Future of work

The Remotely Possible Podcast: Insights from Travis Bogard on Embracing Distributed Work

You can’t open a digital magazine or news site without seeing another headline about distributed work these days. Yet, while it may be new to some industries, it’s actually been around for decades. In the first episode of the “Remotely Possible” podcast, I talked with Travis Bogard, Founder & CEO at Phonon X, a leader who has been part of distributed teams for decades. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation, including the tools he uses, the processes he embraces, and how he makes it possible to have a fully functional, highly creative, distributed team working hard together every day.

Introducing Travis, and His Intro to Distributed Work

Travis’ impressive resume includes stints at renowned companies such as AOL, Samsung, and Uber before founding his current company. With his diverse background in engineering, product development, and team management, Travis brings a wealth of knowledge to the conversation on distributed work.

“I was at AOL—part of the founding team of AOL Instant Messenger,” Travis said. “And [I] was very fascinated early on of how groups that are distributed from each other could communicate and interact.”

He put that experience into action throughout his career, including at Uber—with its San Francisco headquarters integrated with numerous city hubs—and Samsung.

“My team prior to this, I built, was about 300 people across 14 time zones—so, highly distributed, kind of a mixture of some office hubs, and then people who actually didn’t sit in an office at all,” he said. 

It’s no wonder that with this background, he’s chosen—as we have here at Frameable—to build his new team without the constraints of location, too. While most of the team is within 5 hours of each other, they also have an Eastern Europe teammate. So how do they make it all work?

“We focus on our synchronous moments—which is around 7:30 to 10:00—is kind of that sweet spot where we tried to put most of our meetings, that where we want people to be together and be able to come together,” he said. “And then the rest of it is very asynchronous.”

Best Practices for Managing Distributed Teams

Drawing from his experiences, throughout the podcast, Travis shared some valuable insights and best practices for managing distributed teams:

1) Set Clear Goals and Prioritize Effective Communication

Travis emphasized the significance of clearly defining and communicating goals to team members. He stressed the importance of repeated communication to ensure everyone is aligned with the objectives. Additionally, he advocated for documenting and preserving communication for future reference.

2) Encourage Collaboration

Travis believes in fostering a culture of collaboration within distributed teams. He makes a point to encourage team members to connect and actively facilitates conversations between individuals as needed to ensure knowledge and ideas flow seamlessly throughout the team.

3) Embrace Asynchronous Communication

A crucial aspect of managing distributed teams is asynchronous communication. Travis suggested maximizing synchronous moments for essential meetings and using tools such as asynchronous voice messaging platforms to maintain effective communication at other times. This approach allows team members to work independently while staying connected.

For more of Travis’ insights into leading and developing distributed teams, listen to the Remotely Possible podcast, episode 1. Interested in sharing your distributed work experience with our listeners? Apply to be my guest for a future episode.

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Future of work

How to Build a Great Company Culture in a Fully Remote Company

This article originally appeared on Fast Company.

Companies are increasingly mandating a return to office-based work, with many leaders claiming that it’s too difficult to foster collaboration and build a strong culture remotely. 

Given that 53.9% of employees want to work from home three or more days per week, forcing them back to the office will do little to solve the cultural challenges you may be facing. Further, Gallup polls suggest that in-person interactions alone are not enough to spark collaboration—the key is how leaders consciously build a culture in their distinct settings. 

My highly collaborative company has been fully remote for more than five years, so I know firsthand that it is possible to build a unified, engaged team with a strong culture. Here are my not-so-secret ways how to do it.

Enabling An Employee-Led Culture, Remotely

Your company culture will develop whether you mold it or not. It’s best to take an active role in shaping that experience.

Many teams stumbled in the initial transition to remote work because they thought their tried-and-true culture playbooks would still apply. They don’t. But we now have a much deeper understanding of how to keep remote workers happy and connected to their teams. 

Specifically, the below areas are most critical for building a resilient culture that encourages collaboration and innovation.

Establish and Communicate Clear values 

Your employees need to understand why your company exists and the values that you live by. Job seekers—especially in younger generations—want to work for companies with a clear purpose and values that align with theirs. 

Document your company mission and values, then detail how your team can reflect them in their work using clear examples with do’s and don’ts. Although explaining your values in this much detail may feel overly formal, it will help new and prospective employees quickly embed themselves within your culture (or decide that your company isn’t the best for them, which is also okay).

Companies should include one value around lifelong learning, as it is essential for building a culture of innovation. Create a digital skills roadmap and rework your roles and responsibilities if needed so your workers can excel in their current career paths and continually build the skills your company needs to be future-ready. 

Foster Communication and Collaboration 

Building a truly collaborative culture requires more than starting a company Slack channel and leaving the rest to your team to figure it out. Consciously create programs and spaces for your team to connect, including team members who do not overlap in day-to-day work. Several strategies I’ve seen work include:

• Virtual Mentoring Programs: Pair established employees with new hires in a formal mentoring program, and encourage them to share guidance, feedback, and support regularly.

• Lunch-and-Learn Sessions: Host monthly training sessions during lunch for your team to learn new concepts and connect. Start each session with a short activity to spark engagement.ADVERTISEMENT

• Virtual Water Coolers: Create dedicated channels for employees to discuss non-work topics and encourage them to use those channels during the day.

Each of the above ideas will require time and money to implement. But don’t view this as an expense—it is a necessary investment in your team’s cohesiveness.

Create Opportunities for Social Interaction in Real Life

With a solid set of digital collaboration tools and spaces, your team should be able to excel in a remote setting. That said, you should also encourage team members to meet in real life when possible.

