Self Help

Remote, Inc. - Robert C. Pozen

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Matheus Puppe

· 48 min read

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• The book promotes a new approach called the Business of One model where remote workers think of themselves like running their own business. This means taking ownership of their productivity and results.

• The Business of One model will be easier for white-collar workers and professionals with autonomy, and harder for junior roles with little control over their tasks.

• The book aims to help readers develop remote work skills like prioritizing goals, focusing on results, ignoring small distractions, and using tools effectively.

• The authors draw on their own experience managing teams and working remotely. They recommend strategies and tactics backed by research.

• Readers can focus on chapters that match their specific needs and challenges, like time management, technology optimization, effective meetings, emailing, and using social media.

• Parts 1 and 2 introduce the Business of One concept and key strategies of goal-setting, focusing on output, and ignoring small stuff. Readers are advised to read these chapters to understand the underlying productivity approach.

• Part 3 covers organizing one’s time, technology and workspace for maximum productivity when remote.

• Parts 4 and 5 provide tactical advice on essential skills like meetings, reading, emailing and using collaboration tools.

Does this cover the main takeaways from the summary? Let me know if you’d like me to expand on or modify any part of this overview.

Here is a summary of the key points in the passage:

  1. The traditional measure of productivity - the eight-hour workday - is outdated for knowledge workers, especially remote workers. It does not accurately reflect the quality of the work produced.

  2. The eight-hour workday originated during the Industrial Revolution to maximize factory output. But it no longer makes sense in the information economy.

  3. Studies show that working longer hours leads to diminishing returns in productivity.

  4. Hours are an easy metric for employers to track employee effort, even if it’s a crude one. Managers also feel more comfortable if employees’ time is accounted for.

  5. Simply tracking employees’ hours and activity does not actually improve productivity; it can lead to burnout.

  6. The passage advocates moving to a new model of accountability that focuses on results rather than hours worked. This would enable remote workers to be more productive and in control of how they spend their time.

In summary, the key message is that the traditional eight-hour workday is an outdated measure of productivity for knowledge workers and remote workers. The passage argues for transitioning to a new model that evaluates employees based on the quality and value of their work, not the number of hours they spend on tasks. This would not only improve productivity but also reduce burnout.

• Thinking like a Business of One means thinking of yourself as your own small business, even though you’re an employee. You are responsible for outcomes, not just hours worked.

• This helps solve problems of accountability, productivity and output measurement in remote work.

• As the “CEO” of your business, you are accountable for achieving objectives set by your boss or clients. This focuses you on outcomes, not hours.

• As the “head of HR”, you organize your time and work in a way that maximizes your own productivity. This may differ from how you worked in the office.

• As the “CMO”, you need to deliver measurable results to protect your reputation. You agree on metrics with your boss to track your progress.

• This approach helps you focus on what matters, build trust with your boss, take control of your time and way of working, and ultimately deliver stronger results.

• Thinking like a Business of One lets you define your workday by completing tasks, not hours spent working.

• Remote productivity is a learned skill, and it tends to improve over time as remote work becomes normalized.

Here is a summary of the key points from the chapter:

• Thinking like a Business of One can help you be more productive and effective when working remotely. But it requires adjustments when working as part of a larger team or organization.

• You face specific challenges that must be addressed to function as a Remote, Inc., including your employment structure, market power, and ability to negotiate autonomy and flexibility.

• Organizing your work around “punctuated collaboration” allows you to strike a balance between teamwork and independence. This means focusing on collaborative work at designated times, and working independently the rest of the time.

• Different strategies are needed for managing bosses (if you’re an employee) versus impressing clients (if self-employed) to gain the freedom and stability that comes from operating autonomously.

• The key is to clarify objectives and success metrics with your manager or client, giving you freedom on the “how and when” of getting work done, like a Business of One. This autonomy enables the productivity gains of remote work.

The essential message is that by thinking and operating like Remote, Inc. - focusing on outcomes, clarity of objectives, and control over process - you can harness the benefits of working remotely even within an organizational context, while still satisfying the needs of managers, clients and teams. The specific challenges you face will depend on factors like your position, negotiating power and work arrangements.

Does this look like an adequate summary of the chapter’s main ideas? Let me know if you need me to expand or modify the summary in any way.

• Irreplaceable employees and rockstar freelancers have a high degree of market power and autonomy to function as a Business of One. They can dictate the terms and conditions under which they work.

• Developing employees and standard freelancers have lower market power and may face constraints in how much autonomy they have when working remotely.

• Developing employees can earn more flexibility by demonstrating strong results from remote work and building skills to increase their market power.

• Even rockstar freelancers and business owners face some constraints due to client needs and team dependencies. The Business of One framework can help structure and maximize their effectiveness.

• Standard freelancers and gig workers, with easily replaceable skills, have the least autonomy and flexibility in how they work remotely. They often function similarly to employees.

In summary, your degree of market power and autonomy to function as a Business of One depends on factors like your skills, experience, role, and employement arrangement. But even those with less market power can adopt strategies to increase their flexibility over time.

  1. As a freelancer or small business owner, you have limited market power and depend on keeping clients happy.

  2. To build market power, you can differentiate your skills, build reputation, and provide excellent client service.

  3. Working as a “Business of One”, you have flexibility but must avoid letting clients treat you like an employee.

  4. To do your best remote work, aim for a balance of structure and flexibility:

  • Work when you’re most productive
  • Collaborate effectively
  • Deliver good results
  • Regularly relax and recharge
  1. Instead of constant meetings, practice “punctuated collaboration”:
  • Distribute tasks and have solo or duo work
  • Schedule check-ins at key points
  • Reserve full meetings for decisions and input needed from the group
  1. As a remote employee, model punctuated collaboration and reflect on its benefits to minimize meetings.

  2. In relationships with managers and clients:

  • The more efficiently you work, the more flexibility you have
  • Set clear goals and expectations
  • Communicate proactively
  • Deliver results that exceed expectations

Hope this summary helps! Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions.

• As you gain experience and demonstrate that you can manage your work independently, your boss will trust you more and give you more flexibility and autonomy. This leads to higher productivity and better outcomes.

