Archive for the ‘E-Worker’ Category
Many managers admit they don’t know how to manage and lead virtual teams effectively — particularly when it comes to trust, communication, managing deadlines, and achieving consensus in decision-making. Even worse, there are some common myths about virtual teams, which can cause friction within the team or even seriously damage its performance.
You can watch the recording here:
The five myths:
- Myth #1: It’s too difficult to build trust
Reality: It’s not more difficult; it’s just different.
- Myth #2: It’s too difficult to build synergy
Reality: Synergy is intentional, not incidental.
- Myth #3: Team members feel too isolated and detached
Reality: Some personalities thrive under remote work arrangements.
- Myth #4: Interpersonal skills aren’t important
Reality: If anything, interpersonal skills are even more important.
- Myth #5: You can’t measure and reward performance
Reality: Sometimes you can do it even better.
After the webinar, I asked participants “What was the most useful thing you learned today?” Here are some of their answers:
“The opportunities are out there so make the most of them”
“It was all useful and I enjoyed the webinar (although in this case not applicable to me)”
“reminder of how to include others in virtual activities”
“That moving away from a physical office is not as scary as I thought”
“Collaboration tools and debunking the myths”
“Debunking of the 5 myths”
We now have so many ways to collaborate – faster, more efficiently, and with more people. But is collaboration always such a good thing? Too much of it can lead to collaborative overload, which stifles decision-making, puts pressure on key people in your team, and defeats the purpose of having a smart, diverse, team.
Listen to the episode here:
One of the most obvious and immediate benefits of working Out Of Office is that it eliminates commuting. This can be particularly beneficial for working women. Several studies have shown that commuting limits and stresses women more than it does men, primarily because women usually take on a greater share of household tasks. This article summarizes the issue:
Commuting, for women, gets added to an already heavy workload that often includes child care and the majority of day-to-day household tasks
Eliminating or reducing the daily commute helps alleviate the problem. Or you could share household tasks more equitably.
By definition, an Out of Office team has some or all of its members working remotely – and that raises important communication challenges. You might think you’re good at communicating remotely, but are you really? The article Five Keys to Communicating Remotely suggests five techniques to improve your communication with remote team members.
- Choose your tool wisely.
- Focus on the message received.
- Listen more carefully.
- Think about more than your message.
- Be more intentional.
We talk a lot about how to make out of office work effective. But there are still benefits to meeting in person – even if it only happens occasionally. In this episode, we look at various scenarios for in-person meetings, as well as their pros and cons.
Listen to the episode here:
We have often said one of the main benefits of Out of Office work is the flexibility it offers employees. In fact, some surveys show that telecommuters are even willing to take a pay cut in exchange for this flexibility.
But that’s not always the case!
Recent research from the International Consortium for Executive Development Research suggests the opposite might be true for some people. In particular, women in their 30s want higher pay over flexibility.
This doesn’t apply to everybody, of course. And it doesn’t invalidate earlier research. It simply shows that everybody is different, and organisations who embrace that diversity are more likely to keep the best talent.
Many people look enviously at people who work from home, but they sometimes struggle when they are given the same opportunity. Working from home involves more than just a good Internet connection and a dedicated home office. That’s a good start, but it takes much more to make this successful – especially in the long term.
The article Make working from home work for you lists “13 home working must-haves”. Not surprisingly, a good Internet connection and a comfortable work space do make the list, but so do some other less obvious things.
The Onion turns its satirical eye to the differences between working in a regular office and working Out Of Office.
As work teams become more fluid, managers and leaders not only need to understand how to lead full-time Out of Office workers, but other types of workers as well. One growing sector is the freelancer community (also known as the “gig economy”). It’s easy to treat freelancers as simply resources who do one-off jobs. But that ignores the skills, talents, and unique experiences of these freelancers.
The Harvard Business Review article “Performance Management in the Gig Economy” gives leaders a number of ideas for getting more out of these freelancers:
- Share context
- Measure more than cost, schedule, and quality
- Encourage agile talent to communicate concerns before problems bloom
- Demonstrate two-way feedback
- Make sure the right managers are supervising your agile talent
- Acknowledge excellence and share the news
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