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Remote Working

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Desk Organization Ideas and Tips for Your Work-From-Home Setup
Remote Working 10 min read

Desk Organization Ideas and Tips for Your Work-From-Home Setup

These 13 desk organization ideas will help you put together a work-from-home desk setup that supports you in doing (and enjoying) your very best work.

Remote-how Guest Post: Overcoming Complexities To Make Hybrid Work
Remote Working 7 min read

Remote-how Guest Post: Overcoming Complexities To Make Hybrid Work

In this guest post, Remote-how’s Iwo Szapar explores the complexities facing companies shifting to hybrid models and how to succeed in this new world of work.

Building Flexible Workplaces: A Definitive Guide to Hybrid Work

Building Flexible Workplaces: A Definitive Guide to Hybrid Work

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How Flexible Schedules Help Wrike's Working Parents Make It Work
Remote Working 7 min read

How Flexible Schedules Help Wrike's Working Parents Make It Work

Balancing working and parenting can be difficult. Here’s how three Wrike parents leverage flexible schedules and Wrike work management to make it work.

How Wrike Solutions Manager Valerio Nocera Maximizes a Hybrid Work Schedule for Better Work-Life Balance
Remote Working 5 min read

How Wrike Solutions Manager Valerio Nocera Maximizes a Hybrid Work Schedule for Better Work-Life Balance

How does hybrid working impact employees’ day-to-day schedules? Wrike employee Valerio Nocera shares how he maximizes a flexible hybrid working model.

Do Remote Marketing Jobs Offer Higher Salaries?
Marketing 10 min read

Do Remote Marketing Jobs Offer Higher Salaries?

Has the rise of remote work led to higher salaries in remote marketing roles? Find out with the latest industry insights and data.

Asynchronous Work Explained for 2022
Remote Working 10 min read

Asynchronous Work Explained for 2022

Asynchronous work allows remote teams to set their own schedules and take advantage of working from home. Learn more about working asynchronously.

12 Low-Cost Ideas to Boost Employee Morale

12 Low-Cost Ideas to Boost Employee Morale

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Return to Work: Which Global Cities Have Gone Back to the Office the Fastest?
Remote Working 10 min read

Return to Work: Which Global Cities Have Gone Back to the Office the Fastest?

Discover which cities around the world have returned to office-based working the fastest, and what patterns the data shows.

Earth Day 2022: 5 Ways for Your Hybrid Work Model to Be More Eco-Friendly
Remote Working 5 min read

