Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Category Archives: Virtual Companies/Organizations

Special Feature – Managing a Remote Team: How to Do It Well

Here is another upbeat, optimist article on working remotely by Michelle Kiss at Clicktime.com. In this article, she provides valuable some tips for surmounting common problems regarding remote team performance (communication, accountability, etc.) and social cohesion. In Managing a Remote Team: How to Do It Well, she writes:

Remote teams are the future. Heck, remote teams are the present! Thanks to a host of factors — improved technology, the high cost of rent, a more globalized workforce — more and more companies are choosing a remote model.

Going remotely can pay plenty of dividends. It lets you hire the best employees, without being bound by geography, it significantly cuts down overhead, it helps employees maintain a healthier work-life balance (no commuting time!). When done well, it can respect employees’ time and boost their effort.

But it also poses some potential problems. Here are some crucial steps you can take to avoid them.

Read more at Managing a Remote Team: How to Do It Well

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How to Sell on Amazon [Infographic]

Submitted by Jake Rheude, Director of Marketing at Red Stag Fulfillment

Making extra money online and escaping the nine to five grind often becomes possible when you set up a stream of passive income to supplement your regular income. A great way to do this is to sell products on Amazon.

While it can seem daunting at first, it’s best to remember that the people who sell you products on Amazon are largely normal folks. Anyone can sell on Amazon. All they have to do is choose the right product, set up a profile, and find a fulfillment provider.

Red Stag Fulfillment put together a complete guide to selling on Amazon, but for those who are looking for an overview of the process, this is a good place to start.

Getting Set Up on Amazon – First Steps

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A Personal Note & Sober View of Online Business Headaches: Reputation Management & Cybersecurity

The benefits of online businesses have always been clear to me (e.g., the freedom and flexibility, the broad reach to potential faraway customers, etc.). However, recently I noted some massive issues online business owners face – reputation management and cybersecurity.

Internet mobs can destroy someone’s livelihood for years, and an unpopular or misconstrued Tweet (along with bad luck perhaps) can spark their wrath. Such missteps are related to innumerable topics – too many to list. So, I’ll visit the issue of bringing up politics in professional communications for business owners (but much applies to job seekers and employees alike) as I’ve previously discussed it from another angle.

Reputation management: Politics

Business owners must be wary of expressing political views in ways that don’t mesh with their customer base. I don’t know how often cases like this happen but one of my survey respondents wrote that merely unveiling your political affiliation can alienate customers: Read more of this post

Flipside Workspace versus Videoconferencing: Comparing User Experience of Collaborative Online Platforms [Report]

As promised in my previous post, the Flipside Workspace versus videoconferencing user experience pilot study results are now available. Click here to obtain a copy of the report. As a brief introduction, you will find out how Flipside Workspace measured up against videoconferencing on the following psychological dimensions (Note: #4, identity exploration, only applies to Flipside Workspace): Read more of this post

Thoughts on Running the Flipside Workspace versus Videoconferencing Study

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, so I’ll first address the slowdown on my blog. Thankfully, this isn’t about running out of steam but, rather, preoccupation with projects – including the Flipside Workspace user experience study which I mentioned in January 2015. As it is wrapping up, this is a good time to revisit it and provide detailed information. What I left unmentioned previously is that this study contrasts users’ experience meeting in Flipside Workspace with videoconferencing across various psychological dimensions.

For those who’re new to Flipside Workspace, this is an avatar-based,  3-dimensional digital workspace. It’s best described at Flipside Workspace’s site as, “an immersive online business district that takes those perks of real-life office dynamics and brings them into a virtual environment.” To see how elaborately crafted the environment is, watch this video. Read more of this post

To Live Differently – A Personal Manifesto

Recently, I realized that I’m coming upon 3 years of blogging about modern work-life issues and, particularly, remote work. With regard to the latter, I’ve repeatedly mentioned benefits for the environment, some employers, and some employees. However, I’ve yet to share my personal views and reasons for my insane dedication to this topic.

