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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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Grounding Principles for Remote DE&I Strategies

“Remote work has a particularly unique opportunity to offer more diversity and have a more robust, diverse population… But it certainly in and of itself will not resolve diversity issues.” 

Jordyne Blaise, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Strategist with remote team experience, shared this sentiment during her guest speaker presentation for our December Networkplaceless event. The topic of discussion was, “Exploring Solutions to DE&I for Remote Teams”—admittedly, a lofty goal to accomplish in a 25 minute presentation. However, Jordyne provided us with a framework to establish solid DE&I strategies and challenged us as individuals to instill new habits with DE&I in mind.

Jordyne shared the following grounding principles. While DE&I strategies are not one-size-fits-all, these basic principles hold true regardless of the type of organization or current status of DE&I commitment and strategy development. 

  1. Achieving...
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Your Guide to Remote Rewards & Recognition

Whether your team is fully or partially distributed, you know that people are your greatest priority. Talent is the true lifeblood of any company, and employee motivation is one of the key tenets of any healthy organizational culture. In a number of global surveys and reports, remote workers themselves have shared what drives them: a sense of purpose, the ability to work independently, and the chance to accomplish more while achieving a better work-life balance.

If this isn't news to you, you've likely given some thought to how you can specifically encourage your team not only to do more but do better—a focal point for managers who care about progress and well-being of their peers in addition to the trajectory of their company and their own careers. However, a roundup of employee recognition statistics reveals a disconnect: workers acknowledge the need for recognition, but leaders are not equipped with the knowledge, access, or decision making power to provide adequate...

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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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