My company brings everyone together twice a year for an offsite in a different location across the country. The key is that we spend that time on social activities that help our team get to know each other as people—not trap everyone in a room and discuss growth metrics and financial goals.

Another way to encourage in-person connection is to allocate a budget to allow employees who are close in proximity to meet up for a monthly lunch. Consider renting a company coworking space if you have several team members who live close to each other.

Recognize and Reward Employees Publicly

One of the most accessible areas to invest in is employee recognition. Your team members need support and encouragement when they exemplify your values and drive meaningful results (monetary or otherwise). 

Recognize and celebrate accomplishments in your team communication channels, such as your instant messaging platform and email. In addition, it can be valuable to adopt an employee engagement and feedback platform. 

Using an employee engagement or feedback platform can help track your employees’ successes. You should also create communication channels for team members to nominate each other. At a minimum, every people manager should regularly celebrate their direct reports and provide occasional rewards to encourage good behavior. 

You Build Your Company Culture One Day At A Time

Building a great remote company culture is possible—you don’t need the confines of an office or cubicle walls to encourage transparency, collaboration, and innovation. 

Agree on your company basics and clearly explain who you are and what you do. Next, document how an ideal employee will reflect those values in their work. Finally, create systems of ongoing feedback to monitor your employee engagement and identify new areas to invest in.

While there is no perfect company culture, teams can work each day to create a better environment where everyone can thrive—regardless of where they choose to work. 

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9 Technology and Equipment Recommendations to Empower a Distributed Workforce

A shocking 49% of employees who work away from an office at least one day a week say their company does not provide them with remote collaboration tools. Of those given collaboration tools, 26% say the tools aren’t exactly right or haven’t received training to use them well. 

To create a successful hybrid work culture, companies must enable their employees with the tools for remote collaboration and connection. Let’s look at the most important tools that companies should provide.

Remote Work Tools and Equipment Every Company Should Provide

Your distributed workforce needs the right tools and equipment to be successful. Employers should provide the following technology items and equipment in their official workspaces and employees’ home offices:

  • Computer or laptop: Employees need a reliable, updated desktop computer or laptop. A laptop is an ideal choice for its portability and because it provides many of the items listed below. 
  • Monitor(s): Ask employees if an additional monitor would enhance productivity. Provide at least one monitor if you provide desktop computers to your team.
  • Keyboard and mouse: Supply ergonomic keyboards and mice to provide comfort during long working hours and avoid potential adverse health effects. 
  • Headset or earphones with microphone: Improve call quality by giving employees a headset or earphones with a microphone. This will also enable them to type while talking.
  • Reliable internet connectivity: Help remote employees secure a stable internet connection to prevent disruptions in their work.
  • Web camera: Ensure remote employees have a functional webcam for video conferencing and virtual interactions.
  • Collaboration tools: Provide access to collaboration platforms, a digital workspace or virtual office, and project management tools to facilitate seamless asynchronous teamwork.
  • Video conferencing software: Select a platform for face-to-face video communication and virtual meetings, and set up accounts for your team members.
  • Security software: Protect your team and company data from cyber-attacks by providing security tools like antivirus software and VPNs.

Help Virtual Employees Thrive From Day One

The above tools are essential for building meaningful connections in a virtual workplace, but employees must understand how to use each tool successfully.

Your employee onboarding is the ideal time to provide each employee with these tools and explain how they can use them. To help you craft the perfect virtual onboarding experience, download our virtual onboarding e-book to set your virtual and hybrid team members up for success from their first days with your company.

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The 5-Step Onboarding Plan Playbook to Go From New Hires to Raving Fans

First impressions leave a lasting mark on your employees. This is especially true when their entire experience with your company is virtual.

Employees onboarded prior to the pandemic report “significantly higher” satisfaction with their company than those onboarded virtually. In recent years, new hires have even quit before they started or shortly after their first day because of a disappointing—or nonexistent—onboarding experience.

So what are brands getting wrong? Too often, HR teams or supervisors improvise the new hire onboarding, which means employees get an inconsistent depth and quality of experience. In other cases, HR teams still use their in-person onboarding playbook, which fails to address issues vital for supporting hybrid and remote employees.  

To engage new hires, companies must reinvent their onboarding process to reflect the realities of virtual and hybrid work. Luckily, creating a fulfilling virtual onboarding is easier than you might think. Here’s how.

5 Steps For Building a Successful Virtual Onboarding Plan

An employee’s onboarding experience will set the tone for their future with your company, so you should plan each element with careful consideration. 

Follow these five steps to create a hybrid and remote employee onboarding process that makes a positive first impression and sets them up for ongoing success:

Step 1: Pre-boarding Activities

New hires will be eager to officially start their roles from the moment they sign the paperwork. Provide employees with pre-boarding activities and resources that help them become familiar with your company culture and values and begin to prepare for their work. 

Think through your employee’s experience from the moment you hire them: How will you welcome them to the team, and what questions will they have? A few essential things to provide include:

  • A series of welcome emails that share vital information and explain what the employee’s first day or week will look like
  • Company handbooks or resources that detail your company’s culture and procedures, as well as guidelines for effective written communication in virtual settings
  • Mailed swag packages with branded items, such as notebooks, laptop stickers, or apparel
  • A schedule of introductory meetings that will foster engagement 

Before your new hire starts, ensure that you plan to get them the tools and equipment they’ll need for virtual work. 

Step 2: Orientation and Training

Your pre-boarding activities should answer your employee’s initial questions and clearly explain what they should expect on their first day. Now, it’s time to plan their official orientation and training process.

