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The Remote Work Competency Model - Creating Success at Every Stage of Remote Work

Remote work, telecommute, live/work—whatever you want to call it—the concept isn’t new. Humans have been making their living outside of co-located offices for years. The resurgence of the “workhome” came on slowly, but it’s reached a fever pitch and the writing is on the wall for businesses and job seekers alike; remote work is here to stay.

However, in our mad dash out of the offices, there hasn’t been much time dedicated to addressing the skills needed to be successful at working remotely. Hiring managers the world over find themselves now in situations of back-filling competencies that haven’t been comprehensively considered. Hiring remote workers isn’t just about the bullet points on a resume—there are layers of innate and learned skills that are often difficult to suss out or even control for when hiring and evaluating team members. 

And that’s just the beginning. It’s just as important to understand...

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Steps to Ensure 'Flexible' Work Maintains a Healthy Balance

First of all, we feel deeply enriched by this remote work community that continues to inspire and challenge us to be better every day. We are grateful for your input!

 

Last week we came together to specifically network and discuss health, safety and wellness solutions for remote workers and teams. We focused in on the top four categories of challenges discussed during our June Networkplaceless, but of course our conversations delved much deeper into the why, how and what next. With a high percentage of remote leaders joining us last week, we heard some management perspective as to the role leaders and companies play in implementing solutions. 

 

Here are a few specific solutions that rose to the top during our voting:

 

  • Set aside time for high quality breaks tailored to you, not just to check a box
  • Ensure your leadership team models taking deliberate and regular breaks
  • Establish non-work team calls/check-ins to encourage interpersonal connection

 

An...

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How to Proactively Manage Isolation as a Remote Employee

By Victoria Vanderbilt, Founder and CEO of TelecommutersTalk

We're grateful to Victoria for sharing her experience especially as we've spent the past two months connecting with our remote community about health and wellness challenges alongside solutions. Any opinions expressed within the blog are those of the author and not necessarily held by Workplaceless itself.

 

Remote working is growing and has many advantages both for the employers and employees.  With the advantages also come a few disadvantages, and one of the main challenges of remote work is managing isolation. Isolation can lead to mental health issues like depression, social anxiety, low self-esteem, and dementia. To ensure you stay connected and have face-to-face interactions, you need to be diligent. 

According to the 2019 State of the Digital Workspace report from Igloo, 70% of remote employees feel left out of the workplace. 57% of remote employees are missing out on crucial information. The...

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Complexity of Health & Wellness Challenges Affecting Remote Workers

I’m just going to say it … remote work is glorious. It’s liberating to have autonomy over my days, it keeps me from having to commute, and it has given us the ability to access people, ideas and communities through work in ways that were previously constrained. The overall concept of #remotework is rooted in recognizing that each individual is trying to find balance across all aspects of life, and that time is valuable. Also, that your physical location shouldn’t limit your ability to access or deliver productive work.

 

We also talk about the benefits of remote work to teams and companies in addition to the individual workers themselves. No longer a trend, remote work is a movement that we at Workplaceless are obviously passionate about.

 

But there’s a catch—if you’re passionate about, or experienced in, remote work, you know it’s not all hammock swings and piña coladas. In addition to team challenges, there are...

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Should I Restructure My Business and Go Remote?

Have you considered ditching a brick-and-mortar business set up to enable your teams to work remotely?

Your bank account would certainly welcome the significantly lower overhead and fixed costs. And your conscience would likely rest at ease knowing that you’re decreasing a broader carbon footprint, thanks to lower utility consumption and eliminated commutes. Plus, there’s that massive talent pool you are now able to tap into... hiring, retaining, and training all-star professionals without location-based or cost-of-living salary constraints.

According to Werk’s recent research report, “96% of employees in the U.S. workforce need some form of flexibility at work, yet only 42% have access to the type of flexibility they need, and only 19% have access to a range of flexible options.” To be able to offer flexible options puts your organization at a serious advantage in the supply and demand of the flexible workforce.

Now that the sky's the limit--and...

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Four Common Barriers to Making More Jobs Remote and Ways to Overcome Them

This is a guest post by Chanell Alexander of The Remote Work Life

In 2016, 43 percent of employed Americans said they spent some time working remotely according to a Gallup survey. This study also found that the opportunity to work from home is becoming a more substantial factor in where employees are deciding to work. So, it is safe to say that remote work is on the rise. However, the variety of jobs that are classified as remote are not as diverse as one would think. According to a study by Flexjobs, there are seven popular industries for remote work.

 

Where are Most of the Remote Work Jobs?

 Flexjobs outlined healthcare, information technology, education, sales, customer service, accounting, and hospitality as common fields for remote work. However, the common denominator for all the positions listed in these fields is the accessibility of the internet. Jobs like customer support, teaching, medical coding, transcription, auditing, and travel agency can be...

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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: 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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Best Remote Work Podcasts

With remote work becoming more and more common, it comes as no surprise that there are now several podcasts about the topic. If you're interested in remote work and/or the future of work, and like to hear about all the cool things that people are doing while location independent, have a listen to these great shows.

 

21st Century Work Life

21st Century Work Life is a podcast is hosted by Pilar Orti and Lisette Sutherland. The format is varied: in some episodes, Orti and Sutherland co-host, in some episodes they interview guests, and sometimes, they have solo shows. The topics are just as diverse and cover important topics like communication and management in remote teams, as well as issues that are faced by subsets of remote employees, like complete newbies. This show is extremely well-produced and researched. Plus, the questions and perspectives on this show will get you thinking about how to improve your own remote work experience.

I especially recommend this podcast for...

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