I'm the founder of FutureWork IQ where I spend my time assisting businesses to design digital workplaces or “offices in the cloud.” These environments enable companies to allow flexible and remote working for their teams. I also teach the digital literacy, fluency, communication and collaboration skills needed to work in these modern technology-rich workplaces.

Remote Future Summit

This past week I got to attend the 2019 Remote Future Summit here is some high level feedback.

The event had just over 40 speakers from some 30 or so companies, including the likes of Microsoft and Bank of Scotland. All the speakers were working for organizations that had adopted flexible remote working either as fully distributed teams or hybrid teams (hybrid = some individuals co-located and others distributed)

Completely Online

The event was presented completely online and included individual speakers, panel discussions and live Q&A sessions. More events will happen this way in future. No need to fly or commute to a venue. We need to make serious adjustments to how we do things as a result of the unfolding climate catastrophe. Smart event organizers will do everything in their power to *dramatically* reduce the carbon emissions in-person events create. This was an excellent example of how that could be done.

Remote Working Has Gone Mainstream

In addition to which the recurring theme from all the speakers were that they have seen the following effects on their companies:

– more productive
– more efficient
– happier staff
– retention and engagement figures are up
– talent can be acquired anywhere in the world
– cost savings from not needing office space or needing way less are substantial

Topic Themes

The speakers shared their insights along these themes:

– How to become a remote friendly company
– How to manage a distributed team
– Why remote work helps you grow and scale companies very efficiently
– Why this way of working helps companies develop a competitive advantage
– How to recruit and onboard remote employees
– How to ensure effective communication and collaboration across a distributed organization
– Effective performance evaluation
– Employee benefits and legal matters

My Take Away For Companies

Technology has untethered work from the office and companies that are able to use technology to enable anywhere work are the ones that are going to be the most successful. Organizations that currently are in analogue brick and mortar workplaces that can evolve to become an agile work from anywhere businesses are going to flourish and it will be cheaper to run these organizations.

My Take Away For Individuals

If you as an individual have any ambition of working in these modern work environments, which enable work life balance not really possible before, then you are going to need to acquire the virtual work skills to do so. This is very different to commuting to an office and sitting at a desk to get your job done.

The way we work and from where work gets done has permanently changed.

What is holding your company back from anywhere working?