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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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Mar 28, 2019

Welcome back

A small correction to a recent discussion, when we look at Dr. Heejung Chung’s research about gender and remote work – we’re glad to point out that the work we’d referred to as UK only actually had much broader scope, and we strongly recommend checking out the twitter thread with links to the original research:

We love our Twitter community  - and glad to shout out a few more of our friends on this episode, with gratitude for making us think and grow, always. And we have had some great conversations on LinkedIn too – so many ways of connecting in in our 21st-century work.


12.38 21st Century Work-Life: Nick Steenhout

Speaker trainer and consultant on web accessibility

Web accessibility is the practice of making web content and apps accessible to all users, regardless of ability /disability. It covers so many things from colour to responsiveness to keyboard-accessible elements… And for developers, there are so many things which can be done, all of which make sites better for people without disabilities too. And when Google remains the biggest screen reader for every site, it’s definitely a win-win.

After a quarter of a century of the internet, the same accessibility issues come up time and again - and new frameworks still get developed and released without these considerations built-in. It can be an unknown unknown, which nobody addresses due to lack of foresight, through to tagging the idea on as an afterthought… ‘oh, a third-party plugin can handle that’.  

But none of it is rocket science (and some good baking analogies help make accessibility very accessible). And advances in tech such as voice recognition, and the cost of assistive devices, make things better all the time. For all of us.

And Nic has a very 21st Century Work Life of his own, living in a 40ft RV – when we spoke he was in national parkland in British Columbia, enjoying the digital nomad life with his partner, despite Canadian winter temperatures and rationing mobile data. He doesn’t find work-life balance to be too challenging, as a wheelchair user on wheels, and has more space in the RV than some city apartments – space guaranteed to be available and accessible, and often with a lovely view.

Check out Nic’s podcast, A11y Rules

Twitter @vavroom

And his website 

31.29 What do you mean by that?

Welcome back workplace psychologist Richard McKinnon, with some great definitions for us:

Personality: Your way of looking at the world, the lens through which you make sense of it all. We all have a comfort zone and a preferred pattern of communicating and interacting. But it is plastic and subject to evolution.

Psychological flexibility: A set of thinking and behaviour skills supporting good coping and adjustment to the world around us, resilience in the face of change. The ability to put a bit of space between stimulus and response. We can learn and develop improved psychological flexibility.

Locus of Control – Defining how we ascribe our influence and impact on the world, and the extent to which we attribute things that happen to ourselves, or to external factors. Developing a strong internal local of control puts you in charge of what happens to you!

Learn more in Episode 3 of My Pocket Psych


47.40 Recommended Tool: Calendly

A simple scheduling tool which works with Gcal and other calendars, to enable 2 more people to fix up a meeting when they’re both free.

An easy way to avoid the endless emails back and forth about availability, and you can choose different appointment types to book (eg by length), and it also magically takes account of different time zones neatly for you.

A range of paid tiers gives you access to group scheduling too – plan meetings with groups of people, wherever they are. Which is very powerful for distributed teams, and anyone working with clients and associates anywhere in the world.

Just remember to block off all your unavailable time, so no one fixes a meeting with you!