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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.

For more on our services, check out

Jun 14, 2018

Today we return to our regular format, and bring you a featured interview with Alison Jones, a wellbeing segment, a handy tool, and our thought-piece “oh no, my team’s gone remote!”

If you have an interest in remote and flexible working, there’ still time to sign up to Virtual Team Talk’s “Internal Affair” – where you’ll also get a little free taste of Virtual Not Distant team coaching activities too. 

And visit us at soon.

05:27 Featured Interview: Alison Jones, Director of Practical Inspiration Publishing.

Alison is a publishing partner for businesses with something to say. She specialises in helping experts and business leaders channel their knowledge into book format, making it easier to send ideas out into the world.

Her book ‘This book means business: clever ways to plan and write a book that works harder for your business’ helps people do this, along with her specialist coaching skills and publishing and marketing background.

Alison helps people create the whole platform and infrastructure around the book as a smart marketing tool for the business it reflects, and to gain maximum personal and professional development benefit from the intense creative process of giving birth to their book. She offers a range of services from online advice, mentorship, coaching through to full traditional publishing services.  She successfully blends a range of remote collaboration and communication techniques to connect with her writers and bring them together online, to help them create their unique publications, and works with her fully remote team in the same way.

Pilar took Alison’s “10 day business book proposal challenge” last year, and the result will be hitting book stores very soon in the form of “Online Meetings that ROCK” – so if there is a book brewing in your subconscious, this could be your moment.

Connect with Alison on Twitter @bookstothesky, and via her websites, and


22.21 Wellbeing: Homeworker’s Bum!

A humorous but real affliction, not just for homeworkers but anyone who spends too long sitting in an office chair. If your rear end is taking on the shape and rigidity of your furniture, you need to get up and MOVE!

When you transition to office-optional working, make sure you don’t lose the built-in opportunities for physical movement.  Try quantifying it with a device or app, and if you aren’t moving enough then you need to consciously plan to stand up, make your day more dynamic.


29.02 Oh no my teams gone remote: and I don’t know how to deal with the silence!

Communication changes when you move away from a centralized office space, and becomes more asynchronous. This can mean waiting for a response.

How are you, when it comes to dealing with silence?

Do you find it unsettling? Do you project your expectations and uncertainties into it – when it could be that someone simply hasn’t seen your comment yet, or is considering their reply.

Silence is only uncomfortable when we are unsure what it means.  You might just need a clearer agreement about expectations and how you communicate.


36:48 Tool: Canva

Making graphic designers out of all of us – content needs pictures to go with the words, and you can make them simply and easily in a browser app.  Web banners, twitter cards, thank you messages  - they’re all straightforward to create in Canva.

Be careful, as it’s quite fun, you can get carried away if you like visual things and experimenting! You can share designs and collaborate with colleagues too. The paid team version is quite an investment, but you can do a great deal with the free tool.

We’ll see you again in two weeks, and meanwhile we’d love to hear what you think of our content – get in touch, or tweet us @Virtualteamw0rk