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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 27, 2020

This podcast is brought to you by Virtual Not Distant Ltd. 

For full shownotes, and details of Pilar Orti's new book Online Meetings That Matter, please see

And here's What's Going On:

  • Coronavirus Forces World’s Largest Work-From-Home Experiment - This article reflects a moving target in a fast-moving situation, as it was published 2nd February, but it indicates an ongoing phenomenon. Virtual Not Distant do not advise waiting for a global health crisis as a strategy for transformation, but it’s great if technology can rise to the occasion and encourage people to try new things - so long as they don’t judge the remote-first approach from the outcome of an ad-hoc reactive solution.
  • Google's Plan to Reduce Its Carbon Footprint - For us, this piece triggered lots of reflection about the carbon footprint of digital ‘things’ in general. We think of remote as very ‘green’, but data, tech and storage does have a cost in terms of energy, when you scale up. Or even how they suck power on your own laptop… See also: Why Irish data centre boom is complicating climate efforts
  • Flexible Workers Held Back by Tech Trouble - Some interesting research about how people feel about the tech they use, and when they’re remote they’re typically less ‘supported’ with this than in a colocated office. Do we need better training, or better tech? Possibly both, and there’s a degree of convergence. And we also need a strategy about how we use them to support our collaboration (PSA: Virtual Not Distant can help with this!)
  • You really need to lock down your Trello boards... right now - Oops. Public Trello boards are just that, meaning search-indexable. And this researcher from Wired found things in some public boards which definitely should not be there. And in other apps too, it’s easily done - so this is a timely reminder to check that you understand how the apps you use are secured, who you are making content visible to at all times, the implications. It might mean digging into some settings and instructions… which is time well spent.
  • - This comprehensive annual report has just been released. Please take part in research like this, policymakers need it! Comparative data now shows that the more report you are, the happier you are, on balance - including ‘how remote’ your organisation is (hybrid set-ups are more mixed in satisfaction, and this segment is fastest-growing).  The challenges and downsides identified will not surprise any of our regular listeners… But there is SO much to dig into in this research, we urge you to check it out and read it in detail.

This topical segment was recorded on 12th February 2020