Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Tag Archives: Communication

Social Media and Customer Service [Infographic]

For those who’re interested in the subject of providing customer through social media, the following infographic, which was submitted by Circa Interactive, is quite informative. It covers topics like why companies should use social media to provide customer service as well as why American customers themselves seek customer service through social media. So check it out if you’re deciding whether or not to include the use of social media in your customer service repertoire.

Via USC Dornsife:

Social media is a vital communication platform and key customer service tool for businesses and organizations. Social media provides businesses the opportunities to offer instant customer service and can also help build brand validity, awareness, and exposure to core, niche or mass audiences. Similarly, it can improve customer relations and extend your brands reach across the Web.

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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

15 Networking Tips for the Introverted [Infographic]

Submitted by Drew Page at Siege Media

Edited by Lynn Patra

Attending a networking event as an introvert can be a very stressful experience. If you find yourself relegated to the corner and in a constant cycle of small talk that leaves you feeling physically exhausted, you are probably not looking forward to your next event. Here are some actionable steps that can be taken to enhance your networking experiences.

The first step in mastering the networking game as an introvert is to mentally prepare. Building a memory bank of questions and talking points is a great way to set yourself up for success. Taking time to research the potential guest list is another great idea.  Who knows, you might already know someone who is planning to go. Read more of this post

Special Feature: Advanced Tactics for Highly Collaborative, Remote Teams by Breanden Beneschott – Co-founder / COO at TOPTAL

In a time where ideas and statements are often repeated over and over again, even as they relate to innovative ideas like remote work, I’m delighted to present Breanden Beneschott’s surprising and refreshing psychological insights on improving remote teams members’ communication. This exciting article will help you see obstacles and solutions differently as well as how possible remote work arrangements really are.

At Toptal, nothing about remote work is controversial. Over the last four years, we’ve lived and worked remotely in more than 30 countries. We’ve been running a 100% remote, 90-person strong, venture-funded company that grows hundreds of percent year over year—almost entirely from our laptops, phones, and tablets. Working remotely is a productive and efficient reality that we evangelize to our clients, while practicing what we preach. Hiring remotely removes the constraints of geolimiting and makes it possible to build the best team, regardless of whether members are across the Bay or around the world.

But it turns out some very smart people don’t agree with me. Recently, a post by Paul Graham and a subsequent response by Automattic’s Matt Mullenweg sparked a huge debate about remote work. I circulated Matt’s post to my team, because I think it simply and concisely says what we’ve been broadcasting for years: hire the world’s best talent, regardless of where they live, and everyone wins.

You’re probably already familiar with the textbook cases of successful remote teams such as 37Signals, Automattic, GitHub, and many more, but consider some not-so-obvious examples of times when office-dwellers work from afar:

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Announcement: Due to great alignment in interests, Irene Papuc from Toptal has been invited to feature articles on remote work, business, and other related topics on my blog. So I’d like to introduce her to my readers now and welcome her. By the way, I’ll be posting more in the near future as well. More on this later!

Political Discussions in Work Settings – My Pilot Study: Thoughts on Design & Results

I’ve returned with a couple of surprise posts for today. I’ve been tinkering with a survey I designed, and it turns out I’m insane enough to fund my own pilot study. Not cheap! I took a chance on myself though, to see if I’d asked interesting new questions as I can’t find my main question of interest, or related discussions, represented anywhere on the Internet. These questions relate to what OTHER social interaction patterns might coincide with increasing political polarization and Balkanization that’s reportedly been happening.

Political discussions in work settings can pose problems because participants are obligated to continue interacting unless someone is transferred to another position, finds another job, just quits, or is laid off. It’s more difficult to walk away from others than it is in the purely social realm. Thus, people are generally expected to exercise more restraint over potentially touchy subjects and avoid disruptive, emotional outbursts that impact others. Read more of this post

How Technology Has Changed the Meeting [Infographic]

It is a rare occasion that I broadcast back-to-back infographic-centered posts however, upon encountering this infographic, I knew this must be shared. If you’re like me, an image-based timeline makes historical information easier to digest and retain. Behold the technological evolution from 1958 to the present and, from here, to what’s on the horizon.

Advancements in technology have changed the world of business in terms of communication, presentation, and project management. With these technological developments came a great change in the dynamics of the meeting room. Cloud based presentations and video conferencing have blurred the lines between the office space, the home office, and the meeting room. Brandeis University concludes that ultimately, the meeting room, as we know it, may disappear completely.

Brandeis University designed a compelling infographic that looks into the past and future of the meeting room to see how technology changes the way we do business. Read more of this post

Remote Work – Challenges and Best Practices

Better CollaborationIntroducing the next Better Collaboration video conferencing event! The information that will be presented is specifically geared towards organization leaders who’re interested in learning about the best practices for virtual collaboration. This event will take place on Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 2:00pm-3:00pm Eastern Standard Time/11:00am-12:00pm Pacific Standard Time. To register, please visit the Better Collaboration Meetup site. Details follow: Read more of this post

Social Bonding Over Distance: Sociomental Activity Trumps Face-to-Face Interaction

During a time of concern over technologically-mediated interaction supplanting face-to-face interaction and how technologically-mediated interaction might negatively impact social connections, Connecting: How We Form Social Bonds and Communities in the Internet Age by Mary Chayko, Ph.D., Assistant Professor and Chair of Sociology at the College of St. Elizabeth, is heresy… and I like it! Having only mentioned her work in this post, I’ll now expound upon the following conclusions drawn from interviews with “low-tech” and “high-tech” participants: Read more of this post

Social Bonding Over Distance & a Look at the Lives of Digital Natives

Do we really need to commute back and forth every workday in order to foster and maintain relationships with a given group of people? Let’s consider this question. During my exploration of how dispersed teams function, I’ve encountered people (such as described in this post) who meet in person as infrequently as once a quarter. It surprises most people that this can work. Speaking from my own experience as a team member of Better Collaboration, I’m happy to report that there are other factors (aside from opportunities for in-person interaction) contributing to a sense of cohesion.

Upon comparing my experiences with in-person versus technologically-mediated meetings, I’ve observed that having a strong shared sense of purpose and common interests helps transcend the physical distance factor. So when I hear people say they would rather have others drive from one city to another just for the sake of getting everyone in one room for every meeting rather than have occasional virtual meetings, I wince. Read more of this post

Virtual Teams and the Challenge of Cross-Cultural Differences

Cover of "The Handbook of Culture and Psy...

Cover of The Handbook of Culture and Psychology

From David Matsumoto’s The Handbook of Culture and Psychology:

The next two decades promise to be even more exciting for research on culture and emotion. Interesting programs have sprung up all around the world and in all disciplines of psychology. New technologies for mapping culture as a psychological construct on the individual level are being developed, as well as ways to measure precisely moment-to-moment changes in our brains and bodies when we feel or judge emotion. Collectively, these endeavors will tell us more in the future about the relationship between culture and the physiology of emotion, the representation of display and decoding rules, emotion perception, and culture itself in the brain (p. 161) Read more of this post

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