Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere – Tsedal Neeley
Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere by Tsedal Neeley is a comprehensive guide to succeeding in the remote work revolution.
The book explores the current landscape of remote work and provides guidance to help organizations and individuals make the most of the opportunities presented by it.
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It covers topics such as building a culture of trust and inclusivity, managing remote teams, and developing strategies for success. The book also provides tools and strategies to help teams adjust to the new way of working, as well as how to use technology to increase productivity and collaboration.
Can My Team Really Be Productive Remotely?
Here’s the good news: the fears that inform some managers’ gut reaction to use surveillance tools are unfounded. Studies show that remote work does not pose a threat to productivity; in fact, remote work actually increases it.
Managers who adopt policing strategies miss a central fact about productivity, namely, that it comes from the trifecta of team results, individual growth, and team cohesion.
When it comes to the connection between team results and individual growth, for example, working from home affords employees more flexibility in arranging schedules, gives them more autonomy over their work environment (no more thermostat wars), and saves time on commutes.
How Should I Use Digital Tools in Remote Work?
Rich media are those that convey greater amounts of information, including social cues and social presence, which enhance understanding across a wide swath of situations, even those that are ambiguous, whereas lean media are those that convey less information, fewer social cues, less social presence, and have relatively limited communication.
Both lean and rich media are important and exist on a continuum. The richer media are more effective in situations with higher ambiguity, higher equivocality, and less clarity, while leaner media will be more effective in situations that are more straightforward.
Mixing it up
Effective communication in the virtual world requires understanding the characteristics of communication media and applying them strategically to build relationships. Leaders must prioritize and create urgency, not rely on technology to do so.
To avoid tech exhaustion, mix up the use of available media and structure activities around our needs. Social presence is key in promoting intimacy and connection between speakers. Use leaner media for straightforward situations and richer media for higher ambiguity or equivocality.
How Can My Global Team Succeed Across Differences?
If you were raised in a North American culture you were probably taught that making eye contact when talking to another person projects confidence and honesty. If you were raised in other parts of the world you may find direct eye contact rude or threatening, especially if you don’t know the other person well.
Cultural differences are inherent in remote, global teams. The interplay between how we see ourselves and how others see us is a dynamic process that influences our behaviors and emotions.
We often find it easiest to align our self-perceptions—eye contact projects confidence—and others’ perceptions of ourselves—eye contact is threatening—by surrounding ourselves with other people who think similarly, but that becomes impossible when working on a global team comprising people from different cultural backgrounds.
The Language we use
- Dial it down. Team members more fluent in a shared language or lingua franca need to slow down the pace of the dialogue and make sure everyone is on the same page.
- Dial it up. Those less fluent in the lingua franca need make an active effort to participate in the dialogue despite very understandable fears about speaking up.
- Keep the same code. If you share a native language with some teammates, avoid code-switching between your native tongue and the lingua franca when in a shared virtual space with the whole team.
What Do I Really Need to Know About Leading Virtually?
Leading virtually, though multidimensional and uniquely challenging, can be rewarding. Much of the time it’s learning to reorient yourself from your in-person tool kit that relies on physical presence and informal communication to virtual equivalents or entirely new tools. Many of the rules for leading in collocated conditions still apply, but for remote teams you have to be more mindful and conscious in your efforts to achieve the same results.
Leading virtually often requires you to be more formal to make interactions feel informal and more structured to create open time for informality. Understanding the various ways that subgroups and faultlines can form when people work in distributed teams—and discouraging the inherent divisiveness—is key.
Tips for leading virtually
- Minimize differences. Where people are located matters. Differences in distributed team members’ geography, as well as differences between team members who do or do not work remotely, can engender subgroups and social dynamics that result in conflict.
- Emphasize strengths, not status. Class divides will form among groups based on differences in size along with real or perceived differences in status.
- Promote a common purpose. Faultlines will develop in every team. Leaders can work against faultlines’ corrosiveness by building and stressing one group-level identity: the umbrella identity that binds the team together into one and reminding team members that they each represent the team.
How Do I Prepare My Team for Global Crises?
To understand panoramic awareness, think of a camera lens, especially the one so many of us now use on the ubiquitous iPhone. We know to use the camera’s landscape lens to photograph a wide swath of countryside or a 360-degree view of a room.
To snap a close-up picture of a single tree in a landscape or a friend’s face in a room, we use the portrait lens. In much the same way, global leaders must learn to shift their attention from a wide swath of events, which are often international in scope and involve crisis, to close-ups of, for example, team dynamics or local sales figures.
Scanning current global issues is the first step in developing panoramic awareness. Leaders don’t have the luxury of consuming news solely in one part of the world.
Like the landscape lens, you must constantly maintain as wide a view as possible on international events, including the fluctuation of oil prices, regulatory or labor law changes, and shortages or surpluses in agriculture that could impact entire ecosystems.
Whether they are transient and fast-moving or changeable, it is important to be vigilant and investigate the relevance of global events. One simple yet essential practice is to consume a variety of international media on a consistent basis. That will allow you to better grasp events, geopolitical or otherwise, which is a first step for defining the local problems your “portrait lens” perspective will pick up in your own business jurisdictions.
- Frame the situation and risks your team may face as you prepare to meet possible future challenges wrought by global events
- Talk to colleagues, workers, and subject experts to gain insight into how to best meet an ongoing crisis or prepare for future crises.
- Act immediately as best you know how in response to a crisis once you have reached a satisfactory strategy.