• Building trust with your remote boss comes down to setting expectations, communicating effectively, and documenting performance.

• Set clear expectations upfront around success metrics, timelines, schedules, availability, and trade-offs. This lets your boss know what to expect from you.

• Communicate proactively and frequently using the method your boss prefers. Have regular check-ins, update your boss on progress, and let your boss know how they can help you. Overcommunicate potential problems.

• Document your performance and results to demonstrate that you deserve more trust and autonomy. Keep records of your successes, progress, and completed tasks.

In summary, as you earn your boss’s trust through consistency, clear communication, and proven performance, you will gain the flexibility and autonomy you need to maximize your productivity and outcomes. Trust is built over time through transparency, overcommunication, and consistently meeting or exceeding expectations.

Here’s a summary of the key points in the provided text:

  1. The command-and-control model of management is declining, particularly with the rise of remote work. Managers can no longer closely monitor employees and issue orders from an office.

  2. The Business of One model is a results-oriented approach where managers help remote employees harness their autonomy to achieve organizational goals.

  3. Managers should coach their team members as Businesses of One at each stage of a project: planning, execution, and review.

  4. Tools to manage a remote team include establishing ground rules, holding team meetings, conducting one-on-one check-ins, and providing performance reviews.

  5. Helping remote employees thrive by giving them autonomy and flexibility can boost productivity and satisfaction for both the employees and the manager.

In summary, the text advocates for a shift from managing how remote work gets done to managing results and outcomes. Managers are encouraged to coach team members as independent Businesses of One, while using tools like check-ins, meetings, and reviews to ensure goal alignment and accountability. By embracing this new approach, managers and their teams can both benefit from the productivity gains of remote work arrangements.

• The manager’s role is to propose objectives and deadlines for each team member that align with the organization’s overall strategy.

• Instead of issuing directives, the manager should motivate and inspire team members by explaining how their work matters to the larger mission.

• The manager and team should agree on clear metrics to measure success. These should be put in writing with deliverables and timelines.

• The manager’s role at three stages:

  • Resourcing the team: Providing resources, budget, help getting approvals, revising objectives if needed.

  • Supporting the process: Helping resolve issues, conducting midflight reviews but letting team land the plane.

  • Learning from results: Providing feedback and helping team learn from what went wrong to improve.

• Remote management techniques:

  • Establishing ground rules for contact hours, meetings, email, and messaging.

  • Regular team meetings, 1-on-1s, and performance reviews.

• When onboarding remote team members, provide:

  • A digital welcome pack
  • Introduce them to colleagues virtually
  • Check in frequently at first
  • Arrange in-person time if possible

Here is a summary of the provided excerpt:

Weekly team meetings are important for remote teams to stay connected and up to date. The meetings should:

• Be scheduled at the same time each week and use video whenever possible • Start with an icebreaker • Dedicate 10-15 minutes to company updates • Allow each team member to share their upcoming work and get input from others • Leave some time for informal conversation

In addition to weekly meetings, bonding activities like morning coffee video calls or virtual parties can help remote teams connect on a personal level.

One-on-one meetings with direct reports are critical for remote managers. They should be:

• At least weekly, ideally lasting 45-50 minutes • Structured to provide support and guidance • Used to discuss productivity, effectiveness, and collaboration • Kickstarted with 5-10 minutes of personal check-in

Performance reviews for remote workers should happen more frequently, like every quarter. They should:

• Start with specific praise for areas of strong performance • Frame areas for improvement objectively and clarify the impact • Collaborate on an action plan with new objectives and metrics • Clarify how the manager will support the employee

Here’s a summary of the key points in the chapter:

  1. Setting and prioritizing goals is essential for deciding how to spend your time effectively, whether you’re remote or in an office.

  2. You should write down all your different responsibilities and rate each one based on your ultimate goals and priorities.

  3. This process can help you identify ways to reduce time spent on lower priority tasks, freeing up time for your higher priorities.

  4. In the doctor example, prioritizing her goals helped her realize that managing her division and research were her highest priorities.

  5. This allowed her to reduce her operating room time to one day a week and delegate more teaching responsibilities.

  6. These changes freed up her time for administrative work and research, enabling her to publish more papers.

  7. The key takeaway is that by setting priorities based on your goals, you can make better choices about how to spend your limited time as a remote worker. Focusing on what matters most will maximize your productivity and impact.

Does this cover the main points adequately? Let me know if you’d like me to expand or modify the summary in any way.

Here’s a summary of the key points:

  1. Setting goals and priorities when working remotely from home can be challenging due to distractions and lost focus.

  2. You need to prioritize tasks that matter to your boss, professional development, and personal life.

  3. The 3-step process is:

Step 1. Identify all your objectives for your boss, professional growth, and personal life. Clarify success metrics.

Step 2. Prioritize objectives as high, medium or low based on what matters most on a given time horizon. Look for overlap in objectives to maximize efficiency.

Step 3. Link tasks and projects to objectives to determine priorities.

  1. Review how you spend time and fix any mismatches with your priorities.

  2. Examples show how to identify and prioritize objectives based on boss expectations, professional goals, and personal goals. Overlapping objectives are identified to maximize progress.

  3. Lower priority goals may get cut, while some medium priority tasks that are important to your boss may still stay on the list.

  4. Freelancers and business owners also have to prioritize objectives of multiple clients and customers in addition to their own objectives.

The summary distills the key takeaways around establishing goals and priorities when working remotely from home. The 3-step process provides an effective framework, with examples illustrating how it can be applied in practice.

Here’s a summary of the key steps to prioritizing your tasks and projects:

  1. Create a list of objectives for your work and life, ranked by priority. Identify your high, medium, and low priorities.

  2. Link your specific tasks and projects to the objectives they further. Cut any tasks that don’t align with your priorities.

  3. Assess whether assigned tasks actually advance a high priority goal. Negotiate to shift tasks that don’t.

  4. Match your time use to your priorities. Identify where your time currently goes and whether it aligns with your goals.

The goal is to shift your focus and time to the tasks and projects that will have the biggest impact on achieving your high priority objectives. For remote workers especially, misspending time on unimportant tasks can undermine your success and progress.

