Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

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.

For more on our services, check out

May 14, 2020

This show is brought to you by Virtual Not Distant, a London-based consultancy offering support to remote teams worldwide. 

Please see for full show notes

What’s Going On

(this topical segment was recorded on 6th May 2020)

A recent article from Workplacesless What Happens to HR When Everyone is Suddenly Remote? takes an in-depth look at the ‘emotional labour’ that people-people do and how that has changed, on top of the logistical challenges and uncertainties they’re dealing with. It’s a good tie-in with our special ‘connection and disconnection’ series underway with ShieldGEO, and we shouldn’t forget that HR professionals are at the forefront of supporting coping with these issues for everyone.

Looking ahead to what the workplace of the future might look like, we start with this one from Buro Happold Social distancing in the workplace: the new norm. We’ve never had an opportunity like this to truly rethink how we want to re-create the workplace we want - where we feel safe and effective and productive. 

Mapping the way people move and looking at the tech we use (see also Maya’s recent article about Crestron’s thoughts on this) will help, but there will surely be new stress-producing factors and things to constrain spontaneity. We’re going to have think differently about what face-to-face time means, and consciously make the most of it, whatever tech we use to control the environment.  And here’s a prescient article Pilar wrote 4 years ago… proving that it’s always a good time to think holistically and creatively about what your workplace could look like, while considering what unique needs it fulfils for you.

There’s even some research emerging now from Global Workplace Analytics suggesting that many workers do want to continue to work from home post-crisis, and they want flexibility and choice more than they want a fixed spot assigned to them in the office. This article about Tata in India suggests the same, a big corporation already deciding that a growing proportion of their workforce will work regularly from home permanently.

All of these environmental shifts remind us that we’re going to have to change the way we work too, becoming more agile and resilient and flexible as an organisation, perhaps less hierarchical, to cope with the new world of work - and whatever changes are coming our way in future.

Which further connects with the important subject of well-being, and we liked this article Simon Deeley (do contact him if you want to learn more about his mentoring app) shared with us, about 9 Steps to Maintaining Your Work/life Boundaries - we get hung up on the physical boundaries but there are so many more things to think about, which can make a difference in your life.  

And finally, we loved this statement on LinkedIn from Adam Weber from Emplify that as a company they’ve decided they’re not working Fridays in May - to recognise the additional burdens and stresses on their employees. This is one great example of an organisation helping individuals maintain some boundaries.