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:
Corine Tan is co-founder of Kona, the wellness platform for remote teams. Her Slack app has helped teams at Asana, Medium, HelpScout, Coffee Meets Bagel, Happy Money, and more improve their emotional health and build trust. The Kona team has interviewed over 550 remote managers since January 2020 and compiled their findings in their annual Remote Manager Report.
When my team at Kona first started interviewing remote managers in January 2020, we had no idea how soon the world would dramatically change. In a span of two months, we witnessed a worldwide remote experiment unfold as entire countries fell into lockdown. We scrambled to record the immediate experiences of managers and documented our findings in our 2020 Remote Manager Report. Three major takeaways emerged from our data:
Estimated reading time: 3 minutes, 25 seconds
"If someone comes in five days, and another person three days, let me tell you I'm giving a promotion to the five day and I'm sidelining the three day." This sentiment is further reinforced in The Atlantic’s reporting of a series of studies that revealed “people will assume that those who put in a lot of office time are go-getters, even if they’re not.”
Unfortunately, leaders feel more comfortable when they can “see” employees working. If this is the leadership mindset when shifting to a flexible, hybrid, or fully remote structure, your organization is set up to fail.
Instead, organizations that are concerned with remote employee performance should evaluate the impacts of:
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Have you heard? Hybrid’s the word.
Hybrid’s the word (is the word, is the word that you heard)
It's got a groove, it's got a meaning
Hybrid’s the time, is the place, is the motion
Hybrid’s the way we are feeling
Most executives still see the need for some in-person interaction and physical offices—63% according to this PWC report. This increased presence of hybrid work requires shifts in working practices and behaviors, especially for leaders. To unlock proven practices for leading hybrid teams, we welcomed Meaghan Williams, Remote Work and Inclusion Program Manager at HubSpot and Scott Wharton, VP & General Manager, Video Collaboration Group at Logitech to share advice at our most recent Networkplaceless event.
In the words of Meaghan, “Hybrid work requires us to pivot from a reliance on in-person communication and collaboration towards a more intentional, asynchronous, and...
For remote teams, meetings are essential to building relationships, communication, and collaboration. But virtual meetings can also be one of the biggest time-wasters for remote teams.
Which of these situations sound familiar?
Virtual meetings don’t have to be this way.
Our recent Networkplaceless conversation focused on building and facilitating more effective virtual meetings. Mark Tippin of MURAL, Waikit Lau of RemoteHQ, Megan Eddinger of Workplaceless, and all of our attendees shared experienced advice. Here are some critical steps you can implement today to make your virtual meetings...
Estimated reading time: 7 minutes, 30 seconds
We speak regularly with experienced and newly remote leaders and clients who feel that for the most part, their teams are operating smoothly—they’re just experiencing a few “hiccups.” But really, who isn’t experiencing hiccups, especially in 2020?
As we dig deeper into some of these hiccups, we often uncover true gaps in skills, processes, and overall alignment that are hurting business performance. It's vital that leaders can determine whether a hiccup is temporary and easily remedied, or rather a warning sign indicative of a deeper issue with harmful future effects.
To that end, here are seven of the most common symptoms that indicate your team is working suboptimally, and where we know remote work training is the most effective intervention to ensure the long-term vitality of your remote team or organization.
Charles: “But during...
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: 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.
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...
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...