The key is to identify your most important goals, link tasks to those goals, negotiate to remove non-priority tasks, and then evaluate if your time use actually matches your priorities. That will enable you to reallocate time to the tasks and projects that really matter for achieving what’s most important to you.

Hope this summary helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Here is a summary of the key points about focusing on the final product:

Start by envisioning the end result. What do you want to deliver as the final product? What are the key messages and conclusions you need to convey? Having a clear vision of the final product will guide your entire project.

Conduct midflight reviews periodically. As you do research and analysis, take time to step back and evaluate if your initial conclusions still hold up based on what you’ve learned so far. Revise your conclusions as needed. These midflight reviews are particularly important for remote workers who may lack in-person check-ins.

Test your conclusions before the final product. Run pilots, prototypes or beta tests with your intended audience to ensure your conclusions will actually hold up. Make any needed revisions before finalizing your deliverable.

The researcher example highlights these points well. They started by listing key issues a board of directors may face in a pandemic. That gave them a framework to focus their research and quickly produce a targeted summary with the most relevant findings.

So in your own work, envision the final deliverable first. This end goal will help you focus your efforts and avoid wasted time researching tangents that do not advance your central objectives.

Here is a summary of the key points in the passage:

• Extensive research at the beginning of a project can be inefficient and result in gathering irrelevant information.

• Instead, limit initial research to 1-2 days and then generate tentative conclusions or rebuttable hypotheses to guide further work. These can be revised as you learn more.

• Tentative conclusions provide a focus for information gathering and force you to consider key analytic issues early. This is especially useful for remote work.

• Plan midflight reviews at regular intervals to revise your tentative conclusions based on what you’ve learned so far. This ensures you stay on track.

• Conduct a pilot or beta test of your conclusions before finalizing to see how effective they are and if any small changes could improve them significantly.

• Starting from the end in mind, generating rebuttable hypotheses, and using midflight reviews will lead to better and timelier results compared to unfocused initial research and last-minute synthesis.

The key takeaway is that generating tentative conclusions early, even if they are wrong, helps provide focus, structure and momentum for the project. Regularly reviewing and revising these based on new findings ensures you progress in the right direction and arrive at the best possible conclusions in the end.

Here are the key takeaways from the section on avoiding small stuff:

  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Focus your time and energy on your big, high-priority projects, not the many little tasks and details that can easily distract you.

  2. Overcome procrastination by setting mini-deadlines with rewards, getting started as soon as you sit down to work, and breaking big projects into manageable chunks.

  3. Perfectionism can hold you back from making progress, so aim for good enough and move on. Finishing is better than waiting for perfection.

  4. When handling small tasks from others, try multitasking briefly or applying the OHIO rule - Only Handle It Once. Focus on tasks that require deep concentration during single, uninterrupted blocks of time.

  5. Letting go of small stuff and prioritizing the big picture can significantly improve your productivity, reduce stress and help you make progress toward your goals. But it requires discipline and practice.

In summary, the key is focusing your time and energy on your priorities, not getting distracted by trivial tasks and details. Setting boundaries, overcoming obstacles like procrastination, and slimming down small tasks can help you make the most of your working hours.

Here is a summary of the key points in the provided text:

  1. Procrastination and perfectionism can interfere with productivity by causing people to spend too much time on low-priority “small stuff.”

  2. Perfectionism involves striving for flawlessness and can lead perfectionists to spend too much time on minor details instead of focusing on what’s most important.

  3. To combat perfectionism, try setting hard deadlines, intentionally delivering less-than-perfect work on low priority tasks, prioritizing the high-priority projects you don’t have time for, and imagining the worst possible outcome if your work is less than perfect.

  4. Multitasking can lead to lower quality work and decreased productivity since people really just switch between tasks rather than juggling multiple tasks at once. However, people often multitask by doing less important tasks while engaging in more important ones.

  5. The text recommends using the OHIO method - Only Handle It Once - to avoid wasting time revisiting the same information or task multiple times.

In summary, the key is to avoid getting distracted by “small stuff” and low priority tasks that take you away from your most important goals and priorities. Strategies like setting hard deadlines, prioritizing high value work, and minimizing interruptions and multitasking can help you maximize your productivity.

Here is a summary of the key points in the provided text:

• Multitasking can be effective when performing low-priority parallel tasks that do not require your full attention. For example, monitoring an uninteresting meeting while responding to simple emails.

• Important tasks that demand focus should be done one at a time without interruption. Do not multitask when interacting with customers, bosses, or other important people.

• The OHIO principle means Only Handling It Once. Responding immediately to requests and communications avoids having to revisit them later, saving time and energy.

• Ignoring 50-75% of incoming requests can help you focus on higher priority goals. Have some prepared “no thank you” responses ready for quick declines.

• When you cannot respond immediately, let the requester know when you will get back to them and set a reminder so you actually follow through.

• Katrina’s experience as a freelancer helps her avoid irrelevant rules and bureaucracy in her remote communications job. She focuses on delivering results instead of checking in frequently or engaging in performative “presenteeism.” Setting boundaries upfront has helped her work effectively.

Here are the key points from the summary:

  1. As a remote worker, you need large blocks of uninterrupted time for deep thinking and creative work, not just a packed schedule of meetings.

  2. Keep at least an hour open in the morning and afternoon for dealing with emergencies and unexpected issues. Some jobs require even larger blocks of time.

  3. Rethink how much you work, not just when. You can gain back time spent on unproductive tasks at the office and accomplish more at home.

  4. Make sure to schedule breaks and physical movement to avoid burnout, even if you get more done in less time working remotely.

  5. Having a time management system is key to staying on track and making the most of your schedule. Scheduling your own calendar can be challenging if others control your schedule.

The main takeaway is that as a remote worker, focusing on outcomes rather than strictly adhering to a nine-to-five schedule allows you to make the most of your time and achieve peak productivity. Large blocks of uninterrupted time, flexibility in scheduling, and adequate breaks are essential elements of an effective remote work routine.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The key to effective time management is scheduling blocks of time for your own uninterrupted work, just like you would schedule appointments. These “reservations” allow you to focus on your priorities without interruptions from colleagues.

A good time management system has two components: a weekly review and a daily review.

