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
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
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!
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
What better way to illustrate how experience of a stimulus (held constant) is shaped by environmental factors than to examine how our experience of food changes according to the ambiance of the dining area? Check out the findings in Eating in a cafeteria makes food taste worse. Even when factoring out the possibility of particular odors in the environment impacting the taste of food, visual information remains an important factor as many of us know intuitively. Our interpretation of this visual information transforms our experience. Some examples from common knowledge: Continue reading
Do we really need to commute back and forth every workday in order to foster and maintain relationships with a given group of people? Let’s consider this question. During my exploration of how dispersed teams function, I’ve encountered people (such as described in this post) who meet in person as infrequently as once a quarter. It surprises most people that this can work. Speaking from my own experience as a team member of Better Collaboration, I’m happy to report that there are other factors (aside from opportunities for in-person interaction) contributing to a sense of cohesion.
Upon comparing my experiences with in-person versus technologically-mediated meetings, I’ve observed that having a strong shared sense of purpose and common interests helps transcend the physical distance factor. So when I hear people say they would rather have others drive from one city to another just for the sake of getting everyone in one room for every meeting rather than have occasional virtual meetings, I wince. Continue reading
Internet search results for articles and research studies generally come down on the side of extroverts and ambiverts who lean towards extroversion as having what it takes to be productive remote workers. It makes sense that, especially in a virtual team situation, your coworkers and people you report to would have difficulty with a remote worker who tends to go missing in action. Building trust comes with difficulty without a sufficient degree of communication and oftentimes there’s critical information that needs to be conveyed in a timely manner. Continue reading
Internetprovider.org have created a new infographic on
The Work From Home Disadvantage. It takes a global look at the challenges of remote working: distractions, noise, equipment problems, bad internet connection, bad posture and so on.
Some of the issues rang true for me. Since our move almost 2 years ago we have suffered from 'temperamental broadband' - it's a little like a teenager and has its good days and bad days!
I'd also love for this graphical representation of work-at-home distractions to include distractions experienced by regular office workers for a visual, side-by-side comparison. I'd start that list off with frequently experienced distractions and time-wasters (cutting into time spent being productive for employee and employer alike I might add) from the beginning of the day due to the requirement to commute: (1) finding misplaced car keys, (2) getting out of car and running back to make sure front door is locked, (3) circling back around to make sure garage is closed, (4) circling back around to pick up a forgotten item you're supposed to bring to work... I better stop here or it'll be a long time before I get on with the rest of my life, haha! Plus, I'm sure the large numbers of office workers out there can mentally fill in the rest. :-P
Over the weekend, I went on a YouTube binge trying to identify the most informative videos on the future of work. This actually took quite a bit of time investment but guess I’m just obsessive like that! I selected the following videos on the basis of quality of content as well as diversity of opinions, hoping to cover the positive and negative aspects of work in the near future. These videos were also selected for conciseness as I know that not everyone can (or wants to) watch a bunch of hour-long videos (although there are some great lectures out there!). I’ve listed the videos in no particular order and have, instead, attempted categorization on the basis of what target audience might be most interested. They are all still worth watching regardless of who you are however! Enjoy! Continue reading