Earth Day 2022: 5 Ways for Your Hybrid Work Model to Be More Eco-Friendly

As spring has finally sprung and we can get back to enjoying nature that little bit more, our planet is at the forefront of our minds. The theme of Earth Day 2022 is “Invest in Our Planet” — a fitting frame of mind for approaching our business models this year and beyond. The threat of global warming to our planet’s wellbeing is becoming more and more apparent. According to the latest IPCC report on climate change, approximately 3.3 to 3.6 billion people live in environments that are highly vulnerable to climate change. We need to avoid the global temperature rising by 1.5 degrees Celsius, as this would cause “unavoidable increases in multiple climate hazards and present multiple risks to ecosystems and humans.”  According to earthday.org, to avoid this rise in temperature, we need to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. We can all play our parts in this effort, and whether you’re an office manager, a team leader, or a CEO, there are plenty of ways to drive down your workplace’s carbon footprint.  As more and more businesses move to a hybrid work model, we’ve gathered five ways to encourage your hybrid workforce to be more environmentally friendly. Encourage hybrid work While some of your teammates may be embracing the hybrid work model, many others may find it hard to break from their traditional schedules. The first step in making your hybrid workplace more eco-friendly is to encourage hybrid working in the first place, as it holds huge benefits for your carbon footprint. Less air and noise pollution from commuting cars, less single-use plastic from breakfasts and lunches, less energy waste from office buildings — the eco-benefits of working from home stack up quickly. While there can be some debate as to whether working from home really cuts carbon emissions with heating and energy costs, the consensus is that it is far preferable to commuting to work, with one study even finding that net carbon emission reductions of 77% can be achieved from working at home. Trial an equipment sharing model One of the benefits of a hybrid working model is that office equipment does not need to be supplied and replaced at such a high rate. Tech turnover can have massive eco-implications, from the mining for materials to the e-waste produced when a piece of equipment needs to be retired. Set up an equipment sharing model with your hybrid workplace, and see how much technology can be shared or saved by staying at home. For example, if a team member has their own computer suitable for work use, offer an incentive for them to use this, rather than request a new laptop.  Avoid doling out new technology just for the sake of it. Many of your employees may not need a company phone to do their work, for example, while others may work fine without extras like headsets or external hard drives.  If one or more of your employees work part-time or flexible hours, investigate whether they could share their equipment on a rotational basis, passing it between them on the days they need it.  Measure office power usage When your teammates do work from the office, there is an opportunity to reduce the amount of power your building uses. Research when your office has the highest capacity, and see if you can reduce the power consumption in off-peak hours.  For example, there should never be a need for your office to have full power on overnight. You can also invest in light sensors and LED bulbs, which are both great ways to reduce the need for constant power usage.  Depending on the size of your organization, you may be able to switch to a greener energy source for the entire office, such as solar or wind power. Talk to your office manager or the leadership team and state your case for why this investment could be worthwhile.  Set up a recycling drive Making an effort to be more environmentally friendly doesn’t have to be a chore. There are plenty of ways to turn your efforts into fun, team-building activities for your team.  Why not organize a recycling drive or a local area clean-up for your employees to mingle and do some volunteer work? You could also organize a clothes swap or a furniture flipping competition to let your workers see how going green can be fun and fashionable.  Getting everyone involved is key to ensuring your eco-efforts go the distance, and it’s a great excuse to get together outside of work.  Offer green incentives If you currently operate a rewards system in your workplace, why not offer more green perks and incentives to your best-performing employees? There are plenty of eco-friendly swag items to choose from, like reusable coffee cups or water bottles, compostable phone cases, or clothing and tote bags made from recycled materials. Go the extra mile and offer these items at your next event or conference, and make your mark as an eco-conscious company.  Find the right software for your team to stay connected While working from home, it’s crucial that your employees have the tools they need to collaborate and be productive so that we can all reap the benefits of less time commuting.  A collaborative work management system like Wrike allows your team to work together from anywhere. With features like real-time proofing and approvals, over 400 app integrations, customizable workflows and views, and robust security features, it’ll be like you never left the office. Find out more with a free two-week trial. 