The weekly review involves looking ahead at your tasks and priorities for the upcoming week. You identify specific tasks to accomplish each goal and schedule time to complete those tasks. The weekly review allows you to plan how to make the most of remote work.

The daily review involves identifying your top tasks for the day, writing goals for each meeting, and assessing your progress from the previous day. Having goals for each meeting prevents you from attending meetings that do not advance your work. A two-sided schedule with meeting goals allows you to remain focused and productive throughout the day.

In summary, scheduling blocks of reserved time and using a weekly and daily review process enables you to focus on what matters most and be strategic with how you spend your time at work.

Here is a summary of the key points regarding having a productive daily routine as a remote worker:

  1. Start each day with a review of your tasks and goals from the previous day. Cross off completed tasks and update priorities based on what has changed. Then identify 3-4 priorities for the day ahead.

  2. Set goals for each meeting on your calendar to stay focused and optimize your time. Consider removing meetings you don’t need to attend.

  3. Establish “keystone habits” like exercising in the morning to set the rhythm for your day. Adopt simple routines for minor decisions to conserve mental energy.

  4. Take regular breaks from work every 75-90 minutes to recharge your focus and productivity.

  5. Make time for proper sleep, nutrition and exercise to support your health and performance as a remote worker. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night, eat meals at regular times with protein and produce, and exercise daily.

  6. Techniques like the Pomodoro method can help with focus if working for 90 minutes straight is too long. Take a break after every 25 minutes of focused work.

Self-care through regular sleep, diet and exercise is essential to sustain your productivity as a remote worker over the long term.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

This chapter discusses the technology essentials for remote workers. It covers infrastructure, time management tools, collaboration tools, and productivity apps.

Infrastructure Essentials:

  • A reliable laptop
  • Noise cancelling headphones with a built-in microphone
  • A webcam cover
  • High-speed internet
  • A mobile phone that can tether for backup
  • A backup plan in case your computer fails

Time Management Dashboard:

The 3 main components are:

  • Task list - What you have to do
  • Calendar - Carves out your time
  • Time tracker - Shows where your time actually went

You should use a digital task manager app and calendar app that integrates with your organization’s systems. When adding events to your calendar, invite all attendees to avoid confusion.

The Tech Deep Dive sections provide extra details and recommendations for people who enjoy tinkering with their tech tools. If you’re happy with your current system, you can skim these sections.

The Tech Deep Dive on calendar apps recommends looking for features like:

  • Videoconferencing integration
  • Availability polling
  • Integration with collaboration tools
  • Custom fields and categories
  • Alerts and notifications

Hope this summary helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The article discusses various productivity software and technology tools that remote workers can use to work efficiently. It mentions the following:

•A good calendar app is essential to organize appointments and meetings. Features like appointment slots, a private notes field, and a daily agenda view can be useful. The article also recommends using a time tracker.

•For document collaboration, file sharing, communication and project management, use whatever tools your team or client uses. You may also build a custom dashboard to suit your specific needs.

•Optional tools that can boost productivity include: a digital notebook, a dedicated email client, and a password manager.

•There are numerous other software tools that remote workers can benefit from, including text editors, mind maps, image editors, integrators, and screen capture tools.

•The article recommends upgrading one part of your tech toolkit every month to continuously improve and stay efficient. Having the ability to learn and integrate new tools is valuable for Business of One remote workers.

•A remote worker, Michael Morgenstern, shares how he uses tools like Miro, Notion, Excel, and LinkedIn to work productively from home and while traveling. He mentions challenges of working from home compared to an office environment.

Here’s a summary of the key points from the chapter:

When working from home, you have freedom to design your workspace however you want. There are two main approaches:

1)One dedicated workspace - Use one room exclusively as your home office. This provides consistency, privacy and quiet.

2)Multiple workspaces - Rotate among different spaces to break up the day. This works best if you need variety or have to share a dedicated workspace.

For a dedicated workspace:

  • Choose a space that is exclusively yours.
  • Focus on creating an environment that fosters productivity, not necessarily replicating a traditional office. -Prioritize storage and organization to reduce visual distractions.
  • Consider decor that reflects your professional goals and values.

When sharing a workspace:

  • Create a defined area just for work, using furniture, trays or containers.
    -Have a plan for “putting away” work at the end of the day.

For multiple workspaces:

  • Make a list of all potential workspaces.
  • Categorize your work tasks based on space needs (privacy, large surface, etc.).
    -Identify which workspaces suit which tasks.
  • If needed, make a work schedule that gives you access to the spaces you need.
  • Revisit your plan periodically as needs change.

Overall, the key is to design your home office in a way that maximizes your productivity and focuses your mind on work, whether that’s through a consistent environment or variety of spaces.

Here is a summary of the text:

The text provides tips and suggestions for optimizing one’s workspace and efficiency when working remotely. Some key points are:

• Coworking spaces can provide valuable support for remote workers, even if working from home primarily. Consider different options like cafes, offices, or even friends’ places. Know what you need - privacy, networking, etc.

• An ergonomic setup, soundproofing, lighting, power outlets are essential for an efficient workspace. So are documents storage and distraction reducers like signs or doors.

• For mobile work, keep things like long charger cables, backup batteries, thumb drives, headphones, snacks, masks, and painkillers in your bag.

• Build separate wardrobes for clothes - one for comfortable work clothes, one for video calls, and one for meetings outside the home. Clothes can impact your mental and professional perceptions.

• Adapting to remote work requires communication and support from managers and colleagues, flexibility, and focusing on important tasks rather than dwelling on suboptimal conditions.

Does this look good? Let me know if you would like me to expand on anything in particular or modify/improve the summary.

Here is a summary of the main points regarding making the most of meetings:

  1. Online meetings can either be the best or worst part of being a remote worker. They can help you stay connected and productive, or drain your energy and productivity.

  2. Many remote workers experience “Zoom fatigue” from too many video meetings. While some companies have policies to limit meetings, it often falls on individual workers to reduce meeting overload.

  3. Effective meetings have 3 stages: before, during, and after. Proper preparation and follow-through is important.

  4. When organizing a meeting, have a clear agenda, limit attendees to those who need to be there, keep meetings under an hour, and provide materials in advance.

