How To Beat The Five Killers Of Virtual Working – Forbes

May 13, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

An eye opening article from Sebastian Bailey highlighting how little progress in some ways virtual team management has made in the last 15 years…

In 2000, Wayne Cascio identified five disadvantages of virtual teams, none of which have been resolved by 12 years of technological advances. Overcoming these obstacles isn’t about high-definition video conferencing; it’s about effective leadership that accounts for the nuances of the virtual environment.

Read the article here: How To Beat The Five Killers Of Virtual Working – Forbes.

Work around the Clock: How Global Virtual Teams Are Re-Defining the Productivity Paradigm for Leading Companies

May 6, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

CHAPEL HILL, N.C., March 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — With more than one-third of employees working on at least one virtual team, it is critical for global organizations to find ways to overcome the hurdles of working virtually. Global companies are now investing resources in finding ways that will help employees work better together across time zones, differing cultures, and with conflicting workplace practices. While there are many places to misstep in the process of becoming global, leaders must examine which best practices are necessary and beneficial in order to achieve global operational excellence.

According to Best Practices, LLC’s primary research study, “Building Global Capability: Creating and Maintaining Effective Global Teams,” even global teams with established common processes and online tools can still suffer from failures and disappointments. Despite this, virtual teams can ultimately provide a company access to diverse skill sets and expertise, knowledge and wisdom about emerging markets, and round-the-clock business hours for efficiency.

In order to determine which best practices global leaders are implementing in order to create successful virtual teams, Best Practices LLC drew from extensive primary research that was completed with 59 executives from 56 leading companies. The full 56-page benchmarking report contains more than 100 metrics and 10 executive narratives, providing executives with global responsibility the tools, practices and techniques to help virtual teams work better together and achieve strategically aligned objectives.

Key topics of this primary research include:

  • Why companies establish global teams
  • How companies measure progress toward globalization
  • Tools and practices that accelerate progress
  • Practices that facilitate working with other cultures, time zones and workplaces
  • How progress of individual global teams is measured
  • Top improvement objectives for global teams
  • Key lessons learned for managing global teams
  • The biggest pitfalls to avoid in global team management

To learn more about this report, download a complimentary excerpt at http://www3.best-in-class.com/rr1016.htm.

Six Rules to Foster Creativity While Maintaining Efficiency Within Your Business

April 29, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

This guest post was submitted to The Anywhere Office by Erin Schwartz, a Specialist in Social Media and Affiliate Marketing.

Creativity and Efficiency

Take a good look at any company or corporation that has been successful at doing business for any length of time and you will undoubtedly discover that they all had their own particular set of systems and processes for managing the daily functions of business: payroll, inventory, invoicing, general bookkeeping, HR and so on. Look a little further and you might even find step-by-step processes and rules in place that govern how they develop and launch new products or services or market themselves to the world.

Systems are a necessary part of keeping control and assuring quality within a business that has more than just a few employees. But when systems are allowed to become etched in stone, forever unchanging, a company is in danger of missing out on emerging technologies that could quite likely improve their bottom line and make them more competitive.

Here are six basic rules that every company, no matter what size, should follow to foster and promote an atmosphere of creativity without sacrificing consistency and quality.

It starts at the top – A company’s culture reflects the ideals and beliefs of the owner(s). Those at the top must continually give the message that change is good and that ideas for improvement are welcome. When top management embraces such a philosophy, it’s a sure bet that those underneath will also espouse similar beliefs.

Banish forever “That’s the Way We’ve Always Done It” – Having teams of people responsible for developing dynamic new products and services is only one way a company shows its creative side. Companies must also recognize that the old, tried and true way of doing something is often made obsolete by a new machine, program or process. Stubbornly refusing to even consider any changes to a ten-year old ordering or inventory system is just ridiculous. As new people join a company, they often bring with them ideas and experience gained from former places of employment. Managers need to welcome new ideas for streamlining basic systems, and not view them as a threat to the status quo.

