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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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Apr 16, 2020

Brought to you by Virtual Not Distant, where we help managers and teams transition to an office-optional approach. For full show notes please see


What’s Going On

 This topical segment was recorded on April 6th 2020

Maya experienced a meeting that was ‘Zoom-bombed’ - one of those new words 2020 will add to the lexicon. This phenomenon has attracted a lot of media coverage, and Zoom has taken steps to secure their own networks - so make sure you’re running the most up to date version of the app. A good example of why transitioning shouldn’t, in normal circumstances, happen without learning and planning…

And Zoom is not the only meeting app out there! Google has rolled out free access to advanced Hangouts Meet video-conferencing capabilities to all G Suite customers globally, and we found this list of hundreds of other possibilities to choose from as well, with different properties and integrations for different industries.

Among the plethora of remote work content, don’t overlook these fine words by Prof Dr. Emerita Gloria Ramsbottom-Lemieux. Surreality meets satire - but we need humour wherever we can find it these days.

Pilar heard about a new co-working space which gives people black beads you can wear, if you want to signify you don’t want to be disturbed. A way to physically manifest an attention status in a visible way… A Slack emoji come to life?  Interesting how these shared signals and vocabulary emerge. 

Research from HBR’s Idea Watch suggests that people would rather have their job taken by a robot than another human - maybe because we couldn’t be expected tocompete? But we’d rather work alongside a human replacement for any of our co-workers, if they get laid off.

An article in The StartUp on Medium caught Maya’s eye, The Five Levels of Remote Work — and why you're probably at Level 2 - an insightful look at how to get beyond the meetings and chat and replication of the office, to an asynchronous nirvana. A good aspiratiomn for many teams who can work in this way and well worth a read.

Remote Work Tree

Rowena Hennigan and Robert Kropp in Spain have compiled Remote Work Tree: 

As Robert explained, they wanted to ease the transition by bringing together the best events and resources to help people new to remote working and leadership. They’ve tried to predict a learning path and what users might need, to step through the rich resources they have curated, put together at top speed - to help you avoid content overload.