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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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Aug 19, 2021

From Virtual Not Distant in London (, today’s episode explores the use of the office and other environments for deliberate and mindful work in teams. We are joined by Justin Morris, Senior Customer Success Manager - Modern Communications, at Microsoft.


We discuss ‘reopening anxiety’, onboarding during lockdown, courageous and flexible leadership, and Microsoft’s 3 pillar frameworkof people, place and process. The right policies, underpinned by the right cloud-based technology, can make this work for everyone - but it requires an agile and experimental approach.


Mindful teamwork is the way Justin describes it, and being able to nurture ideas from the spark to production means involving the right people at the right time. 


Our in-house Visible Teamwork framework structures this concept around a set of principles and practices which work effectively in long-term distributed teams, so here’s a quick reminder of the 


  • Deliberate communication - passing on the right information in the right way, from availability to ideas to soliciting input and sharing news. How and where do we share each kind of information, at the right time, and with the right people?


  • Work visibility - from project management tools and dashboards to collaborative documents, we need ways (appropriate to what we do), to share what we’re working on and the progress it’s making - providing updates, seeking feedback, managing resources, and sharing ideas.


  • Planned spontaneity - finally, we need ways to recreate the unscheduled, serendipitous communications and connections and possibilities, by creating environments and practices which support this. And yes, the shared office can be one tool we can use for this - but it is far from the only one.


For more on the Visible Teamwork framework, please check out the following articles and episodes:


Good bye "Working Out Loud"; Hello "Visible Teamwork"

WLP241 Visible Teamwork and Trust in Remote Teams

Applications of Visible Teamwork in Remote Teams — Virtual not Distant

WLP239 Match Your Visible Teamwork to Your Team Task Workflow


You can also download our free PDF guide by signing up for the newsletter in the box below, and learn how to put the ideas into practice in your own team via an in-house workshop.