Work Wherever; Connect Everywhere
The cost of living has increasingly become more challenging for our teams and ourselves. In response, many growing companies have opted to continue flexible and remote work models, yielding lower overhead expenses and happier employees. These work structures have also empowered individuals to better manage fluctuating economic conditions by allowing for relocation to more affordable areas.
Though the benefits of flexible work models are many, as evidenced in reports such as this by OWL Labs, they aren’t without their share of opposition, delineated in the video below by CNBC. Nonetheless, the world of work has changed and evolved beyond antiquated norms, giving way to the rise of digital nomadism. But as teams become more distributed around the country—or even the world—how we connect to one another becomes a significant priority.
Obvious challenges include time differences and response delays between emails or messages. As discussed in this podcast with Lisette Sutherland of Collaboration Superpowers and Frameable CEO Adam Riggs, a willingness to experiment with various collaborative tools and arranging occasional in-person meetups—even if only social meetups—can mitigate such challenges and foster team cohesiveness.
Clarity of communication and consistency are also essential when trying to connect with distant teammates, as conveyed by Harvard Business Review in the video below. It doesn’t hurt to show our faces once in a while either, as coming on camera reminds everyone that we’re real people and not just expressionless blocks of text living on a screen.
Despite controversial opposition, flexibility remains a prominent need for our modern teams, as it’s through flexibility that we can all better reconcile economic burdens with individual needs, as illustrated in this research by Buffer. Digital nomadism and work-from-anywhere models don’t exclusively benefit single individuals either, but rather entire families, as expressed in this podcast with Google’s Dart Lindsley and Rekha Magon of Boundless Life.
As with in-office teams, there are many strategies to build connection and engagement among distributed teammates. Socializing is always an important aspect of connectivity, so we ought to encourage light-hearted, casual team meetings throughout the week. Organize regular check-ins or one-on-one sessions for individuals to exchange updates, accomplishments, or challenges.
Physical distance from one another can be exclusively that—physical. Whether our teams are face-to-face or face-to-screen, we can all still connect.
“Good work is good work wherever it is.”
– Lesley Ann Warren
Do you have an idea you want to share with an empowered community of self-aware professionals? If you’d like to contribute an idea or article to ‘In The Flow of Work’ on the Evolve blog, just send us a message or submit a post to our Head of Content, Adam Schneider