  • Plan a Day 1 schedule and prepare assets that give an overview of the employee’s core responsibilities, team dynamics, and company processes. 
  • Use video conferencing tools to facilitate interactive sessions and connect the new hire with coworkers and company leadership. 
  • Provide hands-on training and help overcome technical hurdles. 
  • Establish clear guidelines for virtual communication etiquette, including response time expectations and office hours. 

Step 3: Job-Specific Training

It can be difficult for many people to adjust to a new hybrid or fully remote work environment. Onboarding is a perfect time to share remote work tips and job-specific advice for navigating your company’s virtual workplace.

For example, consider hosting online courses and webinars that explain key concepts or give a tutorial on your workplace tools. Provide training materials that cover the specific tools, software, and processes that will help them feel more productive and fulfilled in their work. Store all help documents and FAQs online so employees can access them whenever needed.

Step 4: Mentorship and Coaching

Mentorship and coaching programs provide ongoing support and guidance to remote employees. Pair experienced team members with new hires to help them understand their roles, navigate the team dynamics, and receive career guidance. Connect new hires with mentors during their first week, and encourage frequent check-ins during the first 90 days. Afterward, mentors and mentees should meet at least once monthly.

Step 5: Performance Feedback

Remote employees need performance feedback to understand how they can improve in their roles and progress to the next level. Schedule regular evaluations and check-ins to discuss each employee’s progress, address their challenges, and provide constructive feedback for continuous improvement. There are useful online feedback tools that can streamline this process.

Communication Makes Remote Onboarding Successful

New employees naturally feel anxious about joining a company and engaging primarily through text and video. Help alleviate potential negative feelings by fostering open and regular communication channels to invite questions and provide updates, clarifications, and guidance.

Carefully plan each step of your onboarding process, and continually refine your approach based on employee feedback and new insights you gain. Employees with an engaging onboarding experience can more quickly integrate into your culture and support a healthy workplace.

Of course, many other considerations go into conducting virtual employee onboarding. For a complete guide packed with tips and step-by-step instructions, download our virtual onboarding e-book.

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remote work

Why Virtual Onboarding for All Employees is Crucial for Success

Building a great hybrid work culture starts with your virtual onboarding process. But don’t just take my word for it—research shows that 70% of employees believe their onboarding can make or break their experience, and remote employees are 117% more likely to leave if they feel under-trained during the onboarding process. 

It’s crucial to create a positive first impression for remote workers and help them transition seamlessly into your company. Unfortunately, there appears to be a significant disconnect in how companies approach their onboarding for employees outside of the corporate HQ and what their remote and distributed workforce actually needs. 

The Virtual Onboarding Disconnect

A positive onboarding experience will set the stage for your workers to integrate into your company and feel fulfilled in their roles. When their first impression of your team isn’t face-to-face, however, it can be harder to ensure that impression is a good one—and it comes down to having a comprehensive onboarding process.

Where exactly are companies falling flat regarding the virtual onboarding experience? After an uninspired onboarding, remote workers are the most likely to feel undertrained (63%), disoriented (60%), and devalued (52%). 

These feelings are concerning, but companies can address them with intelligent planning. A successful virtual onboarding program should:

  • Include Workplace Technology Training: During onboarding, walk employees through each tool they will use to complete their work. Additionally, explain how they can successfully navigate your virtual workspace, including how to access critical resources. Check out more tips for successful virtual training here. 
  • Extend Onboarding Beyond Orientation: Employees need a clear understanding of what their first day and week will look like at your company. Provide a thorough schedule for their first week, and coordinate video meetings to learn more about their specific role and meet their manager, mentor, and coworkers. Schedule regular check-ins with the employee and their manager to discuss their challenges and ensure they understand their priorities. 
  • Show Them They’re Valued: Remote workers often need additional reassurance and recognition, especially when new to a company. Welcome all new team members through your companywide channels to show them they’re valued. Ensure managers provide positive feedback during every check-in, spotlighting specific achievements or accomplishments. 

Create a Fulfilling Virtual Onboarding Experience

New employees shouldn’t feel undertrained, disoriented, and devalued after they join your company. Following the strategies shared above can address these challenges and give your employees the best experience from their earliest days.

If you’re looking for more guidance on developing a successful virtual onboarding, we have you covered. Download our virtual onboarding ebook to learn the strategies and best practices to ensure your remote workers feel valued, supported, and confident in their new roles.

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Future of work remote work

Why The Virtual Office Is The Next Big Digital Transformation Trend To Shape The Hybrid Workplace

This article originally appeared on Fast Company.

After years of trying to lure employees back to full-time office work, many companies have determined that the future of work is hybrid. 

McKinsey’s The State of Organizations 2023 reports that 90% of companies allow employees to work remotely for some or most of their time, and only 14% of respondents expect remote work opportunities to decrease. Considering that companies can better attract and retain talent through hybrid work—while also boosting employee productivity—it makes sense why hybrid work is here to stay.

Despite the advantages of a hybrid setup, many leaders need help balancing employee needs across both work settings. Teams can become disconnected and disengaged by prioritizing either the in-person or virtual experience over the other. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Leaders can bridge the gap between remote and in-office workers by implementing a virtual office that becomes the hub of both in-person and remote work collaboration.

How Companies Are Failing Hybrid and Fully Remote Workers

Employees overwhelmingly want to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their career—98% in a study from Buffer—noting that it is easier to do focused work, manage stress, and avoid distractions from home.