Encourage and promote brainstorming and problem-solving round-table discussions – The power of the group mind is incredible; by sharing frustrations and successes, employees often discover new and even better ways of doing things just by tossing ideas back and forth in a casual meeting. Energize the boring staff meeting by setting aside 15-20 minutes for a no-holds-barred discussion of what’s working and what’s not, and possible ways to improve. Read more

Effective Team Management A Challenge in the Virtual Workforce

April 23, 2013 by · 2 Comments 

managing virtual teams infographic personality data

Whitepaper: Effective Team Management A Challenge in the Virtual Workforce

Science-Based Behavioral Assessment Helps Managers Motivate, Develop and Coach Remotely

WELLESLEY, Mass., Feb. 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — The virtual workforce in the U.S. ballooned from 9.5 million in 1995 to 13.4 million in 2010, growing to an estimated 20-30 million people currently working remotely at least once per week. According to new whitepaper from global consulting firm PI Worldwide, despite more employees embracing—and even expecting—a distributed work environment, research indicates low levels of confidence in the ability of managers to adequately motivate, coach and develop employees within a virtual environment.

The whitepaper titled, Managing the Challenges of the New Virtual Workforce: The Use of Personality Data to Build and Develop High Performing Virtual Teams, examines the pressures facing leaders to manage and develop teams operating virtually and the benefits behavioral assessment data provides for enhancing communication, collaboration and efficiencies across different time zones and cultures.

“The most successful virtual teams are led by managers who understand what motivates and drives performance at the individual and team levels, assigning people to tasks in line with their natural behavioral styles,” said Nancy Martini , President and CEO of PI Worldwide. “Managers who apply behavioral insights produce teams that function with stronger working relationships, communicate more effectively and deliver on the team’s collective goals.”

According to a Forrester survey cited in the whitepaper, “effective communication” is a top concern for managers of remote teams (49%), followed by “managing projects and deadlines successfully (43%)” and “creating consensus during decision-making (43%).” Martini notes additional challenges of remote team management include:

  • Difficulty in building a shared sense of purpose
  • Over-reliance on electronic communications
  • Low team cohesion and trust
  • Less satisfaction with the team experience

In a remote working environment, it can be difficult for team members to build rapport or a sense of camaraderie which can jeopardize productivity. Through behavioral assessments (sometimes called personality assessments), Martini says, managers can uncover the natural behavioral characteristics of team members to better define high performance, facilitate workflow, reduce conflict and improve group synergy.

Read the rest of this article here: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/whitepaper-effective-team-management-a-challenge-in-the-virtual-workforce-192330671.html 

See the whitepaper here: http://www.piworldwide.com/landing-pages/virtual-workforce-hmpg.aspx

 

Improve Sleep to Cause a Lifestyle Change and Work Productivity

April 15, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

turned down king sized bed in morning

This guest post was submitted to The Anywhere Office by Jay Ackers of safetyservicescompany.com

Fatigue at the workplace isn’t just a health and safety issue for office managers – it drains productivity. When you are healthy and alert you are happier and motivated to give your best efforts.

I lived this when I lost 60 pounds in the last year through better nutrition, exercise and yes better sleep. After looking at my personal situation, I moved to a quieter neighborhood closer to my office, invested in a sleep mask, ear plugs, white noise machine, regulated my sleep-wake schedule (even on the weekends) and stayed hydrated. I even bought a special alarm clock that gradually wakes me up with light and a phone app that monitors my sleep cycles and waits to wake me up when I’m no longer in deep sleep.

What I learned was my entire day hinged on having a refreshing night’s sleep. I would start working early and was more productive , no longer nodding off at my desk. When my work was over I was more willing to meet friends for a group run; which led to weight loss, a better diet, less stress and even better sleep.

Each positive change made other changes easier and more effective. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, look at your own situation and decide what changes you need to make. Read more

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