Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Category Archives: Alternatives to the 9-to-5 Job

A Day at Work with My Feathered Colleague

The idea for this special post came from a friend whose blog showcases spectacular photography work, featuring wildlife, art, and culture, from exotic locales around the world. Check out her work at http://cindyknoke.com.

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People have been shocked by my ability to perform solitary work (e.g., reading, writing, and research) for several hours a day, several days a week without feeling lonely. The reason why I can pull this off is because my introverted temperament makes me well-suited for this kind of work. Being devoid of human companionship doesn’t mean I’m completely alone however. Meet my feathered colleague, Nikita, a Pacific Parrotlet whose antics keep me in good spirits. Read more of this post

Psychology of the Office Space [Infographic]

A look at the history of the office reveals that office space configurations have changed considerably over time. Naturally, different space configurations impact workers differently (and of course, at the individual level, the manner in which physical space impacts people depends on the individual’s personality, job, and tasks the individual performs). More specifically, environmental space can positively or negatively impact attention spans, productivity, creativity, job satisfaction, and stress level.

University of Southern California, Dornsife, designed an infographic that expands upon this subject. Personally, I find myself agreeing with this assessment of the complete open office plan. However, I doubt that this phenomena, along with cubicles and private offices, will become extinct. A reduction? Yes. However, the complete absence of such configurations? No.

Not only do companies and work cultures vary, but there’s also great heterogeneity when it comes to people, the roles they play at work, and the types of tasks they perform. So, I think that there will always be a need for a variety of office configurations even if some configurations are more prevalent than others. For example, those who deal with sensitive information and interactions (like lawyers, doctors, and therapists) will continue to need a private office. This infographic is surely thought-provoking. Check it out and let me know what you think!

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How Technology Has Changed the Meeting [Infographic]

It is a rare occasion that I broadcast back-to-back infographic-centered posts however, upon encountering this infographic, I knew this must be shared. If you’re like me, an image-based timeline makes historical information easier to digest and retain. Behold the technological evolution from 1958 to the present and, from here, to what’s on the horizon.

Advancements in technology have changed the world of business in terms of communication, presentation, and project management. With these technological developments came a great change in the dynamics of the meeting room. Cloud based presentations and video conferencing have blurred the lines between the office space, the home office, and the meeting room. Brandeis University concludes that ultimately, the meeting room, as we know it, may disappear completely.

Brandeis University designed a compelling infographic that looks into the past and future of the meeting room to see how technology changes the way we do business. Read more of this post

Hunting for Remote Working Jobs

L. P.:

Remote work opportunities are difficult to come by and work-from-home scams abound. Hence, information from those who’re in-the-know regarding where to find genuine remote work opportunities is so invaluable and appreciated. If you’re searching for such an opportunity, check out the list in this post by Marieke Guy.

Originally posted on Ramblings of a Remote Worker:

When I was made redundant from my previous job I discovered that finding a new remote working job wasn’t going to be an easy task. Back in 2012 I did a scout of remote Working policies at universities – most had little to offer. The future looked bleak! Luckily I started work for Open Knowledge!

Since then finding a remote working job has become a little easier. There is now quite a few websites dedicated to employing people

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  • Remotive – apparently “remote + productive = remotive”. This search site contains mainly developer type stuff (with partners from InVision, Zapier, iDoneThis, Sqwiggle, HelpScout, Ghost, Formstack, Blossom, Customer.io & CloudPeeps) but there are some other jobs on there.
  • We Work Remotely is a site 37Signals on the back of their excellent ‘Remote’ book. You can also follow them on Twitter.
  • Working Nomads – “A curated list of remote jobs, for…

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The Challenge of Telework Consulting and a New Direction for Me

During the course of blogging about telework and topics related to modern work-life issues, people who’ve recently connected with me have received the impression that I “have it made,” making a living doing what I love. This isn’t the truth, so I’m setting the record straight about my experience with, and understanding of, consulting in the area of facilitating remote work arrangements at organizations. Additionally, as I hinted about undertaking a personal YouTube content creation project in an earlier post, I’ll hereby provide readers with more information about this as I’ll be integrating it as new subject matter in this blog. Read more of this post

Flipside Workspace User Experience Study – Official Call for Participants

The Flipside Workspace user experience study is set to begin! Hence, I am providing full details about the procedure and reward for participating. For 40-45 minutes of participation time, which includes partaking in an interactive one-on-one meeting and successfully completing an online survey before the conclusion of the study on March 1, 2015 Pacific Standard Time, each participant is automatically eligible to receive a $25.00 Amazon.com e-gift certificate from Flipside Workspace as a token of appreciation.