Why Great Culture is Essential for a Hybrid Workplace
Remote Working 7 min read

Why Great Culture is Essential for a Hybrid Workplace

The hybrid work model is here to stay, folks. The great work-from-home experiment of the past 18 months has been a success; companies realize that employees can be just as productive working from anywhere, and workers are embracing the flexibility of a remote or hybrid workplace.  Some 83% of workers want their company to offer a hybrid work model post-pandemic, and 39% would like the option to work from home up to four days per week. Many hyper-growth companies are listening to employee preferences, with 63% implementing a “productivity anywhere” workforce model and introducing the possibility of a hybrid workplace for employees.  It’s clear that hybrid work is becoming a permanent part of how we work, but what are the potential challenges facing such a model – especially for culture? The hybrid work model can lead to longer working hours, micromanagement, a dissolution of traditional company culture, and opportunities for miscommunication. Thankfully, there’s several ways to avoid these pitfalls and instead come out ahead by building a more productive, streamlined, and positive work culture. Building a positive hybrid workplace Along with the hybrid work model comes a noticeable change in company culture. Businesses are concerned with how they can preserve culture with a semi- or predominantly remote workforce. However, it’s important to keep in mind that culture is much more than just office perks and team-building events.  Looking beyond perks  Culture begins with a company’s unique approach to work. Consider the critical characteristics of your ideal culture and how they can be achieved in a hybrid workplace. For example, providing flexibility to employees and trusting them to complete their work from home will provide an excellent framework for creating a transparent, autonomous company culture.  Free lunches and snacks won’t help employees too stressed or busy to eat it. Helping your employees feel more comfortable about the work they do and the way they do it contributes much more to building a healthy hybrid workplace culture.  Setting employees up for success  A positive culture starts with positive workers, so focus on ensuring employees have everything they need to be productive at work. This includes:  Ensuring employees have the tools and equipment they need to work comfortably at home – including options if the internet or power goes out, as well as funding for new equipment Implementing new training opportunities to allow remote workers to gain the same level of onboarding and upskilling as in-office workers  Making sure remote managers are trained in supervising, managing, and coaching from a distance, along with remote team-building skills Ensuring that your hybrid and work-from-home employees have ample opportunity to engage with management  Employee involvement and work-life balance Changing to a hybrid work model is an excellent opportunity to reassess what constitutes great company culture. Recruitment company Morgan McKinley used surveys during the pandemic to discover what was most important to workers and, based on the results, built a culture that offered a better work-life balance.  To do this, they implemented ideas such as a company-wide 3 p.m. finish on Friday afternoons, cutting hour-long meetings to 45 minutes, and encouraging employees to block out lunchtime each day on their calendar. You’ll notice that all of these new measures provide equal benefits for both in-office and remote employees.  When building your culture, ask employees what’s most important to them and create a company culture that benefits all workers.  Better tools improve hybrid workplace culture  Perhaps the most critical aspect of hybrid work is creating a digital workspace that enables all employees to work together from anywhere. Collaboration is a key cornerstone of hybrid work culture, and it’s a great place to start.  These tools will ensure you are supporting in-house and remote workers to collaborate. Your digital workspace is essential to making sure remote workers don’t feel isolated from their team or that office workers aren’t getting more opportunities. All of this equates to happier employees, less turnover, and more productivity — critical foundations for a solid workplace culture.  Digital tools also support a flexible workplace by allowing employees to work to their own schedules. An emerging trend in hybrid work is asynchronous communication, which enables teams to communicate without the expectation of needing to respond immediately. Team members will have all the information they need to complete a task and complete it in their own time.  Asynchronous communication negates the need to be ‘always on.’ Employees can send questions or provide status updates without everyone being connected 24/7. You can also encourage teams to send daily or weekly updates, so everyone can be transparent in what they’re working on day-to-day.  So, what exactly are the essential tools employees need to foster a better collaborative culture in a hybrid environment? They include:  A comprehensive digital workspace that captures all work so that projects, resources, communications, and status updates are accessible to remote, hybrid, and in-office workers Asynchronous communication tools to combat the ‘always on’ mentality and minimize excess meetings  Security features to ensure the safety of company information and employee data  Companies can also achieve a comprehensive digital workspace without bombarding teams with excess tools that can cause miscommunication and unnecessary complexity. Businesses should focus on two core tools to facilitate the hybrid model and enable a better culture of digital collaboration.  IM communications tools  An IM tool such as Slack or Microsoft Teams allows employees to engage with each other regularly. Channels can be set up for teams and employees with similar interests to ensure all employees feel included.  IM tools allow employees to have instant and direct access to their colleagues no matter where they are working and help support relationship building in a hybrid environment. Streamlined IM communication and coordination can contribute immensely to building a healthier work culture and environment.  CWM platform  A collaborative work management platform is the core component of the complete digital workspace needed to facilitate hybrid work. Teams can track all projects and tasks in one place and gain full visibility over work across teams and departments.  These platforms allow for asynchronous communication, enabling workers to be flexible with when and how they work. They also integrate with other tools, allowing all work data to be brought together and stored in one workspace, minimizing the need to be logged in to several platforms at once. CWM platforms also have built-in security features designed to support hybrid teams to work from anywhere.  Security features It’s critical to ensure that work and information is protected regardless of where employees work. As businesses become increasingly digitized, bad actors will continue to devise new ways to access and potentially take advantage of your unsecured data.  Provide your IT teams with the tools they need to rigidly safeguard your company’s work, perform structured audits on a regular basis, as well as ensure your employees are educated on proper security protocols and practices before they delve into the world of digital collaboration.  It’s time to reimagine the way we work  The way we work has changed for good, making it the perfect time to reevaluate your workforce based on the changing needs and behaviors of your business and employees. For your company to be resilient and provide the best possible workplace culture, you need to reevaluate work through a lens of flexibility.  A collaborative, autonomous culture for workers provides considerably more benefits than the closed, siloed work culture of the past. A compassionate, flexible work environment will increase employee happiness and engagement, and it’s become more important than ever to break down silos in a hybrid workplace to ensure that employees are dedicated to teamwork and collaboration no matter where they are.  For more resources on hybrid work culture, check out:  Return to Work Management Guide: How to Manage a Hybrid Team  Research Uncovers the Technology That Will Power Hybrid Work  An Introduction to Hybrid Team Management  A Guide to Hybrid Remote Working WFH or Hybrid Office? How to Know Which Works Best for You