  5. When invited to a meeting, don’t just accept. Ask to see the agenda to determine if it’s a good use of your time based on your objectives and other opportunities.

  6. During a meeting, focus on listening actively and contributing constructively. Avoid multitasking.

  7. After a meeting, review any assigned action items and follow up promptly. Document key outcomes and decisions for those who could not attend.

The key takeaway is that remote workers need to be intentional and disciplined about their online meetings in order to make the most of this critical form of team collaboration and communication.

Here’s a summary of the key takeaways:

• Decline meeting invitations tactfully when necessary, citing conflicting priorities or deadlines.

• Prepare in advance for meetings you do attend, reviewing materials and thinking through your potential contributions.

• Consider alternatives to attending a full meeting, like sharing your insights in written form.

• During the meeting, engage participants’ full attention, reward those who contribute, and intervene if necessary to ensure an equitable discussion.

• End meetings clearly by summarizing decisions made and next steps, assigning action items and deadlines.

Replacing time spent in unnecessary or unproductive meetings may require:

• Declining some social interactions with colleagues • Reducing non-work activities during working hours • Prioritizing the most important tasks that would have been displaced • Setting clearer boundaries on work communications outside of meetings

The key is to evaluate meetings critically, attend only those that truly require your valuable time and expertise, and prepare thoroughly for the ones you do participate in to maximize your effectiveness and efficiency. With a disciplined approach, you can minimize the opportunity cost of meetings.

Here is a summary of key points regarding effective online meetings:

• Meet only when necessary. An online meeting is appropriate when you need to discuss critical decisions, negotiations, brainstorming, or team engagement.

• Make meetings shorter. Limit ordinary meetings to under one hour, ideally 20-25 minutes. For longer meetings, break into 2-hour chunks with 15-minute breaks in between. Announce break times clearly.

• Make meetings human. Smaller meetings are more efficient and engaging, reducing “Zoom fatigue.”

• Set clear goals and action items. Share the agenda in advance and summarize decisions and next steps at the end. Assign specific action items to individuals with clear deadlines.

• Limit distractions. Close unnecessary tabs and apps, mute notifications, and turn off video if it’s distracting. Have a “no interruption” sign ready.

• Encourage participation. Call on quiet participants, use the chat box or polls for input, and allow for breaks in between agenda items.

• Establish meeting guidelines. Set norms like muting mics when not speaking, using non-verbal cues to indicate desire to speak, etc.

Those are some of the main strategies to help get the most out of necessary online meetings and overcome the challenges they present. The key is minimizing meetings while maximizing efficiency and engagement when they do happen.

Here is a summary of the key points from the text:

• Keep online meetings small, ideally with fewer than 10 participants, so faces are visible and body language can be tracked. Step back from the screen to see each other’s full body language.

• Prepare for meetings by adding video links to your calendar, installing the needed software beforehand, minimizing distractions, and logging on early to troubleshoot issues.

• While most meetings should be shortened, online meetings also provide advantages like using text chat, muting when not speaking, conducting polls, and using breakout rooms. Maximize these benefits.

• From Beth Kanter: Reorganize frequent meetings into deliverables so people can prep efficiently. Use silent meetings for review before discussion. Experiment with new formats.

• Other key points: • Send agendas and materials in advance • Only accept valuable, useful meeting invites • The leader guides participants’ full attention and encourages contribution
• Participants listen well, acknowledge others, and build on their contributions • Summarize decisions, next steps and responsibilities at the end of meetings • Online meetings impose cognitive load, so keep them as effective as possible

  1. Remote workers need a strategy for reading the right materials to continually learn and grow professionally. They must be deliberate about carving out reading time.

  2. While reading online offers advantages like note-taking and sharing, it can be more taxing and distracting than reading print materials.

  3. To become an effective reader, start by defining your reading purpose: understanding main ideas, finding facts, evaluating proposals, etc.

  4. Use a three-step reading process: first grasp the structure, then read the introduction and conclusion for the big picture, then dive into the full text paragraph by paragraph.

  5. While reading, actively remember key points by taking notes in a digital notebook or summarizing learnings in a tweet.

  6. Online distractions like targeted ads, hyperlinks and notifications can easily pull remote workers away from important work reading. They must resist these distractions to avoid wasting time that could be spent advancing their goals.

Does this cover the main points accurately? Let me know if you would like me to modify or expand the summary.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The key points are:

  1. Follow a three-step process for purposeful reading to be clear on your reading goals and structure of material.

  2. Develop tactics to reduce distractions like using reader mode, ad blockers, do not disturb mode, or a dedicated reading device.

  3. Identify your different reading contexts and match content to the context. There may be work-related text, work-related audio, relaxation audio, and relaxation text.

  4. Set up a “read it later” file using an app like Pocket or Instapaper to organize content you want to read later.

  5. Create a clipping file to save and annotate articles for future reference. Tools like Evernote, Onetab, Coda, and Twitter can be used.

  6. Turn some of your reading into listening by playing podcasts or audiobooks while doing chores or tasks that allow for some multi-tasking.

The overall message is to be intentional about your work-related reading by setting goals, limiting distractions, organizing content, and using different tools and formats based on context and purpose. This can help maximize the value and efficiency of your professional reading.

Here is a summary of the key points in the writing process:

  1. Make a plan: Define your key audiences, goals, and the context in which your writing will be read. This clarifies your thinking and guides the rest of the process.

  2. Outline: Create a topic outline that breaks down your ideas into sections and subsections. This helps organize your arguments and ensure you cover all important points.

  3. Write: Produce a first draft based on your plan and outline. Focus on getting ideas on paper first, leaving revision and polishing for later.

  4. Revise: Edit and refine your draft based on your writing plan and goals. Check facts, organization, flow, style, and tone. Continually compare to your initial plan.

Other tools to consider: Using a writing checklist to ensure you meet basic criteria. Using a mind map to visualize and organize complex ideas before outlining. Using a writing template or fill-in-the-blank outline to structure the document.

Collaborative writing has additional challenges but can be aided by tools like Google Docs, Microsoft Word’s track changes and comment features, and project management software to coordinate contributors.

