CNLP 175: Bryan Miles on the Rise of Virtual Work and Virtual Workers and Why the Way We Work Doesn’t Work Anymore

What do you do with younger leaders who want to work remotely or from home? Is the office culture a dying culture?

Bryan Miles is founder and CEO of BELAY Solutions a rapidly growing virtual company, voted by Entrepreneur Magazine as the #1 workplace culture in American in 2017. Bryan talks about how to create a great office culture, how to handle the hybrid of virtual and physical team members and much more.

Welcome to Episode 175 of the podcastListen and access the show notes below or search for the Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts and listen for free.

Guest Links

Bryan on FacebookInstagram | Twitter | BELAY | Virtual Culture: The Way We Work Doesn’t Work Anymore

Links Mentioned

Rethink Leadership in Atlanta Georgia, April 25-27th 2018

The Canadian Church Leaders Conference, Barrie Ontario, June 14-16th 2018

BELAY Solutions

TrainedUp Use coupon code CAREY for 10% off for life!

CNLP 045: The Key Ingredients to Great Chemistry Between Leaders and Their Assitants—An Interview with E.A. Help Founder Bryan Miles

They’re Talking Behind My Back: Remote Workers Feel Unsupported

Learn the 4 Principles That Helped This Virtual Company Become One of the Best Cultures in America

Small-Sized Companies: The Best Company Cultures in 2017

BELAY Commercial

3 Insights from This Episode

1. Virtual workers can often produce more results than office staff in less time

Work culture is changing. There’s a growing number of people who prefer to leave an office environment and work from home. Why? Flexible hours and no commute are big perks, but even more than that is the idea that you can actually be MORE productive when you aren’t working in a traditional office setting.

Sound odd? Think about it. So many distractions can come in a typical 8 hour work day. Knocks on the door, longer lunch breaks, water cooler sessions, unnecessary meetings – all those things chip away at real-time work. In many cases, a 35 hour work week can easily be accomplished in 15 or 20.

Research finds that often working from home creates a more well-rounded, happy employee who produces greater results for the organization. And with much less overhead, a virtual employee can be a big win for both sides of the paycheck. 

2. Set clear expectations for a virtual role 

People who work from home aren’t lazy or anti-social. They’re actually efficient, results-oriented people wanting to maximize both their work and personal lives. But employers should have reasonable accountability measures in place.

Make sure to create a set of expectations that equal the results you desire. If you don’t see evidence of those results within a reasonable amount of time, have a clarifying conversation to better define the role. 

3. Work culture is still relevant in a virtual workplace

Work culture holds an organization together. When people feel like they are connected it creates a healthy momentum to strive forward. There are ways to connect even in a virtual workplace. Bryan offers some great advice that’s definitely working well for his 65 virtual employees.

  1. Leaders have to practice what they preach. When a leader enacts a policy, it has to be something he is willing to do, too. The more employees see that, the better and stronger the culture.
  2. Find a regular way to casually touch base. As a way to relate and connect with each other, Bryan’s team shares their weekly hi’s and low’s every Friday. 
  3. Being together face to face still matters. You don’t want people to feel isolated. Hold weekly video conferences to touch base and meet quarterly face to face. Bryan’s team also gathers a few times a year for summits and causal family days to remind everyone of the vision and mission of the business – and have some fun. Check out highlights from BELAY’s Winter SummitSummer Summit, and Family Day
  4. Stop using phones and don’t only rely on email. Webcams offer the most authentic connection, but refrain from muting or hiding video feed whenever possible.
  5. Have a zero tolerance gossip policy. Take your work problems to somebody who can help you with it instead of someone who can do nothing to improve the situation.  

Quotes from This Episode

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Next Episode: Margaret Spicer

Families are a huge part of every church, yet often church leaders behave like that isn’t the case. Margaret Spicer leads the Next Gen ministry from Crossway Church in Melbourne, Australia—Australia’s largest Baptist church. She talks about how she got kids, parents and students to become a church wide priority in a way senior leaders love.

Subscribe for free now and you won’t miss Episode 176.

CNLP 175: Bryan Miles on the Rise of Virtual Work and Virtual Workers and Why the Way We Work Doesn’t Work Anymore


  1. Brad Flurry on January 23, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Carey – I loved this episode. I am the Executive Pastor of Ministries at Kingsland Baptist Church in Katy, TX and wanted to share a similar story. In 2015, as our staff and church grew, we purchased an office complex adjacent to our central campus for future office space. We did not move our staff in immediately as we still were working to develop the design of the remodel of our central campus. In the interim, we allowed a few ministry partners (non-profits) to use the office with little to no rent. As we continued to move forward with our designs for both office and church campus, we began to notice some great synergy with having our ministry partners next door. Fast forward a few years and now next door to our church is not a space filled with offices but is instead the “Kingsland Community Center.” We have multiple ministry partners that call this $1.2 million dollar complex home. To aid in the need for office space we have transitioned to flexible hours (on and off campus) and added additional collaborative space. So to echo Bryan’s point, being flexible and virtual can also help you be more missional!

  2. Chris Epp on January 16, 2018 at 10:57 am

    This is a very interesting read, and paralell to other areas of life too, such as school. I substitute for our local public school system. My own kids are homeschooled. We find as well that kids learn much more in a shorter amount of time in the home setting, adn are actually able to take in much more than they would otherwise.

    As far as working at home, I constantly have the challenge of getting poulled away into some part of the family’s schooling process or a glaring need at home. That’s where I have to set boundaries and communicate wiht my wife and kids when I am “available” and when I am not.

    Michael Hyatt also taught me a valuable lesson: Finish a major task for the day before allowing yourself to take a break or engage in smaller tasks.

    I also serve in local church and non-profit settings, and would love to see these organizations incorporate more of this approach. Change is hard!

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