How to Plan a Virtual Christmas Party for Remote Employees
Remote Working 10 min read

How to Plan a Virtual Christmas Party for Remote Employees

As 2021 draws to a close, many employees are still working remotely across the world. With this in mind, businesses are looking at how they can involve everyone within their organizations in a fun and memorable virtual Christmas party. In this guide, we’ll provide practical insight into the planning and hosting of virtual Christmas parties. Keep reading to discover the tips, tricks, and tools you need to create a successful digital event your team will actually enjoy.  How to get everyone involved in a virtual Christmas party Engaging an audience of remote workers seems challenging at first. They’re already used to virtual events but not necessarily the fun kind. In order to make your virtual Christmas party exciting, you’ll need to follow some best practices for planning virtual events. The three hallmarks of improving engagement at any virtual event are the inclusion of a physical component, an interactive process, and being able to see other attendees.  A physical component of a virtual event can include something sent to an attendee’s address ahead of time that they can use on the day. For a virtual Christmas party, this may be a funny themed hat or a present.  Most companies choose to do virtual gift cards as their Christmas party presents for employees. Instead, make the day more exciting by sending a physical gift to every attendee. Creating a gift box or basket that people can actually open will make your virtual Christmas party that much more memorable.  An interactive process requires audience participation before, during, and after the event. For example, you can spark engagement from the moment you first invite guests by using a virtual registration process that gets them excited about the event.  For large groups or events, registration should be done at least two weeks in advance. And just like at an in-person event, your virtual Christmas party team leads should interact with the confirmed attendees ahead of time through fun event reminders and announcements.  Pro tip: Having a virtual event registration process helps differentiate your virtual Christmas party from other digital office gatherings. It shows that this is more than just a calendar invite for a training session or regular meeting. E-cards such as the festive holiday cocktail party ones from Paperless Post are great for this.  Finally, host your virtual Christmas party on a video call platform and not just on a one-way livestream or audio-only app. Require cameras to be on throughout the event. Create opportunities for guests to use every feature of the event platform.  For example, you can play part games and designate teams by having Team A use the raised hand emoji and Team B use the heart emoji on Zoom. You can also use breakout rooms to create smaller groups for team building activities and Christmas-themed challenges.  Top tips for planning a virtual Christmas party Planning a virtual Christmas party can feel and look a lot like planning a virtual work meeting. Here are some ways to make these two events different yet well organized:  Designate a charismatic host who can keep track of the event timeline and keep everyone engaged.  Use a team collaboration software like Wrike to project manage your virtual Christmas party.  Ask your team what they’d like to see happen at the virtual Christmas party so they can feel involved in the planning process too.  Include team building activities and icebreaker games to kick off the social part of the evening.  Double-check that your host WiFi is strong and guests can hear and see you clearly.  Your party should be scheduled for a Friday night instead of a Saturday afternoon if you want to maximize attendance. If you decide to go all out, make sure to provide alcohol-free transportation or driver services. If you organize a virtual Christmas party during work hours, make certain that your team is prepared to handle the additional workload. Go all out with your background decorations to make the event feel truly special. This can be a physical background filled with a Christmas tree and gifts or a customized virtual background everyone can use that has a festive design.  Virtual Christmas party ideas and games your team won't hate Host a sommelier-led wine or hot cocoa tasting complete with nuts, candies, and cheese.  Participate in a remote escape room experience. The winning team gets a Secret Santa gift.  Have a Christmas cookie decorating competition with management as the judges. This requires some prep ahead of time but will be a visual feast for all attendees.  Dress to a theme and host a contest for the best ugly sweaters, Santas, and other Christmas character outfits.  Bring in classic board games such as bingo, charades, and virtual Apples to Apples. Look for versions with a holiday or Christmas twist.  