‘New Rules’ offers tips for virtual workers

“New Rules for Today’s Workplace: Strategies for Success in the Virtual World” (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), by Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts

“When you’re through changing, you’re through.” This opening quote from Bruce Fairchild Barton, an author and advertising executive, sets the stage for Sheryl Lindsell-Roberts’ latest book, “New Rules for Today’s Workplace: Strategies for Success in the Virtual World.” It says to virtual workers and managers — or for those who want to be them — get up to speed, or get left in the dust.

For readers not already using sites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, the book offers a guide for experimenting and implementing a strategy that works for them. Because, face it, these communication methods are essential in today’s technology-dependent workplace.

Tips from the chapter Build the Buzz With Social Networking and Social Media will get the newbie off to a good start. And social networks are just the beginning, Lindsell-Roberts writes. Virtual meetings and conferences are becoming more commonplace among cash-strapped and budget-conscious businesses.

While the tech-savvy reader may find the author’s advice on using social networking sites and text messaging to be basic and common sense, the same reader will find value in tips on how to create better harmony among workers. Do you have a multigenerational staff? Do your workers live in five different time zones? The chapters on Bridging the Multigenerational Divide and Synergy Across Cultures identify several valuable hints.

And because we cannot survive entirely online, Lindsell-Roberts also offers tips on improving face-to-face interactions and interpersonal communication.

How do the pros do it? Read, in their own words, how executives from TiVo, OneBeacon Insurance Group, Biomatters Ltd., Brown Brothers Harriman and Pegasystems successfully manage their remote workers.

What if you’re the one being managed? Learn what it takes to be a virtual worker, for better and for worse. You don’t have to be a tech nerd to make working virtually a reality, but remember, depending on the arrangement, you do become your own IT support.

“New Rules for Today’s Workplace” is a great first step for those thinking of going virtual. It’s also great for those who know their colleagues more readily by their IM handle than their given name.

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