The key is to develop a regular writing practice, using a process that helps you move from ideas to a finished document that meets your purposes and the needs of your readers.

  1. Outlining helps you write more efficiently by providing a structure and roadmap for your writing. It frees up your mind to focus on the actual writing.

  2. There are different ways to capture your initial ideas for an outline, like using Post-its, mind maps, outlining tools, or spreadsheets. The goal is to get all your ideas down quickly without worrying about structure.

  3. After capturing your ideas, categorize them into themes to organize them. This can involve some refinement of ideas and generation of new ideas.

  4. Organize your categorized ideas into the actual flow and order you want in the document, based on your goals, audience and context. The outline order may require some iteration.

  5. Use the outline as a blueprint to write your first draft. Beyond basic rules like providing a roadmap and conclusion, the style and structure depend on your audience and goals.

  6. Touch typing can significantly boost your writing speed, so consider learning to touch type if you don’t already do so.

The key takeaway is that outlining provides essential structure for efficient writing, while the actual writing focuses on translating your ideas into effective prose for your intended readers. A good amount of your effort should go into planning and outlining to set yourself up for success in the writing.

Here’s a summary of the key points:

• Clarify the goals of the document - is it for internal or external use? To inform or drive a specific decision?

• Determine the audience - are they expert or newcomers? A business or consumer group?

• Structure the document accordingly - be direct and concise for internal audiences, more detailed for external. Focus on solving a problem for external audiences.

• Make revising a key part of the process - set the document aside, make copies, and do multiple rounds of revision.

• For collaborative writing:

  • Clarify roles and contributions upfront
  • Start with a plan or outline and share it early
  • Use Google Docs for real-time collaboration
  • Set expectations for feedback cycles and deadlines
  • Make sure all contributions shape the final document

The key is to make the collaborative input and feedback cycles as efficient as possible when working remotely. Sharing early outlines and plans, dividing tasks by strengths, and using online tools can boost effectiveness.

How was that summary? Did I cover the main points accurately? Let me know if you’d like me to expand or modify any part of it.

  1. Writing well is essential for remote workers since communication often happens through writing. Writing clearly, concisely, and for the intended audience is important.

  2. Start with a plan that specifies goals, audience, and context. Create an outline that organizes your key ideas and information.

  3. Use a structured document with headings, numbered lists, etc. The structure depends on your goals and audience.

  4. Revise and rewrite at least 3 times: once for content/structure, once to tighten, and once for typos.

  5. For document collaboration, ask for specific feedback, use comments and suggestions, and summarize overall feedback in a comment.

  6. Use the right tools for the job like Scrivener and Zotero.

  7. Online communication skills are important for remote workers, including messaging, social media, and presentations. Each new technology changes the way we communicate.

  8. Managing messaging effectively means prioritizing responses, establishing boundaries, and communicating preferences for response times.

The key takeaways are: good planning, outlining, revising, using the right tools, and developing effective online communication skills are essential habits for remote workers to write and communicate well when not in an office. Document collaboration also requires clarity in providing and receiving feedback.

Here is a summary of the key sections from the provided text:

Managing email as a remote worker:

  • You don’t have to answer every email. Decide how much time to dedicate based on priorities.
  • Set time limits for email relative to other types of work.
  • Automate your attention using filters to focus only on important emails.
  • Write emails for action, providing info needed to take next steps.

How to automate attention:

  • Identify types of emails by importance and urgency.
  • Create folders for each email type and set up filters to directly route emails.
  • Set an email routine, e.g. checking your main inbox once an hour at designated times. Only handle emails during that time, not constantly throughout the day.

The example of Sunita, a remote CFO, illustrates the concepts with the specific email types she receives and the folders/filters she sets up. Her email routine dedicates certain times of the day to different email folders to stay on top of important messages efficiently.

The key takeaway is that good email management for remote workers consists of prioritizing email time, automating workflows, and adhering to an email checking schedule instead of being constantly interrupted.

Here is a summary of the key points about overcoming email overload and writing action-oriented emails:

• Limit how often you check email, for example once per hour or only on an scheduled time. Turn off notification sounds and pop-ups so you’re not tempted to respond immediately.

• Set up filters and folders in your email app to organize emails into newsletters, internal vs external, etc. This makes it easier to prioritize what requires an immediate response.

• Unsubscribe from unnecessary email lists to reduce your overall volume.

• Write short, direct emails that focus on the action the recipient needs to take. Use bullet points, bold text, and a clear subject line.

• Use email signatures for common, repeat messages. Reply-all and cc people only when necessary.

• The “universal email” structure is:

  1. Open with the main action items as bullet points, including any deadlines
  2. Provide any additional context or explanation
  3. Use formatting like bold, headings, and bullet points to make the email scan easily.

The key is to write emails that make it easy for your boss or clients to quickly understand what response or action you need from them, so you can move your projects forward without getting bottlenecked by email delays. Writing well-structured, succinct emails will improve your workflow and productivity.

Here is a summary of the key points regarding using team messaging platforms:

• Team messaging should be your default form of communication as a remote worker. It provides an efficient way to share information, track discussions, and set a more sustainable pace than email or video calls.

• Check messages frequently but not constantly. Turn off notifications during focused work periods. Respond within a few hours, not minutes.

• Utilize features like channels, threads, tags, groups, and messages to organize conversations and manage volume.

• Understand how to use the basics like channels, threads, mentions, hashtags, and direct messages. Look for company guidelines to clarify these practices.

• Signal your availability and status to avoid interrupting others.

• Limit @mentions to relevant people. Post public questions when others may benefit from the response.

• Search for answers before asking repetitive questions.

• Remember you have options beyond text-based messages, like audio or video calls.

• Only join channels that provide relevant information. Mute others to manage notifications.

Here are some key definitions regarding social media and social networking:

• Social media refers broadly to online platforms that enable social interaction and the creation and sharing of content. Examples include social networking sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as media sharing sites like YouTube, Flickr, and Instagram.

• Social networking specifically refers to online services and platforms that enable users to connect by creating personal profiles and forming connections with other users. The key functions of social networking involve maintaining connections with preexisting connections and making new connections. Examples of social networking sites include Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.

