Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Category Archives: Virtual Companies/Organizations

Things To Watch Out For While Working Remotely: Addressing Burnout with Nermin Hajdarbegovic [Abridged]

Submitted by Irene Papuc of Toptal

Authored by Nermin Hajdarbegovic, Technical Editor at Toptal

This abridged version was edited by Lynn Patra

TopTal has published numerous lifestyle posts encouraging people to give working remotely, or even the nomadic lifestyle, a try. We are a distributed team whose day-to-day operations involve much online communication between people in different time zones, working from home offices, co-working spaces, or holiday spots. We’re proof that remote work, for lack of a better word, works.

Researchers find that most remote workers are more productive than their office counterparts. Remote workers have fewer distractions, more flexible working hours, and less time commuting and preparing for work. No traffic jams, no office drama, and at face value, less stress. However, they are prone to burnout. Read more of this post

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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Hunting for Remote Working Jobs

Remote work opportunities are difficult to come by and work-from-home scams abound. Hence, information from those who’re in-the-know regarding where to find genuine remote work opportunities is so invaluable and appreciated. If you’re searching for such an opportunity, check out the list in this post by Marieke Guy.

Ramblings of a Remote Worker

When I was made redundant from my previous job I discovered that finding a new remote working job wasn’t going to be an easy task. Back in 2012 I did a scout of remote Working policies at universities – most had little to offer. The future looked bleak! Luckily I started work for Open Knowledge!

Since then finding a remote working job has become a little easier. There is now quite a few websites dedicated to employing people

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  • Remotive – apparently “remote + productive = remotive”. This search site contains mainly developer type stuff (with partners from InVision, Zapier, iDoneThis, Sqwiggle, HelpScout, Ghost, Formstack, Blossom, Customer.io & CloudPeeps) but there are some other jobs on there.
  • We Work Remotely is a site 37Signals on the back of their excellent ‘Remote’ book. You can also follow them on Twitter.
  • Working Nomads – “A curated list of remote jobs, for…

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