Leaders Perception Magazine is currently running an interview series called – Building a Successful Remote Work Culture: Discussing strategies and best practices for fostering a productive and engaged remote workforce, addressing topics like communication, collaboration tools, work-life balance, and employee well-being
Interviewee Name: Caroline Guntur
Company: The Swedish Organizer, LLC
Position: Organizing & Productivity Coach
Linkedin Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolineguntur/
Caroline Guntur’s favorite quote: “ “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” -Wayne Gretzky
We had the opportunity to speak with Caroline Guntur, an organizing and productivity coach at The Swedish Organizer, LLC, who has been thriving in the remote work lifestyle since 2014. Caroline’s focus shifted to digital organization and productivity to accommodate her travel-heavy schedule, splitting her time between North America and Europe. By providing online courses and coaching services, Caroline assists online entrepreneurs in various creative fields who often work with remote employees and freelancers. In our interview, Caroline shares valuable practices and insights for fostering effective communication and maintaining work-life balance in remote work environments. One practice she advocates for is implementing a time-based “acknowledgement policy” for asynchronous communication. This policy requires team members to acknowledge receipt of a message within a specified timeframe, such as 24 hours. By clarifying whose responsibility it is to respond, this practice reduces message delays and ensures more efficient communication. Caroline emphasizes the importance of setting boundaries to facilitate work-life balance and suggests that employers provide productivity training to help remote employees manage distractions and their work environment effectively. Join us as we delve deeper into Caroline Guntur’s insights on creating effective communication channels and establishing work-life balance in remote work environments, offering valuable tips for remote teams and employers.
Thank you so much for joining us today! Tell us a little bit about yourself. What is your backstory?
Caroline Guntur : I’ve been in the Professional Organizing industry since 2009, and I started out as a residential organizer, helping clients with their kitchens and closets. However, I soon realized that I needed to switch it up because of my remote work lifestyle. I travel a lot and split my time between North America and Europe, so being location-dependent really made the logistics difficult for me. Based on that, I decided to work only online with digital organization and productivity, and since 2014, I’ve been focused mainly on digital asset management, knowledge management, and systems. It’s been working out really well for me, and between offering online courses and coaching services, I can spend much of my time on the road. My current product suite targets online entrepreneurs in a variety of creative fields who often work with remote employees (especially digital nomads) and freelancers. Their challenges include balancing life and work, keeping everyone motivated and productive, as well as having effective asynchronous communication. This has become a specialty of mine since I’m so passionate about my own remote team.
How do you ensure effective communication and collaboration among remote team members? Can you share any specific tools or practices that have been particularly effective for your organization?
Caroline Guntur : One practice that I always advocate for is to have a time-based “acknowledgement policy” for asynchronous communication, which essentially requires the recipient of a message to acknowledge receipt of said message within a specific time frame. In my company, we have a 24-hour acknowledgement policy, which means that any team member who is tagged or named in a message must respond within 24-hours to say “got it.” This is a very effective practice to put in place for any organization because it clarifies whose court a ball is in at any given time. Without such a policy, messages can get missed or ignored, and in turn, that muddies the waters. Knowing whether or not a message reached its destination helps create more effective communication for everyone involved because there are fewer follow-ups required, and work tends to get turned around faster. Our suggested time frame of 24 hours often works well because it gives team members in different time zones a chance to respond if the message is sent outside of regular office hours. Having boundaries to facilitate work-life balance is so important, and no one should be required to respond to something at 2 in the morning. One important distinction to make is that if the message is a request for something, the request itself does not have to be fulfilled within 24 hours; we only require that the message be acknowledged.
Maintaining work-life balance can be challenging in a remote work environment. What strategies do you recommend for remote employees to create boundaries between work and personal life? How can organizations support their employees in achieving a healthy work-life balance?
Caroline Guntur : Maintaining work-life balance can absolutely be challenging in a remote work environment, so clear policies around expectations are a must. In my experience, I have found that (contrary to popular belief) many remote employees actually work more than those who go to an office, simply because the lines between home and work are more blurred. Because of this, I always recommend that employers support their workers with productivity training on how to efficiently manage distractions and their remote work environment. The better that goes, the more efficient the employees become, and it leads to a happier and healthier workforce overall.
Leaders Perception Magazine would like to thank Caroline Guntur and The Swedish Organizer, LLC for the time dedicated to completing this interview and sharing their valuable insights with our readers!
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