Why I Love Working in a Digital Workplace

Lynn Patra:

How did your transition back to work after the holidays go? For those who work from home and have yet to take down their holiday decorations, returning to work can pose a greater challenge. In this post, Lisa Duncan, co-founder of Flipside Workspace, briefly describes how an online collaboration platform that includes an immersive virtual environment facilitates separation between home and work as well as prime us, mentally, to go back to work. As an avid gamer, I’ve experienced how rich, virtual environments can transport us into a different world and put us in a completely different mindset. So I think Lisa makes an excellent point about the value 3D virtual environments can offer to remote workers.

Originally posted on Lisa Duncan | Alternative Workstyle Enthusiast:

Flipside Workspace conference room meetingIt’s my first day back after a fabulous and disconnected vacation.  I love these times where I get to fully disengage from work – energy, creativity, and inspiration swirl around me giving me months of “work” just to catch up with my thoughts. Only the heartiest of ideas make it through memory and grit into execution, a kind of Darwinian business process.

Today I was excited to get back to work, to catch up with my colleagues and exchange ideas. I was ready…sort of.

You see, I work from home and it’s after New Year’s.   Two weeks of fun and festivities means many decorations are still hanging in the house and the onslaught of stuff from a household racing out the door each morning to school or work is still scattered about.  So many distractions.

I love that mental separation of “go to work”.  I need that mental separation.  But where is…

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2014 In Review for Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

Following an unexpected hiatus, I’m back just in time to provide the annual WordPress year-end report for my blog. Although I wasn’t as prolific as I was last year, I thought I’d publish the report in case anyone wants to see blog-related information such as what the most popular posts were and, at the same time, show my appreciation to WordPress for providing this service to bloggers.

Now, onto plans for next year. First off, I’d like to affirm that the Flipside Workspace user research project (which I mentioned in my previous post) is still happening. So, be on the lookout for a post that will spell out the details in January and consider participating! Among some other major projects I’ll be undertaking is the launching of my YouTube channel later on in the year. Content-wise, the channel won’t be related to this blog but, when it’s launched, I’ll make some mention of it as an opportunity to connect on interests that go beyond the focus of this blog.

As some of you may have guessed, I’ll be attempting to remake myself professionally. I hope that this undertaking will grant me ample opportunity to learn and share nuggets of information about reinventing yourself as a professional. On that note, I ask my readers, what are your plans for next year? Will you be changing anything? If so, how have you planned to go about it?

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,500 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

4 Tips for Forming Virtual Teams

Lynn Patra:

As a member of Better Collaboration, a virtually-based consulting firm, I can attest that a number of challenges must be surmounted in order to form an effective virtual team. Some of the most significant challenges are accurately described by Lisa Duncan, co-founder of an immersive, picturesque virtual work environment called Flipside Workspace (see here). Informed by direct experience, Lisa also offers excellent tips for addressing them. Hence, I refer you to her post.

Originally posted on Lisa Duncan | Alternative Workstyle Enthusiast:

Much has been written about the value of using virtual teams from a variety of perspectives: IT, HR, and management. While each contemplate virtual teams from different angles, the authors typically reach this conclusion:  the fast-paced global economy, the advancements in technological solutions, and the general acceptance of telecommuting have each contributed businesses using virtual teams to gain a competitive advantage.

But despite all of the blogposts on “10 Steps to Build Virtual Teams”, or the numerous “Virtual Team Guidebooks”, the truth is: forming and maintaining virtual teams can be hard.  Slacking-off on attention to critical details can spiral quickly towards wasting everyone’s time.

As a virtually-based company, we do know a thing or two about forming virtual teams for success; but a recent experience in forming a virtual group was a humbling lesson, and excellent reminder, of what is important when gathering individuals who are geographically dispersed.

A…

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A Better Collaboration virtual round table event: How to improve collaboration of dispersed teams

Better Collaboration

 

Better Collaboration is back! As a break from the lecture-style format of our events, we’re inviting attendees with interest and expertise in virtual work arrangements to actively participate in an informal discussion and initiate a community of practice. One topic of interest is obstacles to widespread telework adoption and steps we can take to overcome them. However, as this will be more of an open-ended discussion, attendees are welcome to introduce other relevant concerns.

This event will take place on Thursday, October 30th, 2014, from 4:00-5:00 PM Eastern time (EST)/1:00-2:00 PM Pacific time (PST). As always, there is no cost to attend. Simply click on the red bar for the Meetup group below to register and RSVP. A link to access the event will be emailed to those attending. Continue reading

On Becoming a Better Writer

Does using text-speak erode our writing skills? There has been much debate regarding this issue. While investigating various opinions, I was surprised by the following statements at Northhampton Community College’s site:

According to a recent survey, employers would rather hire workers over 50 than those under 30. This survey indicates that respondents stated older workers are more professional and have better writing skills than their younger counterparts. 46% of respondents stated younger workers needed to improve their writing skills versus just 9% for workers over 50.

 

The slow demise of the English language is nothing new. People have been lamenting the use of poor grammar and writing skills for years. However, it seems that the use of Instant Messaging (IM) and Texting has accelerated this decline to a record pace. Is new technology to blame? There is evidence that supports that conclusion.

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The Path to Retirement [Infographic]

You may have heard the prognosis that we’ll be retiring later in life and that many of us can expect to work through our retirement years. Given what sounds like dour news, it may be tempting to put off thinking about the future. However, it’s critical to save and do all that you can at every stage in your life in order to better set yourself up for scaling back on work and addressing future medical costs. To this end, here is an “easy on the eyes” infographic that provides rough guidelines which include benchmarks at various stages of life for your consideration.

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On Not Being There: Specific Advantages of Non Face-to-Face Interaction

If you are a blogger or participant on an online forum who interacts with other highly skilled writers through text, you’re probably familiar with some advantages that come with communicating your ideas in this manner. In their article, “Virtual hybrid communities show that you don’t have to meet face-to-face to advance great ideas,” Dr. Gernot Grabher and Dr. Oliver Ibert provide a more objective, nuanced treatment of non face-to-face communication. The main takeaway is that non face-to-face interaction can’t simply be thought of as inferior to face-to-face interaction in a broad-brushed way. Consider the following points from their article: Continue reading