Book Review | Work together anywhere

I’ve been working remotely for quite a while now which was the main reason for reading Lisette Sutherland and K. Janene-Nelson’s book “Working together anywhere”. I was interested to find helpful tips and tricks which I can introduce into my daily work. Guess what… there were plenty of new things and things which I needed to be reminded of.

The book

Initially it describes some general topics which need to be addressed related to remote work. She offers chapters from an employee/freelance point of view but also from a management point of view. Every chapter provides additional help with checklists, tools or action plans. Relating to the quotes and insights from (really!) a lot of people, I only can imagine the huge effort. It definitely was worth the while! 🙂

Work together anywhere by Lisette Sutherland and K. Janene-Nelson (Photo credit: Lisette Sutherland, K. Janene-Nelson)

The author

Lisette Sutherland is the director of Collaboration Superpowers and helps people to work together from anywhere. She speaks, writes and provides her knowledge also in webinars, workshops, podcasts and newsletters. Aditionally she works with Happy Melly, a network which is dedicated to helping people be happier at work.

Lisette Sutherland (photo credit: Lisette Sutherland)

My personal takeaways

Use your webcam!

I do video conferencing via gotomeeting, zoom or skype but I’ve to admit that in the past I very often switched the camera off. This book reminded me that it is very important to see each other in order to build camaraderie. Now the camera gets on the minute I dial in and it is actually kind of fun 🙂

Work out loud!

Knowledge workers don’t actually see the work they’ve done. In the office you talk with your colleagues about what is going on but as a remote worker this can be a very tricky. Lisette suggests to “work out loud”, which means to agree with your colleagues on how to track the progress of each team member’s work. This helps that everyone is aware of what is going on which is also very helpful to reduce redundant work.

It’s all about trust…

A lot of companies still don’t offer their employees to work remotely. From my point of view it is a matter of trust – which can be supported by “work out loud” – and clear working agreements.

To build trust, be transparent and be personal.

Future advantages

Knowledge workers are often difficult to find (which is one reason why e.g. a lot of software developing companies started to near-shore or off-shore).

The right person is what matters first, regardless of where they are.

I strongly believe that in the future it is a huge benefit for every company to open the policies towards remote work. Simply to stay competitive in a highly competitive environment.

Companies that can support remote working will outperform companies that don’t.

Coffee machine talk

I’ve never done that before, but yes, there are even coffee machine talks possible for remote workers. No, this is no waste of time, this helps to become a team 🙂

Do your homework!

As soon as one person of a team works remote, the process needs to be designed properly. My gut feeling always told me that not remote work was the problem when things didn’t go the way they were supposed to do. This book confirmed my feeling and helped me to understand more clearly:

Working remotely makes structural problems very visible in an organisation. If you lack vision, communication, team building, etc., this will be a real issue when working remotely. You could blame working distributed, but in most cases this is the result of a deeper problem.

Tools, tools, tools

I love the chapter “Technology & Tools” with a brilliant overview of very helpful tools which I will explore during the next couple of months in detail 🙂

Do you need to read this book?

Yes! Due to the fact that “Working together anywhere” addresses different points of view, this book is a must read for every employee, freelancer and manager.

You’re interested? Find my Affiliate-Link below:

Last but not least, I recommend to watch the video of Lisette’s TEDx talk on this topic: