New Rules for Today’s Workplace: Strategies for Success in the Virtual World

In her newest book, communications expert Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts delivers timely advice for anyone in business – owners, managers, employees – on surviving and succeeding in today’s technology-dependent workplace.  She focuses on the trend toward a virtual workplace and emphasizes that excellent communication skills are more essential than ever to keep up with the pace of an ever-accelerating flow of information between workers,  managers, and consumers.

The author points out that in today’s global marketplace, most companies employ a diverse workforce, and she writes about the challenges of diversity, including the interactivity of multiple generations. She also addresses what is common to all generations and genders, and I find that particularly refreshing. Every worker needs:

  • Trust and respect
  • Dynamic technology and adequate training
  • Opportunity to learn and grow
  • Recognition and appreciation
  • A balance between work and “life”

She also offers tips for conducting virtual meetings or webinars. Large companies report saving as much as 50-80% on travel budgets by incorporating virtual meetings into their operations. Other advantages are

  • Minimizing schedule disruptions of participants
  • Gaining skills from people who can’t travel or relocate
  • Greater participation
  • Saving money and increasing productivity

Another important chapter is on Managing a Virtual Workforce.  As the author points out, working virtually is here to stay.  As commuting times grow, gas prices rise, and technology becomes faster and more reliable, more companies will realize the benefits of having employees in a virtual workplace.  The trick is to establish trust, communication, and a balance between autonomy and accountability.

Each chapter contains strategies. Readers will learn how to prepare effective webinars, use Twitter as a job-search tool, format an electronic résumé so it gets noticed, and much more.  Overall, it’s a pretty good guide to the virtual workplace and how to thrive in it.