About the talk
Speaker: Laurel Farrer, CEO, Distribute Consulting
The rise of remote is only 1% finished. We have 99% that still needs to be done. Each and every one of us is going to have to work harder than before to ensure we move towards a world that doesn’t only focus on higher output and productivity, but prioritizes wellbeing, greater access to resources, and diversity, equity and inclusion, so we can all realize the true benefits of remote. We’re just getting started.
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As the Founder and CEO of Distribute, a virtual organizational development think tank and consulting firm, Laurel Farrer is an internationally-renowned thought leader on the topic of remote work. For the past 15 years, she has been unlocking the power of distributed workforces to create impact in corporate and socioeconomic infrastructures. She and her team of fellow experts collaborate with the world's leading businesses and governments on three primary topics: how to convert business operations from physical to virtual, how to build products and content for the remote work market, and how to leverage the workplace flexibility to solve global concerns. In addition to being a regular Forbes contributor, Laurel’s subject matter expertise has also been showcased by brands like Zoom, VMware, Gallup, Logitech, BBC, New York Times, Office Depot, and Fast Company, and Upwork.View the profile
Rounding out. Our day is Laurel far the CEO and founder of distribute Consulting. Laurel is a beacon in the world of remote at scale. Guiding leaders and organizations to engaging more thoughtfully. Collaborating more effectively and hiring more inclusive. Lee. What is the? So what angle that Laurel takes? You heard from all of these organizations and you've seen what they're doing, but how do you apply these to your own day? Today? Laurel will show us what's next, as well, as how to activate on
all that. We've discussed. Hello everyone. I hope that you have enjoyed this conference as much as I have. It's been a very surreal experience for me because it seems like, just yesterday. We were this very small, But Mighty tribe of remote work, Advocates that was banding together to try. And now we are at the Berkeley flexibilities, The New Normal. And we have four heard businesses and seen every industry, and every market and every continent not only understand the benefits of remote work, but experienced them firsthand, you know, when I started distribute in
2017, I named it what I did because I wanted to distribute opportunity as sustainability, and accessibility, by continually leading and expanding remote work Industries. I had the dream Rescuing communities from declining economies and and helping disadvantaged individuals, find sustainable employment by equipping other. Operational Executives to understand this Mantra of our community of, you know, who work is something that we do not somewhere that we do then at that time. It felt a bit
to get the pipe dreams, but that's exactly what has been happening for the past few years. We even learn from Kate and iconic figure in history that the majority of Workforce has an urban Hub. Will permanently have access to workplace flexibility in just a few years of work forces. That is a mind-blowing statistic that frankly none of us really expected to see in our generation, come to 4. So this in a lot of ways, it seems like the moment that we've all been waiting for that. We are ready to celebrate and say, here we are, we have
the world recognizes and has embraced remote work. But my friends, it is not quite time to rest on our Laurels. Just yet. As we all know, hybrid teams are the most common model that is being embraced right now and it is the most popular. And frankly, the most economically responsible choice for the majority of businesses out there. But we also know that from historical case studies and research that hybrid is the most high-risk and high-reward model that exists in the world. Remote work. The complexity of balancing employee experience between on site and What
time or on-site workers and off site workers is a challenge to say the least. And we've even seen that in emerging surveys and reports that they all contradict one. Another. After going remote, one company is absolutely thriving and another is completely diving. So, we know that successfully managing a distributed team is not instinctual. It's intentional. And we within this remote work, Community, know, the secret X factors that are required to make it work. We know how to build these practices
and how to implement these principles. We know about the success of location the relevancy because it's based on people. This is like Sid talked about in his opening keynote, right? That's the more that we focus on the objectives of trust and a ton of me and connection and communication. The more that we can Thrive regardless of our workplace location, this is either just principles that we've needed in the business world for years. In 2019, when we were having these conversations as a remote work Community. We were just getting to the point
of having those conversations together and helping to share information and resources with each other. So we did not have time to build the foundation of education and awareness that the entire world would need in order to understand these principles and practices in 2020. So that's exactly why the theme of the entire conference is what it is remote at scale because employers like it lab and think-tanks like distribute have been working feverishly along with all of the speakers that you've heard in the vendors that you've seen. We have been working as hard as we possibly
