Embracing Virtual Work: The Time Is Right
Often, the smartest minds available are thousands of miles away
There was a whiff of irony in the air at last week’s ASAE Annual Meeting & Exposition in Chicago. For a conference set in one of the country’s association hubs, with a focus (as usual) on bringing people together, there was a lot of discussion about working apart.
I couldn’t possibly have hit every session about virtual work, remote work and the freelance economy, but two that I did attend touched on some astute points about managing an association in 2018: Often, the smartest minds available are thousands of miles away; they can offer significant value at a time when the job market is notoriously tight; and their best role might not even be as full-time employees.
One Monday session, “Productively Manage a Virtual Work Environment,” covered technology tools like Slack and Dropbox, which enable close interaction among remote and onsite teams. But a huge portion of its focus was on the cultural aspects: how organizations need to set clear expectations for remote workers—such as requiring them to have a productive home work environment and establishing when they’re on the clock—and what steps can be taken to make people who work remotely feel like they’re part of the team.
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