Wearables, Managers and Office Shock

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    Welcome to this week’s Remote Work Newsletter! Each week we drop a remote work tip video, a work-from-anywhere insight, and a recommendation to discover more about remote work.

    We’ve written previously about how, in many cases, remote employees and their managers have different views on the merits and challenges of remote work, but what are the differences and why do they exist? We’ve interviewed hundreds of managers and their direct reports to find out. Firstly, it is important to stress that manager views on remote work actually vary quite a lot. Some are very in favor of it and some much less so.

    The single most determinative factor we have seen is personal experience. Managers who have had direct prior experience of managing distributed teams are typically most in favor, followed by managers who worked remotely extensively themselves, and the least in favor are those with little to no direct experience of remote work.

    Another key factor is that for some managers, moving to a remote or hybrid environment can take some of the joy out of the job. Many people who get into people management do so because they are “people people”. For these types of managers, a strong-part of the enjoyment they get from the workday is from ad hoc face-to-face communication and collaboration, and in remote or hybrid settings a lot of that is gone. Now, of course, it’s not the job of employees to make their managers happy, but managers are human beings. Like any human being, their level of enjoyment of how a job is structured can affect their enthusiasm for it.

    A final and important consideration is how well the manager has adapted their style to a remote or hybrid setting. Just as being a remote or hybrid employee is different, managing a remote or hybrid team is ALSO different. Things a manager may have done naturally or seamlessly in an in-office environment may no longer work, and simple virtual replicas don’t do the job. Fortunately, just as skill training for employees helps them master remote and hybrid work faster, the same thing applies for managers. And typically, as they begin to master managing a remote or hybrid team, their enthusiasm for these working models dramatically increases. So if your manager isn’t enthusiastic about remote work yet, this could well be a temporary state of affairs.


    We are very excited about our latest Making Remote Work podcast. Our guest this week is Bob Johansen, who is a Distinguished Fellow at the Institute for the Future. Bob is the co-author of a fascinating new book, called Office Shock: Creating Better Futures for Working and Living. In the podcast, we discuss what is going to happen to the office in the next 10 years, and steps individuals and companies can take now to be prepared for it. You can find the audio podcast on your favourite podcasting app, or if you prefer video, you can find it here. Check out the show notes to get a 30% discount on the book.

    Remote Work Tip: How to use wearables to ACTUALLY make you move more.

    Video Length: 118 seconds

    In last week’s tip we highlighted some pretty disturbing findings about how much less remote employees tend to move each day. We heard from some of you determined to do something about it, and a few asked whether wearables like the Apple Watch or Oura Ring are a good part of the solution. Well, the answer is sort of yes, provided you have a good understanding of HOW to use them. Today’s remote work tip goes into detail on exactly that. Check it out and let us know how it works for you.

    About Us

    The Remote Work Tip Newsletter is brought to you each week by BillionMinds. BillionMinds helps employees develop the skills they need to do great work outside of the office, and become certified as Remote Work Professionals. For more information, visit us at www.billionminds.com.