We're closed until Nov 30th for the US Thanksgiving holiday. Meanwhile, find holiday inspiration in our Remote Team Gift Guide. 🎁
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Creating Virtual Celebrations with Purpose

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 40 seconds 

 

As we approach the 2020 holiday season, many of us will not be celebrating in our traditional ways or locations. The realities of our current distributed working situations are forcing us to rethink our previous ways of gathering, like coming together in one physical location for holiday parties, and adjusting our plans to a virtual environment.

Our Networkplaceless community came together in November to share ideas about celebrating virtually. Thanks to everyone who attended, we walked away bursting with new ideas for connecting with our colleagues. The framework for this conversation came from Priya Parker’s book The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters (you can also watch her excellent Ted Talk here.)  

In the process of considering what makes a gathering meaningful and impactful, attendees shared ideas related to three topics highlighted in Parker's work: purpose, environment, and...

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The Ultimate Remote Team Holiday Gift Guide

While we hope you’ve been showing appreciation to your remote teams throughout the year, we've reached the season where gifts can be a capstone token of appreciation for your employees’ contributions through what has assuredly been a difficult year.

Our team has pulled together a robust list of gift ideas that are specifically for professionals who work from home or as a part of distributed teams. We’ve focused on physical gifts as well as virtual presents for teams. Since we’re a small business ourselves, we aimed to include fellow small businesses throughout our suggestions.   

 

Physical Gifts that Require Shipping

Image source: Leon and George, Canva, Mashable, A Year of Boxes, Frères Branchiaux, NY Times

Because so many of us have been physically disconnected from friends, family, and co-workers this year, it can be especially meaningful for employees  to receive a physical token of appreciation. Note: many of...

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The Guide to Giving Feedback Remotely

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

 

When providing remote feedback, DO: 

 

  • Be specific. Use extended messages to communicate the purpose and direction of your feedback. Highlight specific examples of what was committed to, what was said and done, as well as the implications.
  • Be prompt. It’s important to establish and communicate timelines for performance reviews. However, when addressing specific situations remote leaders must share the feedback as soon as possible. Even if you and the team member are not able to connect immediately, reach out via Slack or email and...
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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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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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“Getting Things Done” 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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