Remote work is not new — domestic and global companies have had virtual work arrangements for nearly 30 years. However, the rapid and unprecedented changes brought on by COVID-19 have accelerated these transitions, requiring the wholesale migration of nearly entire companies to remote work in a matter of weeks, and leaving managers and employees scrambling to adjust. On one hand, companies have had a glimpse into the opportunities that remote work can afford them, such as nonexistent commute times, lower operational costs, and a larger pool of global job applicants. Many are planning to permanently incorporate remote days into their long-term routines, or even give their employees the option to work from home full-time. On the other, these circumstances have brought to light many challenges that are inherent with virtual arrangements: employees feel lost, isolated, and out of sync and out of sight. People are looking for insights; they want to know how to keep their teams motivated, what digital tools they’ll need, how to keep track of employee productivity, how to maintain connections without face-to-face interactions, and how to combat the draining feelings of tech exhaustion. Based on nearly two decades of experience working with virtual and global teams, Neeley provides evidence-based answers to the most pressing questions about how teams can feel more connected and be well-prepared to deliver optimal results.
Tsedal Neeley (@tsedal) is the Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. Her work focuses on how leaders can scale their organizations by developing and implementing global and digital strategies. She regularly advises top leaders who are embarking on virtual work and large scale-change that involves global expansion, digital transformation, and becoming more agile.
Tsedal heads and teaches in the first-year required Leadership and Organizational Behavior course in the MBA program that focuses on how to lead effectively; the curriculum addresses group behavior and performance, organization design, change and how to align people behind a common vision. With Bill George and Krishna Palepu she co-chairs the executive offering, Leading Global Businesses, which helps top leaders develop emerging and mature market strategies in a global and increasingly digital economy. She also teaches extensively in executive programs such as Harvard Business Analytics Program. Tsedal is a recipient of the prestigious Charles M. Williams Award for Outstanding Teaching in Executive Education and the Greenhill Award for outstanding contributions to Harvard Business School. She serves on the Board of Directors of Brightcove, Brown Capital Management, Harvard Business Publishing and the Partnership Inc.
Her book, Remote Work Revolution: Succeeding from Anywhere (2021, Harper Collins Business), provides remote workers and leaders with the best practices necessary to perform at the highest levels in their organizations. Her award-winning book, The Language of Global Success: How a Common Tongue Transforms Multinational Organizations chronicles the behind-the-scenes globalization process of a company over the course of five years. She has also published extensively in leading scholarly and practitioner-oriented outlets such as Academy of Management Journal, Organization Science, Management Science, Journal of International Business, Strategic Management Journal and Harvard Business Review, and her work has been widely covered in media outlets such as BBC, CNN, Financial Times, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, and the Economist. Her HBS case, Managing a Global Team: Greg James at Sun Microsystems, is one of the most used cases worldwide on the subject of virtual work.
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