How to Onboard and Train New Virtual Team Members

Hiring new employees can feel like a risk. And in fact, it is. SHRM research recently showed that half of all hourly workers leave new jobs in the first four months, and half of all senior outside hires fail within 18 months. This places huge import on the interview and onboarding process for a company, especially when a team is distributed.


10 Tips for Encouraging Casual Communication in a Remote Team Environment

Casual communication at work happens continually, and is often responsible for generating innovative ideas and initiating smart solutions. In a traditional office environment, where everybody works in the same physical area, such interaction can be anything from a chat in a break room or a couple of minutes before a meeting starts, to mapping out a task with colleagues in the kitchen area and pulling two or three people together for an impromptu meeting.

The Rat Race Doesn’t Have to be Your Reality

Today I have an important meeting with one of our executives in London.

I struggle with what I should wear. All the clothes that I own now fit into one small packing cube into one 45L backpack. I wear my only pair of pants, with my only cardigan, which probably doesn’t match my only pair of shoes. I pack up my bag, fill up my water bottle, grab a granola bar, and begin my 50-minute commute to the office that includes a bus, train, and about a half mile of walking.


The Top 4 Most Annoying Things About Distributed Team Standups for a ScrumMaster (and How to Stop Them!)

Distributed teams don’t have it easy when it comes to the daily standup. The whole idea behind a standup is to be fast, focused, and actionable. Co-located teams know where to go every day, how long it takes them to get there from their office or cube, and where the candy dishes are along the way. If nothing else, they see their teammates going into the standup room and will scramble quickly to follow them in and grin as if they’d been ready and waiting all morning (and not looking at their fantasy football scores).

Prevent Team Burnout When Working in Multiple Time Zones

Many distributed teams work across time zones, and it can quickly turn into a situation where everyone is working all the time. You answer one email from someone in another time zone, and then you decide to take a look at that spreadsheet real quick, even though it’s 9 pm, and then you get into a conversation—next thing you know, you’re contributing to a culture where no one ever gets a break.

Why Your Distributed Team is Missing That Collaborative Vibe (and How to Get it Back!)

The groove. The zone. A vibe. Sometimes you just have that extra mojo. No matter what we call it, there are times when everything seems to gel and things get done quicker and better. While not everyone can be the ‘96 Bulls—or even better the 2016 Golden State Warriors—there are those rare moments when everything comes together. But the thing is, for some distributed teams that collaborative vibe happens more frequently than for others.

“Isn’t it Lonely?” Busting the Top 4 Remote Work Myths

“You work from home, so you can take me to airport, right?” “Can’t you take care of it since you’re home all day?” “What do you even do with all that time?” There are a lot of misconceptions about remote work, and while out and out protest might be a tad ineffective, there are definitely some remote works myths that need to be busted. As a remote worker or the manager of a distributed team, you’ve probably faced each of these fallacies before, much to your chagrin.

1. “Remote workers are less productive.”


How You Think About Leading Change Matters (eBook)

“Everyone gets excited about change, except when it happens to them.”
These battle-hardened words were shared with me years ago by the CMO of GE. The data certainly back up her frustration. Depending on the study, 30% of change initiatives fail outright. An additional 40% fail to meet performance goals. Only 20% of organizations rank as having strong change leadership capabilities. And the move to distributed teams, for all their strengths, bring additional challenges that likely do more to exacerbate than to help this trend.

Using Technology to Beat Commute Peak Demands

Recently, the Metro rail system in Washington D.C.—the backbone for people to commute and travel—had an unplanned 29 hour shutdown. With over 700,000 daily weekday boardings, suggestions by employers included using Uber and Lyft, which would only contribute to the already gridlocked rush hour commutes that DC area commuters face. Needless to say, it put DC workers in a tight spot.

Why Telecommuting During Winter Months Saves Business Productivity

This January, winter storm Jonas topped out at 42 inches of snow in some areas, 85 mph wind in others, and at least 48 deaths. It wasn’t the only severe weather occurrence across the country this winter, and as compared to other recent winters, it wasn’t even that terribly unusual. It seems that year after year, these winter weather challenges will continue to plague individuals and communities.