A complete guide for anyone looking to succeed in the virtual workplace.
The pandemic forced many in-person businesses to “go virtual”. And now that the United States is making its way back something resembling closer to pre-pandemic — or, maybe not.
“How to Thrive in the Virtual Workplace: Simple and Effective Tips for Successful, Productive and Empowered Remote Work“, by Robert Glazer with Mick Sloan is a must-read for any business owner thinking about going virtual with their workforce. The book provides a straightforward presentation of how to excel when working remotely. It is an essential read for employers, employees, and leaders who want to practice virtual work.
About the Authors
Rober Glazer is the founder and CEO of Acceleration Partners, a global affiliate marketing agency, and Mick Sloan is the Manager of Leadership Development and Content.
Glazer has 14 years of experience working remotely and provides advice on how to survive and prosper in a virtual work environment. “How to Thrive in the Virtual Workplace,” which includes up-to-date research and interviews with CEOs from major corporations such as British Telecom Global. He’s written for Forbes, Tgruve Global and Entrepreneur Magazine and is a sought after speaker.
Together, Glazer and Sloan provide an honest look at the challenges of remote work and address them in a manner that is practical, not preachy.
What Happens When You’re Forced to Work Remotely?
When the world suddenly shut down in March of 2020, office-based workers were forced into temporary remote work situations. As the pandemic wore on, what seemed like freedom from the confines of an office, turned into a sort of house arrest forcing employees, managers, and business owners to juggle work, family, and personal time.
And this is where “How to Thrive in the Virtual Workplace” is unique. Glazer doesn’t romanticize remote work. Instead, he acknowledges the real difficulties faced by both employees and organizations as they struggle to pivot to an abruptly detached workplace.
In Part I of the book, Glazer addresses remote work from the employee’s perspective. He goes over the challenges, solutions and rewards of remote working and how to create structures to keep yourself sane while in a “home” environment.
From there, he goes into speciric strategies that both organizations and employees.
I’ve pulled a couple examples of the types of tips and strategies you’ll find inside:
Part I: Individuals Working From Home
This first part of the book isn’t just for employees, but for any individual who is working from home for the first time. Glazer doesn’t spend a lot of time here, just enough to cover the basics.
- Technology: Prepare your home for heavy-duty internet use. You may need to upgrade based on your provider or router.
- Computers: Update operating systems, add video conferencing capability. Security is also key.
- Accessories: Don’t go overboard, but make sure you invest in quality tech accessories such as headsets, cameras, monitors, microphones and anything else you’ll need to do remote work and be comfortable.
- Boundaries: Set physical and mental boundaries around your work schedule.
- Motivation and Focus: Create structures and planned distracttions around your work that give you the opportunity to reset and refocus.
Part II: Organizations
This is the real meat of the book and speaks directly to business owners and managers. Many of the strategies in this section don’t just apply to managing remote workers, but are exacerbated by a decentralized workforce.
- Culture: WHO your organization is at it’s core and it’s “WHY” are a critical touchstone that keeps everyone on the same page.
- Policies, Procedures and Playbooks: With a remote workforce, you will need documentation and checklists that everyone adhere’s to.
- Different Management Styles and Examples: Glazer provides several examples from his company and others on different ways to manage remotely.
What I Liked About “How to Thrive in the Virtual Workplace”
Glazer does an outstanding job of simplifying an otherwise complex and overwhelming topic. I really like the organization of the book and his suggestions for setting up a remote work organization.
On the management and organizational side of the book, I appreciated how Glazer pointed out how management principles like culture, policies and procedures that can easily hide on the back burner of an in-person office balloon in significance when teams are remote.
The last thing I enjoyed were the many examples of work systems and management practices different CEOs, managers and employees used in their companies. Some I liked, some I didn’t. But the point is that you’re bound to find inspiration among these examples that you can try in your own organization.
Why You Should Read “How to Thrive in the Virtual Workplace”
If you’re like me and have been running remote teams for decades, this book will summarize a list of lessons you’ve learned and integrated, but haven’t pulled together into a single document. I intend to make it recommended reading for any new hires.
If you’re a founder, manager or C-level executive at a traditional in-person business that’s looking at increased remote work, this is a must-read. It contains everything you need to know — and nothing you don’t.
Snap it Up
Regardless of whether you’re running an organization that requires employees to be at their desk from nine-to-five, managing remote workers or just starting out yourself doing home-based work , “How to Thrive in the Virtual Workplace” is a must read.