Category Archives: Smart Career Moves: Self Leadership

It’s Time to Read Working Virtually if You Haven’t Already

It’s official – Working Virtually: Transforming the Mobile Workplace is a Best-Of Book!

One of Technical Communication‘s Best Books reviewed.

If you’ve already read Working Virtually, I’d sure love it if you’d post a review on Amazon! Thank you!!!

Book Review: Working Virtually: Transforming the Mobile Workforce. Volume 65, Number 2, May 2018 l Technical Communication 225

In Working Virtually, Hoefling laments that business and industry are failing to prepare employees for adapting to a new workplace evolution and that employee engagement (the finesse required to win hearts and minds) continues to erode. In her new edition, she stresses the radical changes inherent in our technologically driven workplace—including increasingly specialized project work that will demand contingent and contract workers who rotate on and off teams with regularity. Working Virtually: Transforming the Mobile Workplace is organized into 19 chapters and six parts, each averaging three chapters, and each introduced with relevant quotes by novelists, athletes, presidents, poets, and philosophers.

Hoefling writes with figurative language that make her message both relatable and inspiring, particularly when she refers to workers who grapple with “information anorexia or obesity” (p. 189). She borrows the central theme in her book from a Buddhist metaphor, an approach to virtual teaming she calls the “Threefold Path for high-performing teams” (p. 6). Embarking on this path begins after assembling a team with the requisite knowledge, skills, and aptitude.

The hard work begins with guiding the team toward negotiating shared values, norms, and structure that establish and maintain trust, which is essential for a virtual team to thrive. The second half of Hoefling’s book covers the richest information, including optimizing technology for communication and outlining recommendations for getting the best out of team members. Meeting project timelines and producing deliverables, particularly on a virtual team, requires relationships and bonds that afford a sense of camaraderie. High-performing teams celebrate and champion finding solutions to problems and overcoming obstacles. Hoefling points to the spiritual nature of collective effort at its best, and devotes several paragraphs to the notion of the “sacred (virtual) space” of a high-performing team (p. 207).

She gives attention to generational differences and their effects on virtual teams, crediting millennials with the aptitudes and proclivities for this new way of working. Hoefling also touches upon diversity in virtual teams, including the traits of introversion and extroversion, but she doesn’t address gender, racial, ethnic, cultural, political, or ideological differences common among global virtual teams. Themes that recur in each chapter, including communication protocols, trust, and structure, make some of the content seem redundant at times, but the redundancy keeps these nuances of team dynamics central to the book’s message and purpose.

Hoefling offers supplemental materials on her website, including a free bonus chapter on virtual meetings. Her book chapters include checklists, assessments, and criteria to help with the more practical aspects of virtual teaming. The book, however, could benefit from more examples from Hoefling’s experiences and case studies that would have made the material more concrete for readers.

Whether you are part of a co-located, distributed, or virtual team, Working Virtually will help you increase productivity, improve employee engagement, and reap both the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards of the working on high-performing virtual teams.

Allen Brown

Allen Brown is managing director of operations for the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities. He holds an M.S. in Technical Communication Management from Mercer University.

Working Virtually: Transforming the Mobile Workplace, 2nd Ed. Is On Bookstore Shelves Today – Digital and Print! 

Working Virtually is a permanent part of the workplace today. Transactional work – provided by freelancers, contract employees or consultants – has increased exponentially. It is forecast that as much as half the labor force will be working independently and virtually by 2020.

Trina first sees her book in print.

Most organizations and leaders are still grappling with how to effectively manage their virtual staff and how to effectively support and motivate them. This is an increasingly urgent task as more Millennials join the workforce with changed attitudes toward work satisfaction and organization commitment. Working Virtually is the fruit of the author’s three decades of experience planning and implementing remote work initiatives and training virtual team leaders. It’s the perfect primer for executives, support functions, team leaders and virtual professionals. It provides expert guidance for anyone planning a shift to mobile work. Whether you manage teams of teleworkers or are yourself a virtual team member, you are a leader with shared responsibility for virtual teams that produce successful outcomes.

Check out more at www.WorkingVirtually.org or head straight to the publisher, Amazon, or your favorite bookstore and pick up your copy today. (Stylus Publishing is offering a new book discount. Get 20% off right now! Use code WVT20 at checkout.)

Pragmatic Wisdom from a Seasoned Virtual Leader

Guest Contributor and long-time colleague, Amy Connell, has worked in a highly visible marketing capacity for three Fortune 500 companies. Read her story and suggestions here.

Also, my first on-demand course is available through this blog post. The Powerful Role of the Virtual Leader is an introductory course to the virtual management model I teach in Working Virtually: Transforming the Mobile Workplace.

Source: Pragmatic Wisdom from a Seasoned Virtual Leader

Celebrating the Great American Workforce!

In recognition of Labor Day, the SMART Workplace team is taking a step back from our traditional message to celebrate how far the workforce has come since the very first Labor day on September 5, 1882. On that day, 10,000 workers took unpaid time to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York […]

Source: Celebrating the Great American Workforce!

Whose Responsibility Is It To Be Professionally Current?

Human resources jobs, news & events

Are employers on the hook for their employees’ skills development? Or should individuals take control of their own destiny? It’s in both employers’ and employees’ interests to develop the skills to be productive and perform IMG_0755well. But what’s the best model for acquiring skills when the requirements of the workplace are changing fast?