However, there are common challenges companies must address to build a truly effective hybrid work environment. Specifically, Buffer’s study found employees working remotely commonly face the following challenges:

  • Loneliness: Although 75% of remote workers feel connected to their coworkers, 15% express feelings of loneliness. This may be because 21% of remote workers feel they stay home too often. Companies should ensure that workers have the equivalent of a virtual water cooler for non-work discussions and offer opportunities for in-person meet-ups when possible. 
  • Time Zone Struggles: Working across time zones is another common friction point. This challenge may imply teams need tools to help them manage scheduling across time zones and additional solutions or procedures to ensure projects are transferred smoothly between colleagues.
  • Collaboration Disconnect: Nearly 15% of remote workers face difficulty with collaboration and communication, which suggests that companies need different tools or processes to bridge the gap between workers across time zones and locations.

Fortunately, there’s a solution already available to help address each of these issues—the virtual office.

How a Virtual Office Fits Into Your Digital Transformation Strategy To Drive Hybrid Work Success

Building a genuinely equitable hybrid work experience requires you to rethink the employee experience through a digital lens. 

Every experience offered to in-person employees should extend to remote workers. Even more importantly, you need to create a shared virtual space where everyone works, even in your office. 

A virtual office is a place where employees can access all necessary work resources and collaborate with colleagues through a dedicated virtual space. The goal is to seamlessly integrate all the information, technologies, and opportunities given to your team through an intuitive and engaging virtual interface.

To help you get started building your virtual office, I recommend your team follow these steps:

Step 1: Audit Your Software And Tools

Take stock of your teams’ various tools and applications. Document every product and speak to your team members to understand how they use these tools in their workflows. As you document your tools, you will likely notice that individual teams use different tools for similar functions like team messaging or collaborative editing. Group apps by their function, and review your employee feedback about how often they use the tools and any drawbacks. This information will help you choose which tools to keep and which to scrap.

Step 2: Create Digital Information Hubs

Workers should be able to access appropriate resources and information quickly, regardless of where they choose to work. Once you’ve optimized your software options, creating digital information hubs that store commonly used documents and templates that can streamline work is important.

Step 3: Onboard Your Employees

Even the best digital transformation strategy will only succeed if your team members understand the strategy behind your changes. Host a recorded meeting where your leadership discusses your new toolset and explains how to navigate the virtual workspace. Encourage questions and embrace feedback as your team adjusts to their new arrangement. To further help employees succeed, save how-to guides and FAQs in a shared digital library for easy consumption. 

Step 4: Hire A Virtual Office Manager

A virtual office manager is integral to ensuring your employees get the most benefit from your virtual workspace. A virtual office manager’s role will vary based on your team’s specific needs, but commonly helps with planning and managing company events, onboarding new employees, assisting with technical support and setup, and researching new workplace tools and solutions. This Virtual Office Manager’s Handbook provides an in-depth look at a virtual office manager’s typical roles and responsibilities, plus strategies to maximize productivity in your virtual office.

The Office of the Future is Digital

You can only have a truly effective hybrid workforce if you build a digital workspace where everyone can thrive regardless of location. 

Hybrid work is here to stay, but remote workers commonly face challenges when collaborating with their colleagues and building meaningful relationships. That’s why building a virtual office that overcomes these challenges is critical to ensure you provide a consistently delightful experience to all your workers whenever and wherever they are working. 

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3 Microsoft Teams Collaboration Problems Everyone Has and How to Fix Them

Personal preferences aside, we can all agree that remote and distributed work is here to stay in one form or another. But, the more pressing issue for leaders and their employees everywhere remains how to support remote collaboration with tools that fit how employees would like to work. 

With over 280 million active monthly users, Microsoft Teams is likely to be a collaboration tool you and your team regularly use or come into contact with. Even with such a huge user base and a respected brand name like Microsoft, there are still many challenges Teams users tend to encounter that can make for even more frustrating collaboration efforts–especially remotely. We identified three of the most common and easily fixable problems and offer insights into improving team collaboration. 

Are you missing MS Teams notifications? 

Find any Teams user, and they’ll likely tell you a similar story about notifications in Teams: they often miss them completely! This isn’t a new phenomenon either–since its introduction in 2017, Microsoft Teams has been frustrating for users of all ages and industries. While direct messages are a bit easier to keep up with in Teams, messages across varying teams and channels regarding different projects can easily fall through the cracks if you aren’t constantly checking all the correct places.

The first way to combat missed messages from colleagues is to head to your personal Teams notification settings. Here you can customize how you receive notifications and update your preferences for notifications from the “Teams and channels” sections. Since teams and channels are not considered direct messages, this is one of the best ways to ensure you are not missing key communication. 

Your next option to make sure you’re not falling behind is to use the Activity section of Teams. By default, this section should be the top pinned section in Teams. Otherwise, look for the alarm bell icon. The activity section aggregates all of the updates, notifications, and activity you’ve missed across all channels, direct messages, and group messages you are a part of.  

Overall, keeping track of notifications can be a game of trial and error, so it is important to establish clear expectations around expected response times and offer leniency and support to new team members as they work to establish a system that works best for them. Clearly outlining what your team considers an urgent notification versus an awareness notification can greatly help team communication prioritization and collaboration.

Poor search functionality in Teams messages and slow history loading

Whenever I get a new meeting invitation to my Outlook inbox, I am always left cursing myself for accepting the invitation too quickly before saving any attachments or reading the details, as the message disappears into the unknown ether of my inbox. Searching for the details in your inbox or Teams history is also a hassle. If you are a fellow Teams or Outlook user, I’m sure you know the feeling! 

