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Your Remote Learning & Development Resources Blog

7 Actions You Can Take to Elevate BIPOC in Remote Work

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

 

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it is a common sentiment that “everyone” is working from home. However, research shows that accessibility to remote work varies by race. While there is tremendous opportunity for remote work to create opportunity, remote does not automatically equal diverse nor equitable nor inclusive. We’ve yet to see comprehensive data on the true diversity of remote professionals; however, anecdotally within the US, the remote community agrees that reality does not yet reach the potential. For remote work to be truly accessible to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), we have more work to do.

 

At Workplaceless, we have been having the conversations internally and with our community to understand what role each of us can play to both break down barriers for and elevate the voices of BIPOC professionals in remote work. We embarked on discussions in late 2019 with regards to diversity,...

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A Placeless Mindset: The Foundation to Successful Remote Teams

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

 

Remote work has been around for years. However, what separates the remote winners from the remote quitters isn’t just a matter of tools. It’s recognizing the difference between a co-located and a remote mindset. The philosophies underlying successful remote work are fundamentally different from those of a traditional office workspace. We refer to this remote mindset as a “Placeless Mindset.”

 

What is a Placeless Mindset?

A Placeless Mindset is not just a process of getting tasks done but rather an integrated way of thinking, living, and, yes, working. It’s a philosophy and an attitude that can be summarized as: 

 

A Placeless Mindset is a keen understanding that our lives, and therefore our work, are not rooted in a singular place, but rather require flexibility in location and communication in order to balance multiple goals and priorities. 

 

Adopting a Placeless Mindset helps...

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Start. Stop. Continue. Our First Virtual Team Meeting without Zoom

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

 

As a remote team who doesn’t see each other in an office everyday, it’s important for us at Workplaceless to stay connected with one another, beyond just the work. While we integrate this throughout our daily routines through apps like Donut and remote team building exercises, we also aim to meet once a month in a live all-hands team meeting. It’s a meeting we all look forward to every month. However, with much needed vacations, staycations, and team relocations, a synchronous meeting wasn’t going to work for July, so we decided to run our first Asynchronous All-Hands Meeting. 

 

Here’s what we did and an evaluation of what we would or wouldn’t do again from both the perspective of the meeting organizer, Megan Eddinger, and two team attendees, Katie Scheuer, and Jacqueline Zeller.


For the most part we lead with remote-first asynchronous collaboration, and limit meetings as part of our daily...

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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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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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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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Things I learned after five years on a hybrid-remote team

 

By Ali Riehle, Freelance Designer and Researcher, working remotely since August 2018.

We're grateful to Ali for sharing her experiences, especially as we've dedicated time in our remote community to discuss challenges and solutions to hybrid team relationships. Any opinions expressed within this blog post are those of the author and not necessarily held by Workplaceless itself.


 

Most recently in my role on the design and development team at LUMA Institute, I worked at the company headquarters for a few years, called in from home occasionally, and worked remotely and nomadically for one year. These experiences have presented me with many challenges and have changed the way I think about collaboration and work in general. 

Being a member of a hybrid-remote team isn’t easy. At times, I’ve felt isolated, left out, or frustrated by the technical problems this setup can create. Aside from all that, I’ve benefited greatly from this...

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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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Real World Advice from Change Makers in Remote DE&I

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

When we decided to dedicate two months of our Networkplaceless events to discussing challenges and solutions to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DE&I) in remote work, we knew it would be impossible to tackle everything in that time. We also knew that we needed to tap into diverse perspectives to truly round out the picture and provide tangible advice. With that in mind, in addition to hosting a diversity strategist in December, we reached out to a variety of organizations who are bringing forward opportunities for conversation as well as action. We’re grateful to Power to Fly, LGBTQ+ Workplace, NTI, and Startup Setup for taking the time to share their expertise. 


 

Lauren Hagerty, Senior Manager of Marketing and Community, at Power to Fly, a community and recruiting platform that connects companies to women in tech, sales, marketing and...

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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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