Mimi Bliss and Vincent Phamvan
The New Remote Workforce
While so many of us are adapting to working remotely because of the coronavirus, Mimi Bliss and Vincent Phamvan tell Lipstick Economy about some of the benefits to remote work, and they offer practical tips for effectively working from home.
What should we know about Mimi and Vincent?
Mimi Bliss is the owner of Bliss Communications, a consulting firm that helps leaders become confident speakers for in-person or virtual meetings and presentations. She also has more than 20 years of experience in journalism and public relations, and she’s worked as a TV reporter, PR spokesperson and producer for the Today Show and NBC Nightly News.
Vincent Phamvan is the founder of Vyten, an online career coaching program that helps ordinary people get incredible jobs. He’s worked in the tech industry since 2012, helping organizations develop new products that create unforgettable customer experiences, and he’s been featured in publications like Forbes and Fast Company.
Why is remote work so popular?
Though coronavirus is forcing many companies to go remote for the first time, virtual work was already growing in popularity before the pandemic, as new technology makes it easier than ever to stay connected while on the go. Working remotely gives employees, particularly women, flexibility in their schedule and their location. It also benefits companies in our increasingly globalized economy, because employers can access a larger talent pool.
What unique problems do remote workers face?
If companies aren’t intentional about finding virtual alternatives to face-to-face communication, they may find that collaboration suffers. People may also struggle with loneliness when working from home, and it can be harder to draw boundaries between work and home life when both are happening in the same place. However, best practices like creating a “virtual water cooler” to encourage casual conversation can help make the transition much smoother.
How do you set up a good workspace in your home?
It’s important to create a dedicated workspace, even if you don’t have a home office. This could be as simple as making the dining room your workspace during the day, while using it for meals at night. Having the right technology is also vital to effective remote work, including collaboration tools like Office365, communication platforms like Slack and Zoom, and most importantly a reliable internet connection.
How do you lead meetings or give successful interviews via video?
First and foremost, it’s important to make sure your appearance and your environment are professional. Keeping your laptop camera at eye level, making sure you have proper lighting, and using headphones can help you communicate more effectively. Mimi recommends wearing makeup if that’s something you would normally do in the workplace, as well as dressing professionally so that your appearance doesn’t detract from your overall message. It’s also important to sit up straight and pay attention to body language. When leading a meeting, you may have to adapt your communication style by intentionally asking questions of specific team members so that they feel comfortable speaking up and don’t talk over each other.
Is remote work here to stay?
Remote work was already a trend in the business world, but this pandemic is only going to accelerate the change that was already happening. As flexibility becomes increasingly important to employees, companies will find that providing remote work opportunities is an essential part of attracting the best talent. Remote work can be especially attractive to women with children or those who want to have children in the future, as the level of flexibility it provides can allow them to spend more time with their kids and not miss important things like doctor’s appointments.
In short, remote work is difficult, but doable, and it can be an extremely positive thing for your company if you’re intentional about doing it in the right way.
Resources and Links:
Mimi’s instructional videos on topics like leading virtual meetings and working remotely