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. Continue reading →
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.
It’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…
Following an unexpected hiatus, I’m back just in time to provide the annual WordPress year-end report for my blog. Although I wasn’t as prolific as I was last year, I thought I’d publish the report in case anyone wants to see blog-related information such as what the most popular posts were and, at the same time, show my appreciation to WordPress for providing this service to bloggers.
Now, onto plans for next year. First off, I’d like to affirm that the Flipside Workspace user research project (which I mentioned in my previous post) is still happening. So, be on the lookout for a post that will spell out the details in January and consider participating! Among some other major projects I’ll be undertaking is the launching of my YouTube channel later on in the year. Content-wise, the channel won’t be related to this blog but, when it’s launched, I’ll make some mention of it as an opportunity to connect on interests that go beyond the focus of this blog.
As some of you may have guessed, I’ll be attempting to remake myself professionally. I hope that this undertaking will grant me ample opportunity to learn and share nuggets of information about reinventing yourself as a professional. On that note, I ask my readers, what are your plans for next year? Will you be changing anything? If so, how have you planned to go about it?
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,500 times in 2014. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 4 trips to carry that many people.
The Thanksgiving holiday reminds those of us in the United States to set aside time to express gratitude for what we have. Although there are a couple of weeks before the occasion arrives, I’ve decided to go ahead and write my thanksgiving post. I don’t blog just to chronicle my research efforts and knowledge about modern work-related issues. I blog to provide useful information to others and spread awareness of issues that don’t receive a lot of attention. So reader feedback and interaction has helped me learn what issues garner the most concern.
Also, as many of you are also bloggers, you probably know as well as I do how much hard work and dedication it takes to consistently develop content. A couple of years ago, before I wrote my first post, I thought blogging would be much easier. Along the way, I’ve received a lot of praise for my writing but I’ve learned that blogging is much more than writing well. Blogging also requires tremendous creative effort. Continue reading →
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.
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.
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.
For those who aren’t aware, the title of this post is stylized after Apple Inc.’s “Think Different” (a/k/a “Crazy Ones”) advertising campaign quote. However, this isn’t a satirical piece but, instead, an exercise in challenging conventional wisdom. While conscientiousness, a Big 5 personality trait, is often cited as the single best predictor of career success, it’s not the end of the world if you aren’t naturally well-endowed with it. The catch is that you must possess some other extraordinary quality that is rewarded in the context of your work situation. I believe that General Kurt von Hammerstein-Equord would agree as he stated back in 1933:
I divide my officers into four classes; the clever, the lazy, the industrious, and the stupid. Each officer possesses at least two of these qualities. Those who are clever and industrious are fitted for the highest staff appointments. Use can be made of those who are stupid and lazy. The man who is clever and lazy however is for the very highest command; he has the temperament and nerves to deal with all situations. But whoever is stupid and industrious is a menace and must be removed immediately!