How to Thrive at Work...Wherever You Are
COVID-19 brought about a dramatic shift in the way we work—from the time-honored tradition of the office to the shift to the hybrid workplace. A technology strategist, data journalist, and author, ALEXANDRA SAMUEL has spent much of her twenty-five year career as a remote worker. In her new book, Remote Inc., she uses her wealth of personal experience to help us conceptualize a new approach to working in the modern age: balancing our time between home and the office effectively. Samuel’s must-listen talks show us how to thrive, no matter where we are, by tapping into professional habits of remote work veterans.
“Remote work is no longer looking like a blip in the lives of millions of people, but rather a long-term realignment of how those workers and their organizations operate.”— Alexandra Samuel
The landscape of how and where we work is shifting again as some businesses begin the transition back to in-person. While we celebrate the reopening, we know, too, that a hybrid strategy will need to take the place of our old systems. “We now have to grapple with a world in which remote work has become, if not the rule, then certainly no longer the exception,” says Alexandra Samuel. If integrated properly, remote work can offer us increased work-life balance, productivity, engagement, and employee retention. But how do we juggle working both at home and in-office? What can we do to get the most out of our time in each? And how can leaders manage a mix of in-person and remote teams? We’ve been given a prime opportunity to rebalance our approach to collaborative and solo work. Samuel shows us that instead of desperately trying to replicate the benefits of the office at home, it is possible to tap into the many different benefits that come with remote and hybrid work. Things like restructuring our days and weeks around our natural energy cycles, or tackling the deep work that’s hard to squeeze in between meetings and interruptions at the office.
In her new book Remote Inc.: How to Thrive at Work...Wherever You Are, Samuel teams up with productivity guru Robert Pozen to lay out a roadmap for using this unique moment in history to increase our own productivity. The most successful remote employees adopt a “business-of-one” approach, explains Samuel, meaning that they take on the responsibility and accountability of a small business owner. They define their work in terms of goals and deliverables instead of by the eight-hour workday; embrace a rhythm of “punctuated collaboration” that uses structured check-ins to complement solo work; and use the advantages of remote work to deliver even stronger results. Both the book, and Samuel’s eye-opening talks, teach new and long-time remote workers alike how to organize their priorities, communicate effectively, structure online meetings, and maintain a healthy work-life balance in the context of remote work.
A regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, The Harvard Business Review, the CBC, and JSTOR Daily, Samuel is a prolific writer whose articles on remote work, digital productivity, and tech culture have earned extensive media coverage. The author of the Work Smarter with Social Media series for Harvard Business Review Press, Samuel has long experience helping people make effective use of technology to enhance their personal productivity. More than five thousand students have taken her Skillshare class, Work Smarter with Your Inbox, and she was the lead social media expert for the Web Fuelled Business training program, which trained thousands of entrepreneurs across the UK. A featured expert on Google’s Digital Wellbeing site, Samuel speaks to both the personal and business impact of technology in her keynotes and workshops.
Samuel began her career in technology as the research director for the Governance in the Digital Economy program, leading a Toronto-based research program for a global consortium of government leaders from her home office in Vancouver. As the VP Social Media for customer intelligence software company Vision Critical, Samuel led a social media analytics pilot program while working from home so she could homeschool her autistic son. And as the co-founder of Social Signal, Samuel built one of the world’s first social media agencies while working out of her home with her husband and their first hires. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Harvard University, where her dissertation was the first comprehensive study of hacktivism (politically motivated computer hacking). While at Harvard, Samuel researched the impact of technology on social capital for Robert Putnam’s groundbreaking book, Bowling Alone.