Virtual Workplace? For Real! #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a full recap and resource links from this week’s #TChat Events? See the #TChat Recap: “Putting a Face on Remote Work.”)

Distributed workforce. Virtual team. Telecommuting.

Whatever term you use to describe remote work models, the concept continues to gain momentum in today’s business environment — and with good reason.

High-speed connections, mobile technology and cloud-based collaboration tools now make it easy and cost effective for people to “go to work” anytime, from almost anywhere.

XJyGYBut infrastructure and good intentions, alone, don’t guarantee that virtual organizations will be productive and profitable. So, what does it take? That’s the focus of  #TChat Events this week, as we look at why and how successful virtual teams really work.

And what better way to explore this topic than with an entrepreneur whose business is driven entirely by remote contributors? Our guest this week is Mike Hostetler, Founder and CEO of appendTo, a highly successful web engineering firm, powered by a far-flung workforce.

“Sneak Peek” Hangout: Trifecta of Awesomeness

To kick-off this week’s discussion, Mike joined me for a G+ Hangout, where he outlined the “trifecta of awesomeness” — three key reasons why the virtual workplace is taking hold:

What are your thoughts about how to build and manage awesome virtual organizations? This week, we’re seeking wisdom from the crowd — so share your ideas and opinions with the #TChat virtual community!

#TChat Events: Why Remote Work Continues to Rise

#TChat Radio — Wed, Jan 15 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT


Tune-in to the #TChat Radio Show

Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with Mike Hostetler about what it takes to create and sustain successful virtual workplaces. Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Jan 15 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and Mike will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where the entire TalentCulture community will join the discussion. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these 5 related questions:

Q1: What are the pros and cons of virtual workplaces?
Q2: How do remote work models affect employee and customer engagement?
Q3: What factors should leaders consider when creating virtual teams?
Q4: How can recruiters identify traits of successful remote workers?
Q5: How can we apply technology to foster virtual collaboration?

We look forward to hearing your ideas and opinions, as talent-minded professionals who care about the human side of business.

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, and on our LinkedIn Discussion Group. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Reworking The 9-to-5 Office Job #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Are you looking for a full recap of this week’s #TChat events and resources? Read “Flexible Work And The Power Of Choice.“)

Old habits die hard. At least it seems that way, with the classic view that “real work” only happens in a 9-to-5 office setting.

The rise of global networks and mobile technology now makes it possible to move work outside of traditional time-and-space boundaries. But organizational support is essential to the success of any alternative work model. And corporate culture doesn’t always change easily.

Flexibility: Bigger Than A Benefit

Fortunately, this hurdle is no longer stopping progressive companies from offering flexible work options. And it’s making a measurable difference where a flexible environment is considered more than just an attractive employee benefit.

In short, the idea of customized work hours and locations is emerging as a highly effective business strategy. Contrary to old-school perceptions, flexwork has been shown to improve productivity. It also reduces operating costs (thanks to decreased absenteeism, turnover, real estate requirements, utilities and other expenses).

Furthermore, it can improve an organization’s ability to win and retain talent, and boost employee engagement. In this era of persistently poor engagement levels, that just might give your organization a much-needed competitive edge.

What Do Experts Say?

This week at #TChat Events, let’s talk about how employers and employees, alike, can make the most of work that is more broadly distributed across time and space. Two experts in flexible work options are joining us to share their insights:

•  Lisa Horn, Co-Leader of SHRM’s Workplace Flexibility Initiative and a SHRM Senior Government Relations Advisor;
•  Susan Lovegren, SVP of HR at Plantronics, a leading-edge technology company that recently launched a “Smarter Working” initiative.

This topic matters to all of us who care about the future of work. So bring your best ideas, questions and concerns to the conversation!

#TChat Events: Workplace Flexibility As A Business Strategy


Tune-in to #TChat Radio

#TChat Radio — Wed, Aug 21 at 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT

Lisa and Susan join our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman to discuss key issues and opportunities surrounding flexible work options. Listen LIVE and dial-in with your questions and feedback!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, Aug 21 at 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, we’ll move to the #TChat Twitter stream, for an open the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Anyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we address these questions:

Q1: Why is telecommuting still a “bad word” in the workplace?
Q2: What world of work factors are driving increased flexibility?
Q3: Why should business leaders make workplace flexibility a business strategy?
Q4: What is the true ROI of working from anywhere, anytime?
Q5: What technologies enable workplace flexibility? What’s still missing?

To kickstart the conversation, be sure to read Meghan M. Biro’s Forbes post, “5 Reasons Why Workplace Flexibility Is a Smart Business Strategy.” What are your thoughts about her commentary?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep this discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: Stock.xchng