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Meet Lavinia Iosub, Founder of Livit & Future of Work Advocate:
Lavinia Iosub, Founder of Livit and Future of Work Advocate, brings extensive experience from living in eight countries across four continents. With a mindset shaped by diverse environments, Lavinia emphasizes the importance of humility and self-reflection in building distributed teams. Through Livit, she has successfully united teams and clients from 15 to 30 countries, championing diversity and inclusion. Her podcast delves into these topics, offering valuable insights for the future of work in a connected world.
Watch Now: — Navigating Global Hiring: Expert Advice from Lavinia Iosub of Livit Hub
Quick Read: Lavinia Iosub, Founder of Livit & Future of Work Advocate, Interview Highlights
How did working and living in over 40 countries impact the way you built these distributed teams?
Lavinia emphasizes the importance of developing a beginner’s mindset and humility when working with distributed teams. She believes that understanding and appreciating different cultures is crucial for success in a borderless world. Lavinia highlights the need for open-mindedness, the ability to navigate cultural differences, and the practice of forgiveness when inevitable miscommunications occur. She stresses the significance of clear and concise communication, both verbally and in writing, as well as the continuous pursuit of learning, unlearning, and relearning.
“Living abroad and being immersed in different environments offers you a beginner’s mindset, humility that we’re perhaps not even aware of all our biases.”
Can you provide more information about the companies you’re currently involved with, such as Remote Skills Academy and Livit?
Livit encompasses various initiatives. One of these is Livit Hub Bali, an innovation and co-working space that fosters productivity, community, and support for startups. The hub provides business support services, particularly in people and talent management, helping startups hire the right teams and establish sustainable processes. Lavinia also founded the Remote Skills Academy, an educational platform that empowers individuals, especially those who don’t consider themselves tech-savvy, to learn and succeed in remote work. The academy has seen substantial growth, with nearly 1,500 alumni.
What are the essential qualities and skill sets for individuals to thrive in a remote work environment, based on your experience in assisting entrepreneurs and remote workers?
Lavinia identifies three crucial qualities for success in remote-first work environments. First, the ability to self-manage and be autonomous, taking responsibility for one’s work and actions. Second, clear and concise verbal and written communication skills are essential for effective remote collaboration. Finally, the willingness to learn, unlearn, and relearn continuously, as the future of work requires adapting to new skills and knowledge.
“The ability to self-manage, be autonomous, and self-drive is probably the most important thing when it comes to being an entrepreneurial remote team member. It’s agency, this feeling that you are the one deciding, creating.”
How do you address culture gaps in remote work settings? Could you share some strategies or best practices from your experience, particularly at Remote Skills Academy?
Lavinia highlights the significance of culture in shaping how individuals express themselves and collaborate. She recommends embracing personal development efforts to understand cultural differences and foster awareness within remote teams. Lavinia suggests using resources like Hofstede’s cultural dimensions model and workshops based on “The Culture Map” concepts to facilitate self-discovery and awareness of cultural influences. Furthermore, she emphasizes the importance of comprehensive documentation and a single source of truth within remote teams, ensuring smooth collaboration and minimizing misunderstandings.
“Culture is definitely a huge part of who we are and how we work, how we express ourselves, how we show up in the world. We’re not even aware of our culture until we intentionally try to find out.”
How do you identify candidates who are committed to remote work and likely to succeed in a distributed team environment?
Lavinia acknowledged that there isn’t a definitive answer to this question. However, she emphasized the importance of certain qualities and skill sets that are conducive to high-performance remote work. These include the ability to self-manage, express oneself clearly and directly, continuously learn and adapt to new challenges. Lavinia shared:
“The ability to self-manage, express oneself clearly and directly, and continuously learn and adapt are key qualities I look for in candidates.”
She further explained that understanding the reasons behind a candidate’s preference for remote work is crucial. Personal motivations such as the need to care for a family member, living in a specific location, or a preference for an independent work environment can indicate a strong commitment to remote work.
Lavinia also highlighted the significance of assessing a candidate’s track record and experience working remotely. For candidates with prior remote work experience, case studies and discussions during interviews can provide insights into their problem-solving abilities, autonomy, and adaptability.
Additionally, Lavinia cautioned against solely relying on interviews as some individuals may excel at interviewing but struggle with actual work execution. She recommended considering referrals and even working on short-term projects with potential candidates to evaluate their compatibility and performance.
To help entrepreneurs and executives new to distributed teams and global hiring, Lavinia offered three key pieces of advice:
Implement Documentation: Establish clear documentation and onboarding processes to communicate expectations, define success, and bridge the communication gap between team members who may be working in different locations.
Recognize and Address Biases: Encourage self-reflection and awareness of biases, both cultural and work-related. By openly discussing biases and providing insights into personal work preferences, team members can better understand and accommodate each other’s differences, leading to improved collaboration.
Promote Meaningful Connections: While remote work offers freedom and flexibility, it’s essential to foster meaningful connections within the team. Lavinia suggested organizing in-person meetings or, if not possible, dedicating time to non-work-related virtual interactions. This intentional effort ensures that team members feel connected and reduces feelings of isolation that can arise in remote environments.
Lavinia concluded by emphasizing that remote work doesn’t mean complete isolation. Instead, it provides the opportunity to connect with individuals from around the world and build diverse teams. Understanding the nuanced needs of each company and team is crucial, and remote work should be approached with intentionality and flexibility.
As the global workforce continues to embrace remote work, the insights shared by Lavinia shed light on effective strategies for identifying committed candidates and fostering successful distributed teams.