Virtual not Distant
Virtual not Distant was founded in early 2016, in response to the growing number of people realising that the traditional routine of the "commuting-into-work" knowledge worker, could be broken.
While virtual teams are not just a 21st Century phenomenon, the access to high-end technology is.
However, technology is not enough to support high-performing teams. How we work in organisations needs to change too. Autonomy, trust, flexibility and transparent communication are at the core of making remote teams a success. That's what Virtual not Distant wants to nurture.
When you reach out to us through this website, via email or phone, Pilar will be your main point of contact.
Following a conversation to understand your context, organisation, challenges and aspirations, she will come up with a programme that can be delivered either by herself or in collaboration with our broad network of coaches, trainers and facilitators.
Pilar regularly shares her thoughts and opinions on this blog and hosts the 21st Century Work Life podcast.
After training face to face and facilitating team-away days, in 2010 Pilar started to look for non-location specific opportunities to help people develop. Wanting to visit her parents in Madrid more often and having met her future husband in Amsterdam meant that limiting her work to her UK base was no longer an option.
In 2013, she landed a freelance job with a training company, delivering accredited Management and Leadership qualifications online. There she started igniting discussion on the forum and growing the webinar programme. Far from finding the shift to the online space daunting, Pilar quickly adapted her ability to create a sense of purpose and unity to the online space.
Having run a small organisation herself, Pilar understands the importance of people feeling valued and engaged at work. Changing the tools and the location of our work shouldn’t impact our ability to work closely together. However, we do need to shift our mindset and let go of old ways.
Pilar is fascinated by the opportunities that technology brings to make the world of work a better place. And seeing as we spend more than 70% of our waking time at work, what better way of helping make the world a better place?
(If you’re curious about Pilar’s credentials, here they are: BSc in Biology (Imperial College), PTTLS certification, CIPD Affiliate and RSA Fellowship. Pilar also works regularly as a voiceover in London (her husband moved over) and her proudest achievement is being the voice of Xuli in the BBC’s CBeebies’ GoJetters animation series.)
Maya is our "wordsmith", creating and polishing text-based content to amplify the Virtual not Distant message. If you reach out to us on Twitter, you will most likely be talking to her.
Her hands-on experience managing remote teams (see below) is also a valuable asset to our training and consultancy services.
Following an early career in community development and voluntary sector training, Maya transitioned to home-based working at the turn of the millennium to found a market research fieldwork company. Finding few resources available at the time, she taught herself to develop and manage what turned out to be a fully remote team, when that was still a very innovative proposition – sending each other files via ISDN, and faxing important documents, and managing the first team discussions on IRC!
As her team grew and technologies for location-independent working evolved, she took the opportunity to relocate to the Spanish Costa Blanca in 2009 - seeking a healthier and happier lifestyle for her young family. She has since diversified her professional role to encompass freelance journalism and copywriting, social media and content management, and speaking engagements. This year she also joined the team at Management 3.0.
Maya is passionate about the technologies and practices which enable people to communicate and work from wherever they are happiest, and the exciting times in which we live – being able to connect ideas and skills and potential from all over the planet, to solve the world’s problems and challenges.
Committed to life-long learning, Maya is continually improving her skillset and knowledge, to spark creativity and effectiveness. Academically, she has a BSc in Psychology and a Diploma in Management Studies – but her current reading list ranges from cryptocurrencies to paleo-health to agile project management. Who knows what will be next?
Ross is our sound guy. He puts anything audio through his super efficient podcast machine. And with a bit of jiggery pokery (years of experience and a first class degree), out pops a squeaky clean podcast! You can find out more about his services here."