So how do you overcome the frustrations of the search functionality in Teams, especially when you’re in a rush? You have a few options:

  • Are you looking for a specific file?
    • Images, PDFs, spreadsheets, and similar file types are the easiest to find. Head to the “Files” section of your recent chat threads or project channels related to what you are looking for. 
  • Are you looking for a specific message?
    • Use the search functionality to search for any keywords you remember from the message and then select “messages.” Here you can filter based on sender, channels, date, direct mentions, or if the message contained an attachment.
    • If you’re still struggling to locate the message, we suggest using single keywords versus a string to maximize the number of search results Teams can return.
  • Are you looking for an old group message thread?
    • This is the easiest problem to solve for! If scrolling down through your messages isn’t bringing the correct thread to you, create a new message and add the people from the chat you are looking for. Once you start adding multiple people, if you’ve been in a chat thread with them, previous messages will populate. Trial and error adding various users can help you find older threads that haven’t been active recently. 

Difficult to work with switching back and forth between different collaboration applications 

As any remote worker will tell you, the one thing you really can’t replicate with most remote work tools is pulling up a chair next to your coworker, setting your laptop down next to theirs, and comparing notes or ideas across your two screens. 

Working together with coworkers in real-time is one of the best ways to get things done and can often be more productive and collaborative than sending updates or versions back and forth to be worked on separately. But, if you’re a distributed or remote worker, this can become a unique challenge to solve for. 

While some tools offer great collaboration abilities, if you’re working across multiple applications simultaneously, Teams only allows you to share one screen at a time during a call. Switching back and forth between shared screens starts to take up time and just becomes an added annoyance. 

Incorporating tools that ease these small but bothersome problems for remote and distributed workers can not only improve productivity, but also improve job satisfaction by removing friction points from day-to-day tasks. For many teams, this can be accomplished by adding Google Docs or Miro into their tech stack to smooth out any bumps in communication and collaboration. 

But when it comes to being on a video call with colleagues, sometimes it would be easier if multiple people could share their screen at once–and not surprisingly, it’s one of the most requested improvements in the Microsoft community forums! Our team decided we couldn’t wait any longer and decided to fix the problem ourselves, and so MultiShare was born. Adding MultiShare to Microsoft Teams allows everyone to screen share at the same time, without worrying about kicking off the other team members’ shared screens. It’s exactly what we’d been missing for so long.

If you’re ready to level-up your next working session, add MultiShare to your Teams instance today. Explore MultiShare on the AppSource marketplace, or book a demo with one of our experts to learn more.

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12 Podcasts That Have Their Fingers on the Pulse of Business Transformation

Keeping up with the latest trends and developments shaping today’s workplace can be daunting. Thankfully, podcasts have emerged as an excellent medium for staying informed about the latest in business transformation and the future of work. Since its inception, podcasting has experienced explosive growth, with a total of 464.7 million podcast listeners globally. In the United States, over one-third of the population reportedly listens to podcasts regularly, making them an ideal platform for conveying rich and informative content.

In this blog post, we’ve curated our picks for the top podcasts with their fingers on the pulse of business transformation and the future of work. These podcasts feature expert guests, insightful analysis, and captivating storytelling, creating a unique opportunity to learn from the industry’s most influential and innovative minds.


CXOTalk stands out from the crowd due to its exclusive focus on conversations with CXO-level business leaders from well-known brands and large companies across the globe. Hosted by Michael Krigsman, the show features conversations with C-level executives on various topics, including managing disruptive change, enterprise AI, and the digital economy. With a focus on highlighting the latest trends and strategies to help businesses succeed in today’s fast-paced environment, the show creates a warm, friendly atmosphere that puts guests at ease. 

What makes CXOTalk even more unique is its live format, which allows Twitter audiences to interact directly with guests and ask unfiltered questions. As a result, authenticity and fun are at the heart of every episode, two words not typically associated with the enterprise world.

Future of Work by Allwork.Space

The Future of Work podcast by Allwork.Space delves into the ever-changing landscape of work, featuring interviews with thought leaders and experts in technology, real estate, coworking, and entrepreneurship. As an industry veteran in the serviced office space industry, host Frank Cottle, the founder and CEO of Alliance Business Centers Network brings a wealth of experience to the table. With guests from industry leaders such as Google, Accenture, and FlexJobs, Cottle brings you unparalleled insights into how and why work is changing. The Future of Work podcast covers all the topics that matter in the modern workforce, from the rise of remote work to the importance of flexible workspaces.

Don’t want to sift through episodes to find what you’re looking for? Allwork. Space does the heavy lifting for you by listing bullet points of what you’ll learn from each episode on their website!

Great Leadership with Jacob Morgan

The Great Leadership podcast with Jacob Morgan is a good way to stay current on the latest trends and insights related to leadership, and also provides useful tips and advice from some of the most successful leaders and authors in the world. Host Jacob Morgan is an internationally acclaimed keynote speaker, professionally trained futurist, and best-selling author, focused on empowering individuals and organizations to become future-ready. 

The podcast centers around the stories from the world’s top CEOs, best-selling authors, and thinkers. The topics discussed on the podcast range from leadership styles and strategies, employee engagement, company culture, diversity and inclusion, and emerging technologies shaping the future of work. The podcast is an excellent resource for anyone looking to enhance their leadership skills, build high-performing teams, and drive business growth.