Invite guest performers to do stand-up comedy, play live music, or even do magic while dressed as Santa.  If children are in attendance, screen a Christmas movie like “A Muppet Christmas Carol”. If it’s adults only, watch something like “Die Hard”.  Host a creative workshop such as cocktail making, scarf knitting, or ornament crafting.  Invite a local school, church, or community group to sing Christmas carols during the event.  Start a Christmas-themed trivia game for prizes.  How do you make a virtual Christmas party inclusive? Although there are various holiday celebrations and festivities that happen throughout the year, they seldom get the same attention that they deserve. An inclusive approach encourages employees to recognize that they come from a variety of faiths, traditions, and cultures. To make your virtual Christmas party more inclusive, leaders should make their employees feel valued by turning it into a virtual office holiday party instead.  Or, if hosting a true Christmas celebration is important to the majority of your team, make sure you’re upfront about it.  Sometimes an employer will announce a regular holiday event that ends up feeling, looking, and sounding a lot like a Christmas party. But according to the experts at the Society for Human Resource Management, it’s much better to be upfront about which holiday or holidays will be represented at your party than mislabeling it for the sake of inclusion.  If you do host a virtual Christmas party, make sure to also acknowledge and give the appropriate time off for other winter holiday celebrations for employees who celebrate those instead.  How to plan a virtual Christmas party with Wrike Wrike is an online task management system that manages to-do lists and multi-department projects, including events like virtual Christmas parties. Its advanced features allow it to efficiently organize groups of people.  To start, it's important that the virtual Christmas party planning team has a centralized folder for each major portion of the event running at the same time. This way, they can easily identify which parts of the plan are complete and which ones are still in progress. Next, each team has its own subfolders, which can be organized into areas of responsibility and major initiatives. This system also keeps all of the important details organized, allowing each team to set its own deadlines and work seamlessly with the other event crew. For virtual Christmas parties, this means keeping track of everything from mailing invitations and gifts to arranging live performers.  After, Wrike users can add a registration folder to their virtual Christmas party project. The registration folder contains all the necessary information related to attendee registration. From there, tasks can be broken down into specific sub-tasks with more detail. For example, if your task is to host a cookie baking contest, your sub-task list may include the item “draft contest rules by December 15”.  In addition to adding dates to tasks and sub-tasks, members of the event management team can add custom tags to each item. This will make tasks easier to find, sort, and assign to the appropriate team members.  Each team can customize their tag options in Wrike to fit their own guidelines for breaking down tasks into action items. For example, teams can designate certain tasks as “Administrative” to automatically sort logistics-based tasks into one skimmable list.  Once you've created a list of tasks, you can start scheduling them in Wrike. Doing so in the timeline view will help organize them nicely and ensure that your announcements, invitations, RSVPs, and party shopping all get done on time.  There are lots of ways to view tasks once you have them created and assigned. Drag-and-drop tasks can be organized in a timeline view. You can also group them into predefined hierarchies.  And if one task is dependent on another (such as waiting for RSVPs to come in before putting together the gift baskets), Wrike allows users to connect tasks and send automated notifications and reminders to the appropriate people when it’s time to move on to the next steps.  Having task dependencies makes it easier to identify which tasks are dependent on which part of your virtual Christmas party plan. Also, it saves you time when you need to update the status of a specific task since Wrike will trigger these reminders for you.  And after your virtual Christmas party is over, you can simply just drag and drop the entire folder into a "Past Events" folder for next year.  Create a templated version of your planning process to streamline future event planning and organizing. Or simply keep a record of the fun everyone had and how you brought it to life.  No matter how you use the information, it’s handy to have on file within your project management system for future reference.  Ready to get your virtual Christmas party organized and on track to be a big hit? Get started today with Wrike’s two-week free trial to take advantage of our detailed task management capabilities.