The Remote Roundup July 16, 2021
If you have ever been looking for a remote work strategy you may have noticed there exists a huge gap in between great insights and everything else out there.
So, we created The Remote Roundup where we will scour the internet for the best remote work content and give our analysis on one article while ranking the top 4 blogs of the week.
For the weekly collection of relevant and high quality remote work news, jobs, podcasts, guides, and expert advice from remote work experts, subscribe to our newsletter: The Remote Times.
Ok, let's get started with the top remote content for the Third week of July.
Top Article: The Uneven Odds for Promotions With Hybrid Work by Rachel Feintzeig of The WSJ
Remote work has helped level the playing field for women in pay and access to opportunities.
However, these gains could be lost by poor implementation of hybrid-work, remote, or work from anywhere policies.
In a new article in the WSJ, they warn that choosing to stay remote while your coworkers decide to go back to the office could mean missing out on a raise or promotion.
"Nearly 60% of 581 professionals surveyed by search firm Korn Ferry in April said that it would hurt their career advancement if they admitted to the boss they’d rather keep working remotely."
Where does this fear come from?
Well, unfortunately, there still remains a significant portion of managers and executives that prefer in-person workers over their virtual colleagues. Before most companies sent their workers home in 2020, managers consistently named in-office workers higher performers and gave them bigger raises and promotions.
It isn't exactly their fault. As humans, we are social creatures and crave in-person interactions.
The guy you see every day, that likes the same football team, has a much greater chance at becoming your friend than the other colleague in the countryside that calls in for every meeting.
As a result, you recommend your friend to be promoted and the remote worker stays in the same position for the next year and a half.
The same goes for projects.
If you have a marketing team that consistently collaborates synchronously and a manager sees their progress in real-time, then they are more likely to congratulate them for their work. If they stick around long enough, they will be moved up.
If you have an international remote marketing team and you only get virtual updates, it is hard to realize the amount of effort that went into each project and they will continue to stay in the same roles.
Finally, as any remote worker who has had to sit through a meeting with everyone else in a conference room will tell you, there is no way to get a word in.
When considering someone for an open executive position, the most vocal team member in meetings will always be top of mind. The same goes for assigning new projects.
Why does this affect women more?
A January survey from Gartner found that 26% of mothers preferred to be fully remote, compared with 18% of fathers.
Working mothers are more likely to prefer remote work because it gives them the flexibility to hold a full-time job while taking care of their children.
If measures aren't taken to include remote-first communication and processes by hybrid companies, then the wage gap could get worse, not better for women.
Brian Kopp who leads the Human Resource Center at Gartner says to avoid a widening gap, companies should start analyzing the compensation of home workers and office workers the same way many now examine pay by gender.
Joy Lin, a career coach based in Los Angeles, says remote workers must be more direct about their career goals and accomplishments. Don't be afraid to take credit for completing an assignment. Make the results of your work known to your superiors and detail the steps you took to achieve them.
Citrix has taken it a step forward by developing an in-house app that reminds managers to call on virtual or distributed team members during meetings.
It even has the ability to build team contracts so that everyone has to sign off before taking a decision.
Here is a tool kit to make sure remote workers aren't forgotten in the return to the office.
Tips for remote workers
- Have an in-office ally on your team. Someone who will remind the group to dial you in when impromptu decisions start being made.
- Stay connected. Catch up with colleagues on Slack and keep your boss updated on your weekly tasks and progress.
- If you’re interviewing for a new job at a hybrid company, ask which senior leaders work from home. That will give you a sense of whether the company really values flexible work, and what career paths are possible without coming into the office.
Tips for managers
- Test out hybrid work yourself. You’ll build empathy for remote workers.
- Analyze pay and promotions in your department to ensure you don’t have a gap between remote and in-office workers.
- Keep it equal. When having meetings make sure that everyone calls in from their computer, even if they are in the same room together.
Top Remote Work Blog posts
4. Christine Dela Rosa of the Atlassian Team talks about returning to a completely different office and tips to make the most of it.
Some people are excited to go back to the office, rushing to get back and see all their workers who they haven't seen in many cases over a year. Other people may be anxious too.
The routine that they once knew will have completely changed. Not to mention not having interacted in an office environment for quite some time. They may feel like it is back on the first day of school in a weird deja-vu experience.
To avoid any back-to-the-office anxiety and prepare for a new hybrid model of work people can practice these techniques.
3. Mathew Patterson of the Help Scout Blog explains how to build a globally remote team that actually works.
Helpscout is a globally distributed team. Their writer, Mathew, is located "Down Under" in Australia with most of the workforce concentrated in the North-western hemisphere.
In his blog he talks about building an effective, time zone-agnostic team. This means avoiding the many challenges of geo-remote teams like meetings at ungodly hours of the morning.
Some key actions a company leader can take are protecting time buffers or allowing distributed team members respond before making decisions without them. They can also change up meeting times, and make sure that pay and perks are fair.
As a people manager it is role to work hard on asynchronous communication. But you still have to make time for real-time connection.
As a colleague you should always be an advocate for inclusion. Meaning always keep remote people in mind when working. Finally, as a geo-remote team member it is you job to not allow yourself become isolated.
2. Jen Colletta of Human Resource Executive speaks with Facebook's new Director of Remote, Annie Dean, and the 4 steps the company took to design remote for the long-term.
Annie Dean assumed the role of Director of Remote at Facebook towards the end of 2020. One of the strategies that she took was implement a “community-first” approach.
This first meant establishing a common language. She created a glossary of 20 remote terms so that everyone know exactly what being "remote" meant. The second thing she did was identify partner teams. She made a map of all the stakeholders in the remote strategy and made sure to get their input on any decision.
She then had to create the foundation of the remote transition across a couple of pillars. On of those cornerstones was The company launched a remote request tool, built internally, that allows employees to access information—including about benefits, how their work setup will change and more—and automates request approvals.
Finally the company is prioritizing experimenting, flexibility and learning—for everyone. Nobody has all the answers to hybrid or remote work and each setup will function differently. Mistakes are allowed and everyone is learning together what works best.
1. Meghan Ryan of the Prezi Blog interviews remote experts on their tactics for how to support a happy and productive remote team.
Meghan Ryan dived deep into what makes a remote team tick last week with Prezi presentations! She first interviewed Mandy Fransz who is the owner and founder of Make the Leap Digital to find out how to set clear expectations.
Mandy recommends adopting a sustainable remote work policy where “remote work” is clearly defined for everyone in the organization. Then if you want to cultivate trust for virtual-team members you want to focus on the four key elements that Liane Davey, Ph.D. and author of The Good Fight, recommends.
Integrity, Reliability, Confidence, Predictability.
Finally, you have Co-founder of Remote-how Iwo Szapar give his thoughts on managing a remote team. He recommends over-communicating, documenting everything, and recording videos to make your messages as clear as possible.
The last recommendations are measuring performance by output and allowing flexible schedules. But of course it wouldn't be a successful remote team without those things!
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See you next Friday for July's third edition of the Remote Roundup!
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