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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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Sep 6, 2018

Today’s episode brings you just two in-depth sections – we like to mix things up for you, and some subjects deserve a deeper dive. So we’re pairing a great interview about culture in a distributed organisation, with a discussion about the time we spend at work.

What do you think about the format? Please tell us, in our listener survey!

04:35 Work-life: Interview Robert Glazer

Robert is the founder and CEO of Acceleration Partners, the global independent affiliate management /performance marketing agency.  Their business is ranked by Glassdoor on the 2018 Employees’ Choice Awards honoring the Best Places to Work for U.S. small and medium size businesses,  and in June, just before our interview, was named #2 top CEO for SMEs in the US!  His team made a very touching video testimonial as part of this:

His take on distributed teams and local hubs was fascinating, and the win-win for team lifestyle needs meeting the business case for addressing client needs, makes total sense. 

It was also really insightful to learn about their hiring and onboarding process – refined over 10 years – for recruiting great new colleagues and bringing them into the team with systematic intentionality, when you can’t rely on some of the ‘osmotic’ processes which happen in the colocated space.

He has written about how their core values drive hiring and contractor choices,, and he attributes much of their success to living their core values – and cutting them down from 7 to the really fundamental 3:

Own it

Excel and improve

Embrace relationships

Find out how they use them in every stage of management, and also how Robert’s personal values inform and are fully congruent with those of the organisation he leads, and then you can also check out their leadership tools such as Friday Forward (weekly newsletter avaialble), and his own site, where updates for the new book (working title: ‘Outperform: building capacity in yourself and others’) will be forthcoming.

You can also read what thought of Acceleration Partners and Harvard Business Partners  

33.15 Discussion: time at work – international experiments

Long-hours culture is broadly acknowledged as a bad thing, but different organisations around the world are looking at different ways to shake this up.

Japanese executives are being encouraged to take a lie-in on ONE morning a month – ‘shining Mondays’ – a government initiative, being trialed with public sector employees… In a country where ‘death by overwork’ has its own word. Let’s hope this carries over into the wider working environment too – but uptake of this and similar initiatives seems to demand broader cultural change, in a country where people can get fined for taking 3 minutes extra over lunch…

And in Australia and New Zealand, experiments with 4 day work weeks are yielding great results – when people have the freedom to get their work done in a more compact working week, their stress reduces and productivity increases.

Closer to home, in Sweden – they’re looking at compressing into a 6 hour day: creating shorter shifts for hands-on nursing care, one industry where this really does cost the employer more directly in more shifts… But being offset by more preparation work, and less sickness absence, as well as public sector gains like job creation. The article was inconclusive in the end - but I know I’d rather be cared for by a nurse who has had enough rest first.