Exponential View

The Exponential View podcast is a must-listen for anyone interested in the intersection of technology, society, and business. Hosted by Azeem Azhar, an award-winning entrepreneur, analyst, and writer, the podcast offers a unique perspective on the impact of AI on our work and the world around us. Azeem’s ability to translate complex ideas and concepts into easily digestible insights and practical advice sets the Exponential View podcast apart. He engages his guests in thought-provoking conversations, asking probing questions and exploring the nuances and implications of the latest technological advances and trends.

The podcast is a great resource for anyone who wants to stay informed and ahead of the curve on the latest trends and developments in AI and its impact on society and business. Whether you are a tech enthusiast, a business leader, or just a curious listener, the Exponential View podcast is an inspiring listen.

Gartner ThinkCast

Gartner is a leading research and advisory firm that provides insights and advice to help organizations make informed decisions, and ThinkCast draws on this wealth of knowledge to offer listeners unique insights and perspectives on the latest trends and developments in their industries. Episodes frequently feature Gartner research and are focused on how to build a more successful organization, team, and career in the Digital Era. The podcast strikes a balance between being engaging and informative, providing listeners with valuable food for thought that they can apply in their organizations.

The varied content from thought leaders, business executives, and consultants, offers an exciting and diverse format to keep listeners engaged with each podcast. 

HBR Ideacast

HBR Ideacast is a weekly podcast hosted by Alison Beard and Curt Nickisch, two experienced and knowledgeable journalists who bring a wealth of expertise to the table. Together, Beard and Nickisch guide listeners through each episode of the HBR Ideacast with clarity and insight, asking thoughtful questions and facilitating in-depth conversations with guests. Their expertise in the business world makes them highly credible and knowledgeable hosts, providing listeners with actionable advice they can apply to their own careers and organizations. With a focus on the latest trends and developments in the business world, HBR Ideacast is a great way to hear from leading thinkers.

HBS Managing the Future of Work

The Managing the Future of Work podcast, produced by Harvard Business School, is a weekly podcast hosted by HBR professors Bill Kerr and Joe Fuller. Each episode features in-depth conversations about specific topics. Recent episodes have discussed gender equity, emerging business models, and AI. The podcast draws on the wealth of knowledge and expertise of Harvard Business School faculty and industry leaders, providing listeners with unique insights.

Hosted in a conversational and engaging style, the podcast is easy to follow and provides listeners with valuable takeaways to apply to their careers and organizations.

Humanising the Future of Work

Deloitte’s Humanising the Future of Work podcast series delves into the pressing questions surrounding the future of work and what it means for individuals and organizations. Hosted by Daniel Hind, a member of Deloitte’s Human Capital practice, each episode features discussions with Deloitte experts on how organizations can reimagine work in the face of disruption.

What sets the Humanising the Future of Work podcast apart is its focus on the human side of work. The conversations center on how organizations can create more compassionate, empathetic, and inclusive workplaces while still harnessing the power of technology and innovation. The podcast is ideal for anyone interested in understanding how the world of work is evolving, and how organizations can create more humane and sustainable workplaces that benefit both employees and businesses.

The New Way We Work

The New Way We Work podcast, hosted by Fast Company deputy editor Kate Davis, explores the dynamic and evolving nature of work and what it takes to create a better future for ourselves and our workplaces. Through insightful interviews with thought leaders and innovators, the show delves into various topics such as leadership, management, productivity, and the impact of technology on work. The show features unique and enticing episodes such as “5 Leadership lessons from Pop Culture’s Worst Bosses” and “Is it possible to have HR that employees don’t hate?” creating an engaging and thought-provoking listening experience for the audience.

The New Way We Work podcast also allows listeners to read expanded articles based on each episode on the Fast Company website, providing additional insights and information for those who want to dive deeper into the topics covered on the show.

Remotely Possible

Remotely Possible is brought to you by Frameable and is dedicated to exploring the future of work and how remote work and distributed teams are changing our lives. Frameable CEO and host Adam Riggs speaks with business leaders who’ve embraced remote work, the people building and selling technology to make remote collaboration as seamless as working in the office, and the workplace researchers and experts exploring how to create inspiring and inclusive workplaces.

Whether you’re a remote worker, a manager, or simply curious about the future of work, this podcast is for you. Join us as we navigate the exciting world of remote work and explore how we can shape the future of work together.

The Rework Podcast

The Rework podcast is all about improving the way you work and manage your business. Hosted by the co-founders 37signals, the team behind Basecamp, the popular project management app, the show explores a better way to work and run a successful business. The podcast delves into bootstrapping, staying small, and growing slowly, featuring stories from business owners who have embraced this approach. The show frequently features listener questions, taking a community-driven approach to sharing insights and advice. By going behind the scenes at 37signals and sharing real-world experiences and insights, this podcast offers valuable lessons for anyone looking to build a successful business without sacrificing their values or quality of life.

21st Century Work Life

The “21st Century Work Life” podcast, presented by Virtual not Distant, focuses on remote work and distributed organizations, providing insights into leading and managing remote teams and online collaboration. Founded in 2016, Virtual Not Distant is an organization that works with leaders, managers, and HR professionals to develop a more adaptable, future-focused, and connected workforce. They champion an “office-optional” approach to work, promoting the idea that strong ties can be forged between colleagues while working remotely.

Hosted by Pilar Orti and featuring a variety of guests and co-hosts, the podcast delves into the most pertinent themes and news related to the modern knowledge worker. In addition, the show offers practical tips and strategies for individuals and organizations navigating the challenges of remote work and offers insights into the benefits of distributed teams. Tune in for illuminating conversations that will help you navigate the changing landscape of work in the 21st century.

