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 →
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 →
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 →
As a strong proponent of giving people more control over where they work, it was only a short matter of time before I ran up against those who erroneously insist that work environment doesn’t matter. Their claim is that the only thing that matters is that you’re doing what you’re good at and that it doesn’t matter where you are doing this at. They don’t get it. If work environment really doesn’t matter, then the following clip from the popular film Office Space would not register as anything significant. What’s the difference anyway if Milton works on the same floor as everyone else or in the basement if work environment doesn’t matter? Continue reading →
Introverts like myself heave a huge sigh of relief upon reading Susan Cain’s new book Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking. In the chapter titled, “When Collaboration Kills Creativity,” Cain explains the origins of this recent, increased call for in-office collaboration and presents compelling research studies that run counter to the assumptions and reasons behind the move towards the open office plan and the usually, taken for granted requirement for employees to work collaboratively in teams. Yes, I’ve always loathed projects that required teamwork in school and, although I can’t speak for everyone, I’ll say that I’ve always come up with creative ideas on my own while group brainstorming always inhibited idea generation. Continue reading →
The so-called “mega commuters” or “super commuters” featured in this story are the final casualties of the dying Industrial Age office. The casualty is the horrible imbalance of their lives due to spending needless hours each day on the road that could otherwise be spent on health promoting behaviors such as getting exercise and adequate sleep (no, Obamacare can’t solve that) and for quality time with their families.
What’s so painfully ironic is this story is set in the San Francisco Bay Area, home of many Information and Communications Technology (ICT) companies that have effectively obsoleted working in a centralized office Monday through Friday. Incongruously, some of these companies don’t yet realize the obsolescence they themselves have created, requiring their staffs to adhere to Industrial Age office hours as if if were still 1985. (See the media firestorm resulting from Yahoo’s decision last week to require its employees to commute to HQ) That in turn creates one of the worst metro areas in the United States for traffic congestion and long commutes.
By now many of you have heard the news about Yahoo’s CEO, Marissa Mayer, requiring all remote workers, regardless of where they live, to become onsite office workers or else quit. Even those who telecommute one or two days a week will no longer be able to do so. If you haven’t heard about this, here’s the story in a nutshell: Continue reading →