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Many digital freelancers earning U.S. dollars are now receiving substantially less for the same work, as their own nations’ currencies gain strength against the U.S. dollar. The rates that U.S. companies offer to remote workers may no longer compete with their local firms. Read more »

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Are “untemplaters” — contract web workers unfettering themselves from the conventional freelance model — a good skill resource for businesses? To many employers this breed of digital professional might seem flighty and unreliable. Where’s the accountability? Can a project as important as yours rest on their contribution? Read more »

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It’s one thing to work in a team with one or two off-site members. But what about entirely dispersed teams, where none of the members are located in the same office? Team leaders need to consider the interplay of three crucial factors: frequency, transparency, and variability. Read more »

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It makes sense to focus on project briefs and core competencies — after all, these are what gets the job done. But what gets the job done well? Often, it’s team members’ non-core skills and experience that make the collaboration a real success. Read more »

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Are you a poor listener? In the context of distributed teams, “listening” needn’t be restricted to an auditory process — it includes your ability to take in information through all communications channels. Here are some tactics to help develop better listening skills. Read more »

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For innovative teams — those in startups as well as those innovating within established organizations — traditional professional development, or PD, has become an anachronism. Rather than being an after-hours, formal, institutionalized proposition, successful professional development in innovative teams is holistic and always-on. Read more »

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The reality is that truly productive teams tend to be close-knit. There’s a strong sense of rapport between the team members. Let’s face it, in a productive team, it’s the teamwork — willingness to problem-solve together — that often ensures the productivity. And teamwork depends on rapport. Read more »

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Using a team isn’t just a way to get things done faster, it’s also a way to do things better. Gone are the days when innovation was handled by management. Smart businesses know that idea generation happens on the ground. But that innovation takes time. Read more »

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Social media needn’t be an end in itself. It’s one thing to “engage” and “lead thinking”in your social network. But social media really starts having a direct benefit when you can tap into the information it’s providing you and feed it back into your team. Read more »

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An important but often unacknowledged issue surrounding collaborative business is that while companies will focus on choosing tools, prescribing acceptable network policies and measuring ROI, the easiest way to get staff to collaborate is to make it fun. But what makes collaboration fun? Read more »

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Yahoo’s release of Twitter usage presents some interesting pointers for organizations, implying that greater benefits are available to companies using Twitter to actively engage with their own team members: companies that stop seeing Twitter as an outward-focused medium, and customers as a separate audience from staff. Read more »

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Contractors and part-timers can hang on the peripheries of a team’s core if they’re not carefully integrated. It stands to reason that the better you get to know your temporary staff, the more opportunities you’re likely to find for them to contribute to your organization. Read more »

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Until now, many of us have seen the question of branding as two-dimensional: we have a personal brand, or a business brand. But is that all there is? Would it be possible, for example, for us to use personal brands to enhance the business brand? Read more »

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Broadly speaking, people like people. Perhaps that’s why the culture of collaboration has taken such a strong hold in many organizations. Of course, social media and interactions aren’t just catchy marketing concepts; they’re also good news for businesses that want to enthuse and inspire staff. Read more »

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Once upon a time, project briefings took place around a meeting-room table, with everyone involved in the project present. No more. Today’s briefs are frequently given to team members in a virtual space. here are a few ideas for making your next distributed briefing a success. Read more »

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Inducting a new remote team member can be a real challenge — especially as they’ll be working off-site. Your remote recruit’s future performance in your team will depend, in part, on your ability to induct them successfully. There are four key factors to consider. Read more »

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In the era of location-independent employment, praising team members has become a challenge. In an office, many words of praise are given in passing, but those opportunities don’t exist for virtual teams. Here are some ideas for showing your remote team that you appreciate their contributions. Read more »

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The web has provided a hothouse for the blossoming of fad language, jargon and discipline-specific words. How do web workers keep up with the evolution of online language? And how do we avoid sounding out-of-touch in a field where being connected is the most basic requirement? Read more »

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A new study has found that 75 percent of college students prefer print textbooks over electronic versions. For researchers and web workers alike, printed books still provide significant advantages that go far beyond “new book smell” or intelligent margin notes made by a previous owner. Read more »

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I’ve had the chance to speak with a number of online innovators. Every day, step by step, these people have proceeded into the unknown. The web has possibilities for innovation that takes us from the warm shallows into the uncharted depths beyond what we know now. Read more »

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Last weekend, I disconnected from the web completely. Unlike a holiday, though, I still needed to go about my ordinary activities. This experience revealed to me how much I’ve come to rely on the web, and highlighted some unexpected ways it’s changing my lifestyle. Read more »

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I keep meeting web workers who, citing personal preference, fatigue, or lack of time, fail to bother with certain new sites or services. I’ve met web workers this year who thought Twitter was a waste of time, electronic newsletters were dead and blogging was for teenagers. Read more »

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I’ve been working on site one day a week, and I’ve noticed something that differentiates the way I operate compared to my “in-office” colleagues: I see my time differently than they do. And, to be honest, I think it makes me more productive than they are. Read more »

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With a number of web working friends out of work, I’ve had a chance to see the full gamut of reactions to holiday season unemployment over recent weeks. Unemployment is daunting at the best of times, but can be extremely disorienting at this time of year. Read more »

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Undergoing continued health treatment while you’re working full-time remains a challenge — especially for the freelancer or contractor. The good news is that balancing work and ongoing health treatment isn’t impossible. These are a few of the techniques I’ve used to make it easier. Read more »

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I’ve heard mounting complaints about the Google-centric focus of web workers from those using other scheduling tools, but the fact is that the plethora of tools designed to make scheduling easy can actually make it more difficult. Are you guilty of these scheduling faux pas? Read more »

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