Explore the Future of Work

In a rapidly evolving world of work, staying informed and adapting to the latest trends and developments is crucial for success. These top podcasts provide a gateway to a wealth of knowledge, allowing you to tap into the minds of industry experts and gain valuable insights.

If you are a visionary, a disruptor, or a trailblazer in the realm of remote work and distributed teams, we invite you to apply to be a guest on our podcast, “Remotely Possible”. Share your expertise, ideas, and success stories as we explore how remote work changes lives and revolutionizes the workplace.

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A Manager’s Checklist of Opportunities to Build Meaningful Connections in Virtual Offices

Building a healthy and collaborative workplace culture requires a consistent strategy, but the rewards are well worth the effort.

Employees who feel connected to their company’s culture are much more likely to thrive and stay. And those happy employees can even be up to 20% more productive than those who are dissatisfied. The key is to help employees build genuine relationships with their peers to foster healthy communication and overcome potential conflict—and that’s easier said than done.

Managers play a major role in building connections in virtual offices and reinforcing the company culture. For those who may be new to managing virtual teams, it can be challenging to know where to focus your effort to drive the best results. Let’s explore the main opportunities for managers to connect employees, regardless of where they are based.

5 Ways to Connect Employees Across Your Distributed Workforce 

To perform their best, virtual and hybrid workers need a clear understanding of their “purpose at every level.” This means that everyone—from your entry-level employees to executive leadership—should feel confident that they are working toward your mission with purpose.

Rallying virtual employees behind your company mission requires a different approach for each level, and relationships will make or break your experience. Implement these strategies for building relationships in virtual teams to strengthen your culture:

  • Prioritize Your Virtual Onboarding: Your company needs to make a solid first impression on all new employees. To do so, create a virtual onboarding plan that provides a smooth transition into your company and clearly explains how new hires can succeed as part of your distributed team. Onboarding is also the ideal time to get to know new hires and encourage them to share their outside-of-work interests and previous work accomplishments. Not only does this help new hires start building their own internal network, but it also gives leaders more insight to connect employees based on their commonalities and shared hobbies. 
  • Establish Mentorship Programs: Pairing early career professionals with mid and senior-level employees can be incredibly effective for building relationships and breaking down potential cultural barriers. New employees can more quickly learn about your company’s culture and understand their potential career progression with guidance from their mentor, and both the mentor and mentee will benefit from the new relationship. 
  • Create Space for Non-Work Conversations: In the physical office, a company’s water cooler or kitchen was a hub for quick conversations and friendly banter. Likewise, virtual workspaces should also offer places for employees to chat about matters not related to work. Consider creating dedicated channels in your communication tools for employees to talk about personal hobbies and interests, and offer open networking rooms where employees can catch up throughout the work day.  
  • Start Meetings With an Icebreaker: Team meetings are a key opportunity to check in with employees. At the start or end of your meetings, host a quick conversation where everyone can share something about their week or personal life or recognize each other for their accomplishments. Taking a few minutes from each meeting to focus solely on your employees as humans can spark connections and help them build and find commonalities. 
  • Live By Your Values: When implementing the above strategies, your team needs to live the values you are trying to nurture. Encourage managers to dedicate time each week to actively work on building relationships within their team, and openly discuss the challenges that people are facing. 

Start to Build Employee Connections on Day One

There are challenges—and distinct advantages—to building genuine connections in fully remote, distributed, and hybrid teams. Try out a few different tactics, and find out what works best for you and your team. But ask for ongoing feedback and be open to adapting as your team grows and develops. 

One of the most important times to help an employee embed themselves into your culture is during their new hire onboarding. The onboarding process presents many key opportunities to connect employees and establish a healthy foundation that will help them overcome any challenges they face in your virtual workspace.

To bring a new-found sense of community to your virtual or distributed team, add Spaces to Microsoft Teams and see what a virtual office can do for your team’s productivity.

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Five Virtual Office Pitfalls to Avoid For Stronger Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

In the classic 80s movie Heathers, a popular clique—comprised of three teenage girls named Heather—let in a new member, Veronica, and sets about bullying her to conform to their norms or face returning to her prior status of a nobody. 

To the dismay of many managers, that’s what the traditional workplace felt like for many employees.

In almost every workplace, cliques create a perceived “in” group, leaving many employees wondering where—if anywhere—they belong. Louder voices speak over or silence their less assertive peers during meetings, depriving the team of valuable perspectives. And employees that need time away from the office to address personal and family needs may be seen as disengaged—and subsequently passed up for promotions.

It’s no wonder that women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with disabilities are more likely to leave a company if it doesn’t offer hybrid work. Virtual and hybrid work arrangements can alleviate many of these issues and give all employees a more level playing field to work, collaborate, and achieve their professional goals. 

Of course, remote and hybrid workplaces face diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) challenges. But they aren’t that difficult to overcome—here’s how.

5 Common DEI Challenges and How to Overcome Them in the Virtual Office 

The good news is while remote and hybrid teams are not immune to the DEI challenges associated with in-person work, these challenges can be easier to overcome thanks to the innate characteristics of hybrid work. Let’s look at five of the most common DEI challenges associated with remote and hybrid work and how to overcome them. 

Relationships and Trust Are Harder to Build Virtually

When teams don’t trust each other, internal conflict is more likely. And unless you’ve been an online gamer for most of your life, it is harder to build relationships and earn trust with colleagues when you primarily engage through a screen. This is one area where workers from large companies with distributed workforces have an advantage—I had direct reports in Denver and Phoenix (and no travel budget) in the late 1990s, so it can be done even without the latest collaboration and communication tools.