• Content community platforms enable users to connect through sharing media like photos, videos, blogs, and reviews. Sites like YouTube, Instagram, Flickr, and Reddit fall into this category. They leverage social features like follower counts, likes, and comments, but the primary focus is on sharing content, not on networking per se.

• A personal brand refers to the image and reputation that individuals cultivate online through their social media presence and online persona. Individuals can manage and promote their personal brand through what they share across different social profiles, as well as how they engage and interact with others.

The lines between these categories can blur at times, but these definitions highlight some key distinctions related to an individual’s social media use and online presence. Does this help clarify the terminology regarding social media and social networking? Let me know if you have any other questions.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

• The author defines social media broadly to include any online platform where users generate and share content, like blogs, photo-sharing sites, and social networks.

• Managing your social media attention is essential to staying focused on your goals as a remote worker.

• There are three key principles to organizing your social media attention:

  1. Don’t try to keep up with everything. Focus on what’s relevant to your goals.

  2. Organize your social media use around your priorities and objectives. Create lists on platforms like Twitter and Facebook to follow people who can help you achieve your goals.

  3. Prune contacts ruthlessly. Only follow people who inform and inspire you.

• You can create lists on social networks to organize your attention around your roles and goals. This helps you pay attention to relevant people instead of what the algorithm shows you.

• You should fact check information you see on social media to avoid spreading misinformation.

• Some tips for beating distractions include setting time limits, moving social media apps, using parental controls, and setting guidelines for who you connect with.

• To establish an online presence that reflects your value, you need to define your area of expertise, medium, and tone. Focus on a narrow niche that interests you.

• You can use a combination of platforms to share your voice: an in-depth one like a blog and a social network to promote and discuss your content.

• New colleagues and clients will look at your social media presence to get a sense of your background. Maintaining an active online profile can be useful or essential depending on your field and goals.

• Approach your social media tone and content professionally but also show your personality. Share details to form meaningful connections but avoid oversharing or posting inappropriate content.

• Think of social media as an “awesome business lunch” rather than just a place to promote yourself. Discuss industry topics but also keep it personal.

• Get feedback on your current social media presence to assess if it serves your goals. Look at content that gets the most engagement and compare to a role model.

• Manage social media in 2-3 hours a week using tools like a newsreader and social media dashboard. Build a queue of posts in advance.

• Spend 1 hour reviewing news to find content to share. Post 1 thoughtful piece of original content per week to build thought leadership.

• Scan and engage with your social networks for 10-15 minutes daily by responding to comments, sharing relevant updates, and checking scheduled posts.

The key takeaways are to approach your social media presence professionally but personally, focus more on meaningful connections than strategic self-promotion, and structure your time to efficiently build and maintain an active online profile. Getting feedback and comparing to role models can also help you improve and refine your social media presence.

Here is a summary of the key highlights from the chapter:

When planning a presentation:

  • Understand your audience’s size, composition, and any sensitivities.

  • Determine specific learning goals, ways to shift audience perspectives, and what emotions you want to evoke. Limit to 3 key takeaways.

  • Decide if you need slides, how audience participation will work, and the total time allotted. Get support from someone to run slides and troubleshoot issues.

When preparing a presentation:

  • Structure it in 3 parts: opening, body, and conclusion.

  • The opening should emotionally connect, establish the tone, and tell the audience what’s in it for them.

  • Use stories and examples in the body to bring concepts to life.

  • The conclusion restates key takeaways and leaves the audience inspired.

When delivering a presentation:

  • Speak slowly and project confidence even if you don’t feel it.

  • Maintain eye contact with the camera and pause between ideas.

  • During Q&A, restate and expand on questions to keep the audience engaged.

The key is to focus your presentation on your audience’s needs, tailor your content to their interests, and help them walk away feeling informed, inspired and motivated to act. Keeping that goal in mind will help guide all aspects of planning, preparing and delivering your presentation.

Here is a summary of key points from the passage:

Structure: The presentation should have 3 parts:

  1. The introduction which states the goals and vision.

  2. The body which delivers the key insights and illustrations to anchor the points in audience’s memory.

  3. The conclusion which reflects on what was covered and leaves a final inspiration.

Content: Ask yourself what 1-3 key ideas or insights you want the audience to take away. Find anecdotes, stories and examples to illustrate your points. Use visuals to clarify and amplify your arguments.

Slides: Create slides after you know what you want to say. Use slides to anchor attention, make it easier to follow, and engage the audience emotionally. Avoid excessive text, stereotypes and ugly templates. Use signposts to guide the audience.

Participation: Take questions, do live brainstorming, instant workshops and polls to engage the audience.

Delivery: Practice your presentation to check timing, flow and slides. Recruit a speaking buddy for feedback and support. Print your slides and notes to rehearse marking time checkpoints.

Hope this summary helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.

Here is a summary of the key points regarding delivering an effective presentation:

  1. Plan your presentation based on your audience and format - live, virtual, recorded.

  2. Have clear goals for what you want the audience to learn, think or feel.

  3. Structure your presentation with emotional connection early on and a clear call to action at the end.

  4. Focus on 1-3 key insights or ideas to convey that align with your goals.

  5. Use point-form notes printed on paper with time cues to stay on track.

  6. Use slides to anchor attention but avoid too much text.

  7. Include audience participation like pauses for questions to maintain engagement.

  8. Rehearse your talk and tech setup to work out timing and connection issues.

  9. Leverage social media after to share insights and get feedback from audience.

  10. Acknowledge your hosts, thank your audience and share relevant resources to conclude gracefully.

The key is planning properly based on goals, structure and the audience, focusing on the most important ideas, using notes and slides effectively, keeping the audience engaged, preparing thoroughly and following through after the presentation. Graceful transitions and follow-up are also important parts of an effective presentation.

Here is a summary of the key points from Part VI:

  1. The Goldilocks plan - combining remote and on-site work - will likely become the dominant workplace model in the future. It offers the benefits of both office collaboration and remote concentration.

  2. Most people want some amount of remote work, but how much varies widely. Around 75% want to work remotely at least part-time.

  3. Only around 56% of jobs can be done remotely, at least partially. Remote work options are not equally available to all workers.

