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Kid Approved! Tips to Get Work Done From Home

 

By Jacqueline Zeller, CMO of Workplaceless. Currently working from home alongside two kids at home.

 

As many more of us are shifting our working habits to work from home, parents are increasingly finding themselves at the intersection of both emergency remote work and emergency online learning. Even for those of us who have been working remotely for years and have found solutions to some of the challenges, working from home with kids (#WFHWK) is a whole new ball game.

 

Step One. Forgive yourself. (This underpins everything that follows.)

There will be days that will feel like productivity triumphs and days that feel like the triumph is solely that everyone is still alive and fed. Forgive yourself. And forgive your teammates. This is hard and no one has a perfect solution. 

 

With expected stay-at-home timelines continually being extended, looking back at the original two week guidance seems like a utopia. On top of that, advice is conflicting. Set 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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โ€œGetting Things Doneโ€ for Remote Workers

By our friend, Ty Fujimura, CEO of Cantilever.

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

 

When was the last time your mind was calm, still, and rested? If you’re like me, your mind is your office. It handles a flurry of inputs each day, from emails and texts to social media at-mentions to school papers and bank statements. It doesn’t take long to feel overwhelmed by the pace and expectations of modern life and work.

People today process more new information per day than ever before. Yet most of us lack a framework for managing this complexity and keeping our commitments. When we can’t keep track of things, we feel more and more overwhelmed, like a debtor desperately trying to pay back a loan while the interest keeps rising. This nagging sense that we’re falling behind makes it harder to achieve the clear headspace necessary to do our best work.

I’ve been there. I’m...

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Remote Work Dictionary

Most remote work opportunities require at least some level of English, and on top of that, jargon can also be a barrier for those who are new to remote work. That's why one of the keys to making remote work accessible is providing language resources—our Remote Work Dictionary is just one of the language supports that we're developing at Workplaceless.

We've updated the dictionary for easier navigation and search. You can also download as an app on your phone to have these terms readily accessible!

Access the latest Remote Work Dictionary here.

This first (US English) version is open to everyone, and we'd love feedback from anyone interested in this topic. What terms should we add?

 

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Remote Team Reflection: Tips for Effective Post-Mortem Meetings

It’s that time of year again: time for wrapping things up neatly with a bow, and looking back on a year full of activities with an equal dose of nostalgia and realism, along with the resolve to make next year even better.

Yes, ‘tis the season for fourth quarter post-mortem meetings! Or, if you prefer, reflective evaluations. (What did you think I was referring to?)

Unsettling as their moniker may sound, post-mortems are a critical part of our professional journeys because they offer us all the chance to learn and grow. They help us to gain critical insights into what worked, and what didn’t, and most importantly, determining why certain things happened in the way they did and how we can improve upon them next time.

This isn’t an opportunity to point fingers. If anything, post-mortems should be a team-building experience as a way to examine past actions and their results. Finally, you’re able to assemble a collective outlook to guide future projects and...

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Resources for Digital Nomads

As I write to you from Madrid, Spain, and checking things off my work to-do list, it occurred to me that I haven't spent much time on this blog discussing one of the best perks of working remotely: being able to travel while working. If you take this perk to the extreme, you're in a group of professionals called digital nomads.

People have been traveling for work since... well, forever. Hunting, gathering, sailing, exploring, sales...plenty of work-related activities have long involved leaving the home for a certain amount of time.

So what's so special about being a digital nomad?

If you're a digital nomad:

  • All you need to complete your work is a computer and internet connection
  • You can work from literally anywhere in the world — and you do!
  • Your livelihood doesn't depend on you staying in just one place
  • You use various tools to communicate with your team and customers, like email, video chat, Slack, phone, or other tools
  • You have a flexible schedule

The...

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Better Virtual Meetings: 9 Simple Ways to Make Meetings More Productive

In remote teams, meetings are essential to building relationships, communication, and collaboration. But virtual meetings can also be one of the biggest time-wasters in remote teams. 

Tell me if any of the following situations sound familiar:

  • You're at a meeting that you probably don't need to attend, but attendance is mandatory
  •  All anyone is doing at the meeting is presenting updates
  • There is no interaction between meeting participants
  • One or a couple of people dominate the discussion
  • The meeting runs long
  • There is no clear agenda
  • By the end of the meeting, people are confused about next steps

We've all been in meetings that were poorly run, boring, or just unnecessary

Virtual meetings don't have to be that way

Meetings are critical in virtual teams because they provide structured opportunities for team members to interact. Note that the key word here is interact. If your meeting participants are not interacting, then you should rethink the purpose of the...

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Protect Your Time When You Work Online: How to Protect Your Most Valuable Resource

There are only 480 minutes in a typical 8-hour workday. That's not much time at all.

Especially when you think of the number of minutes that you spend:

  • In meetings
  • Clarifying misunderstandings
  • Writing emails
  • Trying to find documents/emails/etc.
  • Creating or adjusting processes
  • Scheduling meetings
  • In meetings

If your job description includes nothing but meetings... then, great!

But for the rest of us, this is a real problem. How do you protect your time when you work online?

We Spend Much of Our Workday on Anything But Work

How much time do you actually get to spend on your work?

The ugly truth is that a lot of our workday is wasted. That's true for traditional workplaces and it's also true for distributed teams. Here are the four biggest time sucks in remote workplaces:

1. Meetings

There is a tendency in remote teams to think that because the team is distributed, you need more meetings. This is a big mistake—more meetings simply lead to more wasted time....

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Friday Reflection: What Have You Done This Week?

Happy Friday!

Before you dance away from your work for the weekend, take some time to reflect on what you accomplished.

Reflecting on the week allows you to acknowledge your victories and the things you have learned. It will also prepare you to start next week off on the right foot.

Here are some questions to guide your reflection:

Friday Reflection Prompts

What major goals or deliverables did you complete?

Take a look back at the concrete deliverables or tasks you finished this week. Sometimes looking back on the things you've done is much more inspiring than looking at the things you still have to accomplish.

What conversations did you have?

Did you have any meaningful or important conversations with coworkers or clients? What did you learn from those conversations? How can that information help you in the future?

Did you find out anything new about yourself or others?

Note anything you've learned about other people and yourself —  about the way you and others work,...

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The Secret to Maximum Productivity: 17-Minute Breaks

Think about your regular work schedule. How many long stretches of work do you do? Do you take any breaks? When was the last time you took a lunch break away from your desk? If you rarely do so, you're not alone. If I asked you why, I'm sure I would hear this reason: I'm too busy.

Yes, you are busy. But here's the catch 22: by not taking breaks, you're not as productive as you would be if you did.

If you work from home, you're just as likely to skip taking a break. This is due to a couple of reasons: You want to prove that you're not shirking your work or you believe that you don't need a break because you work from home. But both of these justifications are wrong.

The Negative Impact of Skipping Your Break

Here are just some of the negative impacts of skipping your break.

Your creative juices dry out

If you use your creativity in any capacity, skipping your break can be directly and seriously detrimental to your productivity.

You exhaust your problem-solving capabilities

One of...

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