Building trust in hybrid teams starts with communication. Managers need to set clear expectations about each person’s role and responsibilities. Provide a deadline to all team members for their contribution to a task or project. If someone is struggling, encourage them to be open about their challenge and have the team brainstorm solutions. Over time, this will help teams build trust as everyone demonstrates a shared commitment to helping the team succeed. 

To build relationships, start each meeting with a short icebreaker activity or ask everyone to share something about their personal life. This intentional sharing allows everyone to learn about each other and identify commonalities that can be the base of a relationship, regardless of their culture or background.

Networking and Mentorship Require Conscious Effort

There are often limited opportunities for networking and mentorship in the workplace—including virtual or in-person environments—which is especially harmful to underrepresented groups.

As Deloitte recommends, your team should establish cross-generational mentorship opportunities where seasoned professionals can mentor early career professionals. This enables newer professionals to learn more quickly about the company culture and gain an advocate to mentor them on their career progression. Encourage mentors to meet with their mentees at least once a month, and include a budget for in-person meetups when people live in the same city. 

In addition to mentorship, other ways to foster connection within your hybrid team include:

  • Host local meetups for employees that live near each other at least once a quarter.
  • Plan optional monthly virtual networking and team-building activities.
  • Coordinate “lunch and learn” sessions that spotlight team members and their knowledge or work.
  • Encourage employees to form Employee Resource Groups aligned with a shared purpose or identity.

Your Corporate HQ Design Can’t Provide Cues for the Company’s Culture

Many companies lean heavily on the design and decoration of their physical offices to telegraph their brand values. From having lots of collaboration space to projecting the values on the walls, many employees live the company culture daily through osmosis from being surrounded by it.

Without those visual cues, there is potential isolation and disconnect from the company culture. And these feelings can be amplified for remote workers based in different locations than the bulk of the team. 

That’s why you must actively shape your company culture. Positive company cultures will rally team members behind a shared mission and sense of togetherness, encouraging healthy dynamics and conflict resolution. On the other hand, toxic company cultures result in high turnover because employees lack direction and often face hostility or unfair working conditions.

To build the foundation for a healthy culture, start by hosting a virtual all-hands meeting to align your team and explain the reasoning behind your hybrid or remote workplace strategy. Reinforce your mission and values, and invite questions from team members. The goal of this meeting is for every employee to clearly understand your company’s purpose and how everyone can work together successfully.

Reinforce your culture by providing all current and future employees with company swag and materials that detail your culture and the qualities that team members should exemplify. From there, you need to reinforce those values in every meeting and through day-to-day work—managers should provide models that employees can emulate. 

Employees will feel connected with your company when they feel recognized. Regularly acknowledge their achievements in public channels and celebrate them on birthdays, holidays, and important milestones. 

It’s Easy to Misinterpret Virtual Tone and Body Language

Understanding a person’s tone or body language when messaging or speaking on a video call can be tricky. There is plenty of room for miscommunication, misunderstanding, and unconscious bias. For example, not everyone agrees that using a thumb’s up emoji is considered disrespectful, or that they aren’t engaged if they don’t have their camera on for a video meeting.

Setting virtual communication guidelines will reduce these types of misunderstandings. For starters, create an explainer illustrating how it can be easy to misinterpret tone and body language online. In it, provide examples of how your team can communicate in a respectful and healthy way.

For example, explain what emojis will mean at your company and when it is appropriate to use them. Reinforce how team members can communicate deadlines, such as what to do instead of saying that something “must be done ASAP” or using bold and capitalized words to convey importance. 

When a misunderstanding eventually arises, encourage employees to speak with their manager about the situation. Managers can help team members overcome their virtual communication challenges and stress the importance of patience and understanding. As a former marketing leader I worked for always said, it’s important to assume positive intent. But for that saying to become reality, it takes work on everyone’s part to earn each other’s trust.

Multiple Time Zones Create Scheduling Hurdles

Time zone and cultural differences can make coordinating meetings, collaboration, and work schedules challenging, leading to potential exclusion or marginalization of specific individuals or groups due to differences in working hours or cultural norms.

For teams that do not have significant time zone differences, it’s best to schedule meetings and events for times when everyone can join, which is often in the middle of the work day. But if your organization has a distributed workforce in various time zones, this simply may not be possible.

Before scheduling an event, conduct a poll that solicits the preferred time(s) to hold it. If you see one or two clear preferences, host two events, if possible, based on its goal. Even after taking this step, ensure that the preferred dates are not ones of cultural and religious significance or regional holidays that span your team’s geography.

Host social events and networking activities on different days and times to include people each time who could not attend the previous event. 

Despite the Challenges, Hybrid and Remote Work Deliver Some DEI Advantages

Overcoming the above five remote work DEI challenges becomes easier as you continue to prioritize employees as individuals and foster spaces where their voices are heard.

By building a healthy company culture that enables everyone to thrive, you’ll be on the fast track to enjoying some of the best benefits of remote and hybrid work, like access to a diverse talent pool that spans geographies and potentially reduced bias and discrimination in your hiring and promotions.

Most importantly, flexible work arrangements allow people to work from the comfort of their homes. This helps them work in a way that suits their needs and alleviates uncomfortable feelings or exclusion they potentially face in a traditional office setting. 

Often, one of the best solutions to improve your hybrid strategy is to hire someone dedicated to the task: a virtual office manager. Download our virtual office manager e-book to get started building a virtual office environment where everyone feels seen, heard, and valued.

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