Some presume that I’m a lofty idealist, envisioning that everyone will be working this way in the future. On the contrary, I’m quite a realist and know that not everyone wants to. For example, some enjoy commuting for the hour or two designated to listening to their favorite podcasts. (Though, as I like to point out, one can still walk around the neighborhood for that amount of time and listen to a podcast before and after working at home or wherever one chooses to work.) Nevertheless, I’ve blogged incessantly to spread awareness of remote work as a real choice while realizing that individual preferences would, to some extent, assert themselves and determine who works remotely and the proportion of time spent doing so. Read more of this post

You Are Here: Thoughts on Working Remotely

ArtLogic

Brett G. Porter is Chief Engineer in Development Practices at Art & Logic, a 100% virtual company. With almost two decades’ worth of experience working remotely, Brett has substantial wisdom to share regarding virtual work arrangements that succeed. In “You Are Here: Thoughts on Working Remotely,” Brett’s article covers issues such as infrastructure requirements, keeping people connected, maintaining boundaries, structuring projects, as well as characteristics and circumstances that enable people to succeed at working remotely. Also, please visit “Office Free: Building the 21st Century Company” to vote for Art & Logic in SXSW Panelpicker Interactive 2016 and watch remote workers describe their experiences in a highly engaging video! (Successful introverted remote workers are represented by the way.)

Originally posted on Art & Logic:

I’ve been seeing a lot of articles and discussion lately on the pros and cons of using distributed teams. It’s a topic I’ve given a lot of thought to — I just had my 17 year anniversary working for Art & Logic in a completely distributed environment, and over the years there have been many words written both in favor of it (see Scott Berkun’s recent book The Year Without Pants) and against (maybe most emphatically by Alistair Cockburn, who in his book Agile Software Development (2002) who says that ‘distributed development is becoming more commonplace, but it is not becoming more effective’). I’d certainly take exception to the assertion that it’s not possible to be successful and effective developing software in distributed teams, but that doing so requires that you adopt or reject certain situations, practices, and scenarios:

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PeopleG2: A virtually-based, leading human capital due diligence service provider

peopleg2logoAt its inception in 2001, PeopleG2 started out as an office-based company.  However, in 2008, founder and chief executive Chris Dyer, decided to transition into a virtual company to accommodate a growing workforce and surmount challenging financial pressures introduced by the recession. According to Michelle Rafter, in “Employees told to go home – and work,” a small office in Brea, California remains for a handful of staff who value having a physical office. However, the rest of the staff, comprised of researchers, sales and customer service representatives, and administrative personnel, work as a virtual team.

This arrangement has worked out so well that Chris Dyer never looked back and, today, PeopleG2 serves as a testament to how companies can successfully switch from brick and mortar to virtual. Just recently, Flexjobs featured them in “26 Virtual Companies That Thrive on Remote Work.” How did Dyer and his team make such a successful transition?

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The Future of Money [Infographic]

This gorgeous infographic, which was created by Envisioning Technological Research Foundation, traces the history of money (and other previous methods of exchange) and provides speculation on the future evolution of money. Realization of this potential for a more decentralized, distributed system would significantly impact our lives. As explained in the infographic, “People are coalescing and demanding free, real-time access to their transaction information in order to reclaim financial decisions from institutions.”

Envisioning is an independent, virtual research institute based in Brazil. The global team is comprised of academics, designers, and hackers. Their mission is to study technology in order to understand accelerating change and provide technological foresight to policy and decision-makers worldwide.

To see an enlarged image of this infographic or download a PDF copy, click here.

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Why some employers are ditching the office — literally

Here are some recent facts and figures summarizing the prevalence of telecommuting as well as existence of virtual companies and distributed teams. As these percentages depict, regular telecommuting along with employers who operate mostly or completely virtually remain uncommon. However, these phenomena have enjoyed some growth. Read on to find out which companies have completely dispensed with the need for a physical office.

Fortune

The workplace has reconfigured over past decades from private offices to cubicles, and now the de rigeuropen plan schemes are seeing a backlash. It may well be that some people just have a problem with working out of an office — rather than their homes.

Nearly two out of three large companies in the U.S. permit occasional telecommuting, about double the number from 2005, a 2013 study found. But just 33% of major employers allow “regular” telecommuting–just 2% more than what it was in 2005. And the Telework research network found in 2013 that only 2.5% of Americans consider home their primary workplace.

Still, a small but growing number of companies are taking a more radical stance and doing away with offices altogether, relying on collaborative tools like Slack and Dropbox. There are 76 companies on the most recent list from FlexJobs of virtual companies and distributed teams…

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