Note that this study is limited to 10 participants so I will accept participants in the order in which participant agreement to consent form terms (a document emailed to each interested individual) is received. In other words, the first 10 people who choose to participate will be accepted. Others will be placed on a waiting list and, in the event that a participant does not complete the study, another interested participant will be notified and allowed to participate. Read more of this post

Why I Love Working in a Digital Workplace

L. P.:

How did your transition back to work after the holidays go? For those who work from home and have yet to take down their holiday decorations, returning to work can pose a greater challenge. In this post, Lisa Duncan, co-founder of Flipside Workspace, briefly describes how an online collaboration platform that includes an immersive virtual environment facilitates separation between home and work as well as prime us, mentally, to go back to work. As an avid gamer, I’ve experienced how rich, virtual environments can transport us into a different world and put us in a completely different mindset. So I think Lisa makes an excellent point about the value 3D virtual environments can offer to remote workers.

Originally posted on Lisa Duncan | Alternative Workstyle Enthusiast:

Flipside Workspace conference room meetingIt’s my first day back after a fabulous and disconnected vacation.  I love these times where I get to fully disengage from work – energy, creativity, and inspiration swirl around me giving me months of “work” just to catch up with my thoughts. Only the heartiest of ideas make it through memory and grit into execution, a kind of Darwinian business process.

Today I was excited to get back to work, to catch up with my colleagues and exchange ideas. I was ready…sort of.

You see, I work from home and it’s after New Year’s.   Two weeks of fun and festivities means many decorations are still hanging in the house and the onslaught of stuff from a household racing out the door each morning to school or work is still scattered about.  So many distractions.

I love that mental separation of “go to work”.  I need that mental separation.  But where is…

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Sitting Is Killing You [Infographic]

Just in time for Halloween season! Here are some scary figures illustrating some health consequences of spending much of our days seated. We have been hearing about the health hazards of sedentary office work more recently, so none of this may come as a surprise.

Sitting around watching television or engaging in computer-related activities during our free time is, of course, a choice that some of us make. Unless you have a standing desk or treadmill desk however, you’re likely required to spend most of your workday sitting if you are an office worker. It’s common for commuting to add another 1-2 hours to this, leading to the total of 9.3 hours spent sitting down per day as cited below. Telecommuting can make a difference by freeing up time that many of us need in order to fit in physical activity. While considering the option to telecommute, keep in mind that the good health of individual employees is also important for the organizations they work for.

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4 Tips for Forming Virtual Teams

L. P.:

As a member of Better Collaboration, a virtually-based consulting firm, I can attest that a number of challenges must be surmounted in order to form an effective virtual team. Some of the most significant challenges are accurately described by Lisa Duncan, co-founder of an immersive, picturesque virtual work environment called Flipside Workspace (see here). Informed by direct experience, Lisa also offers excellent tips for addressing them. Hence, I refer you to her post.

Originally posted on Lisa Duncan | Alternative Workstyle Enthusiast:

Much has been written about the value of using virtual teams from a variety of perspectives: IT, HR, and management. While each contemplate virtual teams from different angles, the authors typically reach this conclusion:  the fast-paced global economy, the advancements in technological solutions, and the general acceptance of telecommuting have each contributed businesses using virtual teams to gain a competitive advantage.

But despite all of the blogposts on “10 Steps to Build Virtual Teams”, or the numerous “Virtual Team Guidebooks”, the truth is: forming and maintaining virtual teams can be hard.  Slacking-off on attention to critical details can spiral quickly towards wasting everyone’s time.

As a virtually-based company, we do know a thing or two about forming virtual teams for success; but a recent experience in forming a virtual group was a humbling lesson, and excellent reminder, of what is important when gathering individuals who are geographically dispersed.

A…

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A Better Collaboration virtual round table event: How to improve collaboration of dispersed teams

Better Collaboration

 

Better Collaboration is back! As a break from the lecture-style format of our events, we’re inviting attendees with interest and expertise in virtual work arrangements to actively participate in an informal discussion and initiate a community of practice. One topic of interest is obstacles to widespread telework adoption and steps we can take to overcome them. However, as this will be more of an open-ended discussion, attendees are welcome to introduce other relevant concerns.

This event will take place on Thursday, October 30th, 2014, from 4:00-5:00 PM Eastern time (EST)/1:00-2:00 PM Pacific time (PST). As always, there is no cost to attend. Simply click on the red bar for the Meetup group below to register and RSVP. A link to access the event will be emailed to those attending. Read more of this post

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