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21st Century Work Life and leading remote teams

Brought to you by Virtual not Distant, the 21st Century Work Life podcast looks at leading remote teams, online collaboration and working in distributed organisations.

Join Pilar Orti, guests & co-hosts as they shine the spotlight on the most relevant themes and news relevant to the modern knowledge worker.

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Feb 20, 2020

Welcome to the second in our special series in association with ShieldGEO, with our guest host Bree Cagiatti, in discussion with an amazing panel of guests:

In this episode we explore how disconnection presents itself, and we started by talking to Laurel Farrer, remote work advocate and founder of Distribute Consulting.

Developer Brian Rhea has identified this too, and is building an app to help — in response to an enquiring tweet which blew up into a huge validation of the existence of a problem of loneliness for remote workers.

Teresa Douglas, author of Working Remotely, is presently researching psychological safety in remote teams. 

Tim Burgess, ShieldGEO co-founder, first experienced loneliness and disconnection in his first job, where he worked alone in an office in a new country — not remote then, but deeply isolated. 

Asia Hundley (also from ShieldGEO) pointed out the way that excitement can mask such feelings at first in a new situation (in her case, a new country).

Occupational Psychologist Richard MacKinnon says it’s difficult to spot, because people can seem outwardly very happy, while reporting feelings of loneliness only if asked. And Dr Julianne Holt-Lunstad, who has researched this area extensively, reminds us of the persistent social stigma and shame around admissions of loneliness and other emotional needs. 

So if you’re feeling disconnected and alone as a remote worker, we hope this episode has been both reassuring and insightful — your situation is not uncommon, and we’ll have more to come in terms of how you can help yourself and your colleagues throughout this series. Starting from self awareness, you can begin to identify where you might be able to make changes in your total set of work-life circumstances, and use that insight to help others too.