture of innovation, recruit and retain top talent, and maintain a competitive advantage must have and communicate a vision for creating career growth opportunities inclusive of their remote teams and remote workers. 

It is vital for leaders to stay tapped into the concerns of their remote employees, who too often are left wondering: 

  • “What kind of influence will I have working from home?”
  • “What if no one notices my hard work?”
  • “How limited are my next potential remote roles?”
  • “How will I ever get promoted?”
  • “Why take that kind of risk at this point in my career?”

They also worry that working remotely puts them “out of sight, out of mind”—uninformed of new opportunities and overlooked for advancement. It is crucial that remote leaders and people operations...

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Challenges in Creating and Finding Opportunities in Remote Work

By Kimberly Bringas, Remote HR Expert

Any opinions expressed within this blog post are those of the author and not necessarily held by Workplaceless itself.

 

A common misconception about remote work is it doesn’t require anything more than giving an employee remote based tools to do their work. “Here is slack, zoom and a working computer, you’re remote now.”—it’s not quite that simple. In actuality, it’s often overlooked that building a successful remote work environment requires the same level of care, attention and proactiveness as an actual office space. As the former Senior HR Manager at Olark, I worked on converting PeopleOps based programs, processes and policies using a specific remote lens. It was during this time I learned that remote and office environments have the same goal of ultimately wanting engaged and thriving employees, however remote requires different approaches. This is profoundly evident in the area of employee...

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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. 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 supply...

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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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