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The benevolent tyranny and muscle flexing.

As strong advocates and enablers of the agile and remote workforce, VentureWeb is excited to be attending the online Remote Workforce Summit of 2018 (5th – 10 March). We are thrilled to bring our thoughts and insights of the Summit straight to your newsfeed.

Day 1

Interview Highlights with Mark Gilbreath, CEO and Founder of LiquidSpace.

  • Future of work is already here
  • The state of remote work and industry trends
  • Manager time vs personal productivity time in remote culture
  • Flex portfolio strategy and remote work revolution

Mark shared his perspective on the future of remote work (although he started by saying that it’s not so much the future, but today’s reality). It was interesting to hear his perspective as both a remote worker himself and an employer of remote workers. He spoke of a “benevolent tyranny” where well-meaning companies try to prescribe a culture and behavior for their employees. Sure, they mean well, but it’s not necessarily the way to get the most from them. Each employee is different, with different emotional needs, temperaments and ways of thriving and producing. Instead of applying the same policy to everyone, companies should create a “customer-centric” environment where their “customers” (their employees), can be given responsibility and trusted—empowering them with the tools they need to be great contributors to the business and its culture. This really resonated with me an almost exclusively remote worker. Being able to work remotely, I am far more productive than I ever was in an office—and have enjoyed a far better work/life balance to boot. I am very much aware that it is a privilege and it has motivated me to work diligently and strive to exceed expectations at every level. I am proud to represent my employer and feel appreciated and valued.

When LiquidSpace started out, Mark didn’t want location to be a limiting factor in who he could work with. Getting the best and most talented people on board was the goal, the challenges of working across physical distance could be overcome. It’s important to create a cohesive culture and experience and video conferencing is a valuable tool in that regard, helping to maintain the human connection we all crave. Mark spoke here about a muscle that had to be exercised—being perceptive of peers and knowing when more interaction is required. It’s not always verbal either, there are many cues when people encounter challenges. Businesses need to be vigilant and exercise this communication muscle, sensing the needs and temperature of the organization and its people. I love this idea of putting people first. Wanting to work with people that share similar values and hunger for the same outcomes. And then finding a way to make it work. Technology today has largely negated the physical challenges of remote working.

Businesses should be finding the best people and then working hard to establish relationships in which both the employer and employee can thrive.

Watch this space for more…
Mike

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