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 31, 2018


Today we look at working on the move - we have some great perspectives on this, from professional networks to remote conferences to Gig Teams. Look out for our new fortnightly schedule, as we continue to bring you information-packed magazine-style episodes.

And there’s lots going on at Virtual Not Distant, so do come and visit us –, check out our range of specialist services and activities. And if you’re curious about or involved in the world of virtual and remote collaboration, why not join us for a free online event: Virtual Team Talk’s “Internal Affair” on 18th-19th June – find out more and register at

03.54 Interview: Mike Jones – TAP International

Mike is the co-founder and CEO of Tap International, who help professionals broaden their networks by spending time in remote locations on ‘talent development experiences’ of 1-3 months, where they enjoy professional development and networking in amazing places, whilst learning from cultural differences in a fully immersive way.

Liberated by technology (and participants usually already have everything they need to maintain normal work patterns and flow), the Tap International vision is to fulfill the millennial dream of travel and experiential learning, by combining this with career development and networking. And the founders walk the talk, travelling with the groups and being truly location-independent, drawing on their professional networks to curate opportunities.

Employers get to attract and retain the best talent, with enhanced social and professional skills – and their programme can be used as a hiring perk or performance reward. The whole team benefits from the experience gained by the lucky participant.

Discover more, and start rummaging for your passport, at

27.20 Running Remote: Conference in Ubud, Bali

Check out the podcast segment for a generous booking discount code, and don’t forget to send us a virtual postcard from the beach:


29.19 Tools: Pocket

A neat little clipping/read later service, which lets you capture anything you want to read, from any device – to read at any time. With offline access and stripping out of ads, it’s a very handy app, especially when you’re travelling and want to catch up on all your interesting reading. It’s also ideal for flexible freelancers or anyone who works on a range different projects and tends to come across important nuggets of information and learning when you’re in the middle of working on something else.

You can follow people, tag and categorise, and share with other people – or use it as a very simple bookmarking service. But you do need to make time to read the things you have put in your Pocket!


39.55  What do you mean by that? John Elston, author of ‘The Remote Revolution’, introduces us to the concept of gig teams

Comprising a multifaceted group of individuals, a “gig team” is greater than the sum of its parts – a collective who recognise their synergy and complementary skills, and approach projects and freelance gigs together to offer a range of services to fulfill the diverse needs of their clients. They market themselves and apply their skills as a team, to tackle complex projects in a range of settings.

A truly 21st Century work evolution, top gig teams can pick and choose assignments that motivate and inspire them. Colonising coffee-shops in a city near you, gig teams are travelling the world and setting it to rights, one gig at a time. 

38.30 Oh No – My team’s gone remote! How can we continue learning together?

Learning and growth as a team need not be compromised by working in a remote or flexible setting.

Learning is about mindset, not location. With the right mindset, it’s a continual process, of acquiring new information and putting it into practice by changing what we do. So it’s important that we capture experiential learning points, and make time for the essential reflection stage in the learning cycle, where we integrate the learning points into our own behaviour.

In the online space, that means allocating resources – time and attention – to ensure learning points are captured, and successfully cascaded through the organisation. Pilar suggests a range of options for structuring this, both on the practical level, and also in creating safety within the team to be vulnerable and accept input. Change can bring many benefits, but you need to make space to accommodate it.

In our fast-moving world of work it can be hard to carve out time to learn and reflect – but these are the moments of greatest growth, wherever your team is located. 

Whew, this has been one of our most packed podcasts ever – see you in two weeks time!