NetSpeed Learning Solutions November 2016
Is Your Organization Ready for the Virtual Workplace?
In a recent survey of 1700 knowledge workers, 79% reported that they worked always or frequently in dispersed teams (Ferrazzi Greenlight). Your organization is probably already experiencing the impact of more virtual work and more virtual teams. Despite concerns about productivity and loyalty, many organizations are realizing enormous cost savings (estimated at $5,000 to $8,000 per employee) of employees working from home, as well as increased productivity and loyalty to the organization. Indeed, one study revealed a 43% improvement in employee productivity as a result of working virtually.
But these gains are not serendipitous. Successful organizations realize that the move to virtual must be well-planned. They are mindful of the changes that will occur in communication, leadership, and performance management.
Consider whether your organization is ready to succeed in the virtual workplace by answering these ten questions:  
  1. Do we have senior management support to transition to a virtual workplace?
  2. Do we have solid performance management systems in place?
  3. Have we identified the jobs, tasks, and responsibilities suitable for remote workers?
  4. Are we ready to implement the technological tools necessary to plan for, track, and report on virtual work?
  5. Have we identified specific Human Resource policies to cover working virtually?
  6. Have we established communication plans and practices?
  7. Do we have web conferencing software in place to support online meetings?
  8. Have we purchased and installed webcams for all virtual employees to increase the experience of connection?
  9. Have we trained leaders on the differences in virtual management and how to manage virtual employees?
  10. Have we trained virtual workers to successfully transition to remote work?
If you'd like to learn more about how your organization can prepare virtual leaders for this transition, plan to attend our next one-hour complimentary webinar, The Virtual Leader's Advantage: Getting Results Across Distance, on Thursday, November 10 (1:00pm PT /10:00am ET).

Cynthia Clay signature
Cynthia Clay

Virtual Facilitator Tips:
We're Tooting Our Horn Just a Little
Cynthia Clay
The first time one does anything new can be a little scary! We had no idea what to expect when we hatched the plan to have a Virtual Workplace Summit . Would people register? Would they attend? Would they gain anything from the experience?
We're happy to report great results and great ideas for next time. Overall, 88% of the participants who completed the evaluation rated it "Excellent" or "Very Good." We asked if they would be likely to attend a future Virtual Workplace Summit and 75% said they would be "Very Likely" or "Extremely Likely" to attend again. In answer to our question about recommending the Summit to others, more than 81% said they would be "Very Likely" or "Extremely Likely" to recommend a future Virtual Workplace Summit to others.

Since we invested hundreds of hours planning for the Summit and preparing our client speakers, results like these are so satisfying and speak volumes to the skill of the NetSpeed Learning Solutions' team.

Here were a couple of positive comments made by happy participants that made us feel so proud of our work:
"The NSLS team was outstanding in their use of Adobe Connect, very impressive. The upbeat and positive tone was so engaging and made me truly feel part of the experience. This was a well thought-out and well-executed learning experience, and I am thrilled that I was able to participate. Highly motivating."

"Not only did I walk away with more confidence in my ability to contribute to my company's efforts to maximize the effectiveness of our almost entirely virtual workplace and training delivery, but I came out of it with truly usable takeaways that I can build into our current system immediately."
Glowing praise aside, we did learn a few things that will help us make the 2017 Virtual Workplace Summit even more effective. For example, we thought we could keep the individual sessions to 45 minutes but found that was impossible with the amount of participation that we had going on. Future sessions will be scheduled for an hour and we'll strive to end after 50 to 55 minutes. We may also vary the format a bit more in 2017. We used a case study approach with similar questions of all our speakers, but next year, we'll also add some skill-building sessions in between the great client presentations.
If you missed the Virtual Workplace Summit, here's one of the most popular sessions featured:   Ritu Hudson of Navy Federal Credit Union shares her best practices for redesigning all of their content from the face-to-face classroom to the virtual classroom.
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