Previously, we explored cultural as well as psychological and sociological factors determining receptivity to telework implementation in various regions of the world. As you may have guessed, there are still more angles to explore. Here I’ll discuss some societal structures that impact telework adoption as outlined in Growing the Virtual Workplace: The Integrative Value Proposition for Telework by Alain Verbeke, Nathan Greidanus, and Laura Hambley with support from the recently published Remote: Office Not Required by David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried. Continue reading
Information about selecting virtual team members with focus on the need to function globally and cross-culturally is scarce. As luck would have it, I came across some recommendations derived from Dr. Joel Paul Ginsburg’s work – available in dissertation form here. The following is a representation Global Symfony’s recommendations which I’ve modified for simplicity (see their website for details): Continue reading
Sometimes when working in an alternative workstyle, you really do need to be in two places at once. As a consultant, it's the only way to be productive AND responsive to your geographically dispersed clients.
Readers of this blog know we created Flipside Workspace as the online collaboration platform for the consulting arm of Duncan+Coleverria, Inc. It's worked so well for us, we're slowly opening it up to other companies and small businesses.
Online collaboration tools empower us by providing the opportunity to maintain a presence in multiple locations at once. This concept is illustrated by the latest video created by the Flipside Workspace team. To truly appreciate the rich scenery and immersive experience however, don't just watch the video... give Flipside a try! Having done so myself, I can tell you that this platform holds special appeal to untold numbers of Generation X and Y members who're already adept at navigating interactive virtual environments. In other words, we can take to this like a fish takes to water.
A Baby Boomer says to a Gen X’er, “You should hope that they turn your job into a permanent career position so that you can stay here for the next twenty-five years!”
Gen X’er thinks, Twenty-five years?! Are you trying to scare me off?
It’s amazing how often I’ve encountered such difference in values. Some have argued that these generational differences are merely a function of age and maturity. That is, members of an older generation were more similar members of the younger generation way back when they were that age and, on the other hand, members of the younger generation would bear more resemblance to the older generation when they’ve aged in turn. However, I’m more inclined to side with those who assert that there are real differences between Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y due to differences in degree to which they were exposed to technology as well as the impact of major events during their formative years. Continue reading
For those curious about what Better Collaboration’s video-conference events are all about, I’ve provided a synopsis of the most recent ones below. Also, a brief introduction to material that will be covered at the next event follows.
May 22, 2013: Attendees were treated to a demonstration of Sococo by CEO and Co-Founder, Paul Brody. By providing a bird’s eye view of individual offices in a virtual office building, Sococo allows everyone to see where others are located. Each room has its own audio, video, and chat channel. This set-up is intended to provide the type of environmental structure and features that would facilitate and encourage the type of unscheduled business and social meetings found in traditional office environments. Continue reading
Disclaimer: Suffering exists in this world in many different forms. On this blog, I will share what it is like to live with misophonia. I have loved ones with cancer. Loved ones with crippling addictions and other sturggles. I am in no way saying that my life is worse than anyone else's. Life can be a challenge for every creature on this planet, and my story is just one example of that.
Imagine what it's like to be forced to endure the typical office environment when you have misophonia (selective sound sensitivity syndrome). It’s a neurological disorder whose prevalence is unknown and for which there is no known cure. However, it’s regarded as more common than previously thought.
To an extent I know what it's like as the high-pitched sounds of certain yappy little dog breeds never fail to drive me into a hulk-like rage. However, the sounds of the usual light-hearted social chatter that happens throughout the day in an office setting (pleasant though the subject matter often is) are not just wearying to me as an introvert. At the end of each day, I notice an indescribable internal pain which is relieved only by silence.
I find that long-term use of ear plugs or having to blast sounds one prefers to hear in order to block out other sounds isn’t the way to go for health-related reasons. Those who follow my blog know what I’m about to say. This is yet another reason to grant workers more control over their working environments. If providing isolated offices isn’t a viable alternative due to the price tag associated with space then a remote work arrangement may be the answer.
Read “A typical day with misophonia” to discover how different someone else’s experience of typical work environments can be. This post by Emlyn Altman also provides an excellent description of what it's like to have misophonia and endure the sounds in the typical workplace.
Getting your boss and HR to agree to teleworking can feel like pulling teeth. No doubt, you already know the benefits of working remotely but it can be hard to put that in a proposal that is appealing to management. If you're looking to make your case but you don't know where to start, try these tips below.
1. Explain how telecommuting will benefit the company directly.
"What can individual employees do aside from passively waiting to see whether or not there'll ever be interest from those at the top?" is a big question that has been asked of me as a telework advocate. Christine Bhatkar's post answers this question by outlining how to approach this diplomatically. Her post comes complete with a practical steps you can take to make the idea of establishing a remote work arrangement more palatable to key people in your organization. Read on!
Since the rise of the Industrial Age, the vast majority of the population have chosen to go with regular employment in order to make a living due to existing incentives (e.g., pensions, benefits, etc.). Since this trend has been the norm for quite some time, self-employment has become perceived as “the ugly stepchild” – something people turn to when they “can’t get a job.” It’s true that a good contingent of people are forced into this situation, however there are still many who purposely choose it. Are they crazy?
Often I’ve heard that those who prefer regular employment and those who prefer self-employment don’t understand each other. Indeed, it seems to be the case of different values, motivations, and fears. I believe this gap between those who have an employee mindset and those who have a self-employment mindset is encapsulated well by one of my favorite Aesop’s fables, “The Dog and the Wolf.” For those who are unfamiliar with this story, here it is in the video below: Continue reading
One question telework advocates often entertain but can’t definitively answer is, “When will working anywhere and anytime gain more widespread acceptance?” Having researched this topic extensively, I’ve seen plenty of predictions that didn’t come to pass. Moreover, many are scratching their heads asking questions along the lines of, “Why hasn’t this happened already? We had the technological capability back in…” Yes, to a great extent, we are still working like it’s 1980. Furthermore, others muse that it will take a disaster of epic proportions (e.g., major natural disaster, pandemic, etc.) for the powers that be to change the way we work.
We know that new ideas and situations are scary to many, however I wanted to go beyond the scariness factor. Delving into factors that come into play with regard to coming up with a good, educated guess only opened up more issues to think about. Upon researching why it’s so difficult to predict if and when innovations gain acceptance, I came upon this wonderful explanation of factors which provided much fodder for thinking about the issue of resistance to telework. Excerpt: Continue reading
To begin with, I’d like to make sure readers know that one of my strongest personal convictions is, “It takes all kinds of people to make the world go round.” I respect morning and night people equally. Really, I don’t care whether someone goes to sleep early and wakes up early or goes to sleep late and wakes up late. That said, for the past week I found this post, Why I Wake Up Early and 3 Reasons You Should Too by CNBC Correspondent Julia Boorsin, along with responses to it very amusing. Surely there is a lot of truth to this as many “morning larks” seem to agree. However, if you are a true “night owl” then this may not square with your experiences. Secondly, I’m well aware that the word “should” can get you in so much trouble with people and want to make it clear at the outset that I don’t think it’s healthy to be functioning in a way that is unsustainable in the long-term. So don’t take this post too seriously!
Without further ado, and out of fairness, here are my words of support for night owls! Why I stay up late and 3 reasons you “should” <rolls eyes> too: Continue reading