can, and that is not an exaggeration, the past. There has been incredible. As we have worked to meet the demand for resources, like this, to help people understand how to successfully adopt remote work. As it's still not enough and it never will be if we continue to only work as Brands and individuals. So before the pandemic we came together as a community to strengthen our voices Advocates and that is how we were heard enough to be able to help the world a little bit in 2020. So that's exactly what we need to do. Again. We need to
come together as a community, to help resolve the incredible challenges of remote at scale. Because it's not all sunshine and rainbows. We haven't cracked the nut. Our work is not. There are still problems to solve problems like preventing discrimination between blue-collar workers and white-collar workers as those who have accessibility flexibility. And those who don't problems like the effect of International, payroll structures on global economies problems, like, writing and passing laws and our government that
will help protect both employers and employees. In a variety of workplaces. There is so much more work to do. So we need you, we need your ideas. We need your passion. We need your sacrifice to help us, make remote work. Not only adopted sustainable at scale throughout the world. So starting today, what are three ways that you can help us in this industry. Build our future of remote work for the first is that you can help collaborate. Look, I know that there is a lot of opportunity out there for companies that are
selling and marketing for remote work. We're building products for remote work. We are reading content for remote work. And I know that it is just SEO heaven, right? I get it. I understand. However, greed is not going to help our community Thrive. We really need to prevent our industry from self-destructing by looking for opportunities to be inclusive for each other and for newcomers to our community. So please stop making terms for yourself to help dried your stake into the ground and say this is how we do.
This is how we do and we're going to build a product. There's enough work for all of us and it is going to take a visit to make the successful and I promised a rising tide really will raise All Ships now more than ever. So, please look for ways to collaborate instead of compete in order to strengthen our community. The second way that you can help build. The future of our work is similar to the first. We need to care about choice. So not just within the other vendors in our community, but specifically
for employers hire world, seems to be polarized right now on just about everything in the world that doesn't some people like being nomadic and some people want to be one hundred percent virtual and others movie hybrid, like everybody has their camp and I understand that. But if we are Truly Advocates. The worst thing that we can do is to pick sized. We need to support choice because guess what? That's what all this is about. It's about giving employers the ability to give their employees to trust and
autonomy to work in the way that is best for them. So we need to extend that same trust and freedom and autonomy to the employer's themselves to work in a way to adopt a remote work for them. So we need to stop this language of how we do remote. Work is the right way and the only way because it's not every company has their right way and we need to be able to give them the opportunity to choose instead of conform. So, please listen with empathy when somebody gives you there. Can you make
their opinion and it might be the best for them and it may not be the best for you? And that's okay. Let's Embrace Innovation them last but not least, speaking of innovation the third way that you can contribute to the future of our industry is to literally contribute. We are dangerously. He handed as a community and as an industry when it comes to resources and research and case studies, we can't manage what can't be measured, right? The classic idiom is very, very true in this circumstance as well. So we need more measurements. We need more metrics. Do you need more? If you have
any data or stories or funding, that can help us really build the future of understanding these patterns and best practices and behavior? We can use them. Please talk to me. Talk to a leadership member of get loud as quickly as possible. If you have something to contribute to this future promote work. We will take it with open arms. We have so much catching up to do and it will take everything that you have to give and we will generously, and gratefully, accept your sacrifices. So ladies and gentlemen,
our work as remote work, advocates. It's not over as innovators. We are just getting started. So, please raise your hand offer to help in the ways that you can because it is going to take each and every single one of us speakers, attendees sponsors vendors. Even your dog that probably hurt. In the middle of this conference is going to take all of us working together to help remote work Thrive at scale. And remember, our new goal is not to get the world to do what we have been doing for all of this time, but to build on that history to invite new members to our community,
to Pioneer a whole new future of workplace. Flexibility and virtual organizational development. I don't know about you, but I have had the hardest year and I am feeling absolutely burned out from To create awareness and advocate for this entire platform that I feel so, so passionately about. But I am just getting started. I think you are too. So, will you please join me and together we can help the world adopt remote at scale.
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