  4. To design your own Goldilocks plan, think about which tasks benefit from being in the office versus being remote. Office time is good for collaboration, while remote time helps concentration.

  5. Your ideal balance of remote and on-site work will depend on your role, goals, projects, and personal situation, and will likely need to be reevaluated periodically.

  6. Assessing the specific advantages of working in the office versus remotely can help you determine the right combination for you and your employer. The authors provide lists of common pros and cons for each.

Here is a summary of the key points in the provided text:

  1. Collaboration is easier and more effective when done in person at the office. So spend more time there if your work involves a lot of collaboration.

  2. Access to specialized equipment and infrastructure requires you to be at the office whenever you need to use that equipment.

  3. Expert advice and support from colleagues is often easier or more effective when done in person.

  4. Initial meetings with clients or new projects work better in person to establish relationships.

  5. Periodic face-to-face check-ins throughout a project strengthen relationships.

  6. Regular in-person one-on-one meetings with your boss and team are important.

  7. Coming into the office helps you absorb and understand the company culture.

  8. Working remotely can cut you out of the loop on updates and priorities.

  9. Social connection with colleagues reduces isolation when working from home.

  10. Coming into the office can jump-start projects and boost your energy.

The text also provides advice on negotiating a remote work schedule with your manager and planning your own Goldilocks schedule to optimize value from in-office and remote time. Key considerations include synchronizing with your team, bonding during new projects, managing optics, offsetting commute time, and adjusting schedules cyclically.

Here is a summary of the provided text:

The Goldilocks plan allows for a balance between working at home and in the office. Most workers want at least some remote work but not all jobs are suited for it.

To develop your own Goldilocks plan, consider whether your most important goals are better achieved in the office or working remotely.

Working at the office provides benefits like better collaboration, building relationships with your boss and coworkers, and staying on top of the latest developments.

Working remotely provides benefits like allowing for better focus and concentration, more flexibility in scheduling, and the ability to work from different locations.

Finding the right balance depends on factors like your personality, personal values, and life stage. What works for you may change over time as your needs and priorities shift. A hybrid model that combines remote and in-person work may be ideal for many workers.

The key is to develop a long-term vision for balancing office and remote work that helps you optimize your career and life. Your Goldilocks plan can evolve over time to give you the balance of home and office work that truly fulfills you.

  1. The frequency and timing of your office hours should be shaped by the needs of your boss, colleagues, and goals.

  2. Coworking spaces and buddies can help freelancers get the benefits of routine and consistency.

  3. Consider your personality and values in determining the ideal balance of remote and office work, recognizing that this will change over time.

  4. Adopting the “Business of One” mindset focuses on results instead of hours worked.

  5. Productivity strategies like prioritizing goals, focusing on the end product, and eliminating distractions can boost efficiency.

  6. Remote work skills like improved communication and meeting participation translate to better performance overall.

  7. You can expect to see more productivity and satisfaction from working remotely. This can be measured using metrics set with your employer.

  8. Employers also benefit from a more autonomous “Business of One” model through higher engagement, retention, and cost savings. They value results over hours worked.

  9. Organizations should evolve their management model to accommodate remote employees by focusing on objectives and success metrics.

  10. Managers can pilot changes with their own teams first to prove the benefits of the “Remote Inc.” model to the wider organization.

Does this cover the key points adequately? Let me know if you need me to expand on or modify any part of the summary.

Here is a summary of the key points regarding frequent performance reviews in a remote work environment:

•Stop hourly monitoring. Managers should reduce or stop frequently monitoring employees through video calls or timesheets. This micromanagement is unnecessary with proper metrics in place to track success.

• Enable alternate schedules. Invite employees to propose alternative schedules that offer them the flexibility to collaborate with clients and manage personal obligations.

• Adopt a hybrid model. Move towards a model where employees choose how many days to work in the office versus remotely, subject to team needs. This “Goldilocks” approach gives workers more autonomy.

• Focus on results, not activity. Performance reviews should center on whether employees achieved objectives and key results, rather than how many hours they worked. Results-based evaluations encourage autonomy and productivity.

In summary, the key is shifting from closely monitoring activity and time spent working, to trusting employees and evaluating them based on the results and outputs they produce. This requires ceding some control to give workers more flexibility and autonomy, which can improve productivity and satisfaction for knowledge workers. Frequent reviews should then center on discussing goals, outputs and outcomes, rather than time spent working.

Here is a summary of the key points regarding disagreement about work schedules and productivity from remote work:

The statements show that the speaker feels a lack of control over their work schedule and duties, indicating disagreement. They do not feel like they have a say in when and how they work.

To measure productivity in remote versus office work, survey respondents were asked if they were more productive working from home, equally productive at home and in the office, or more productive in the office. Those who said they were more productive in one location were further asked if they were somewhat or much more productive in that location.

To gauge satisfaction with remote work arrangements, respondents were given options of preferring to work from home all the time, in the office all the time, or in a hybrid model of partly remote and partly in the office.

In summary, the key themes are:

  1. The speaker feels a lack of control over their work schedule and duties, indicating disagreement with the current work arrangement.

  2. Productivity was measured by asking respondents if they were more productive remotely, in the office, or equally productive in both locations.

  3. Satisfaction with remote work was gauged by asking respondents what work arrangement they prefer.

Does this cover the main points regarding disagreement about work schedules, productivity and satisfaction with remote work? Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions.

Here is a summary of the article “Why Does Zoom Exhaust You? Science Has an Answer” :

  1. Videoconferencing can be taxing due to “Zoom fatigue”.

  2. There are multiple reasons for Zoom fatigue:

  • Unintentional excessive eye contact. Video chats require intense gaze that is not normal in in-person interactions. This can be draining.

  • Limited motions and facial expressions. On video, gestures and nonverbal cues are reduced which increases cognitive load.

  • Seeing yourself during a call is distracting and consumes mental resources.

  • Video delays make turn-taking difficult and unnatural in conversations.

  1. Experts recommend reducing video time, turning off your video self-view, limiting distracting backgrounds, and taking more breaks.

  2. Minor actions like fidgeting, doodling, and changing facial expressions can help during long video calls.

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