Work-Life Strategies & Solutions

On the Evolution of Work Systems in the Digital Economy

Tag Archives: Videoconferencing

Blogging Hiatus: December 2015 – May 2016

For awhile I’ve known that I need to go on a hiatus at Work-Life Strategies & Solutions. Having collaborated with Flipside Workspace recently, I’ll make an exception to share updates resulting from this work. Otherwise, I’ll be absent. Newcomers may refer to these posts to learn about this study:

During my break, I’ll primarily focus on some practical life concerns. Secondly, I aim to (1.) work on publications which will be added to the new “My Publications” page and (2.) focus on my piano project (which has fallen by the wayside). Updates on these endeavors will be provided when I return in late June 2016.

SP4Coming upon 3 years of blogging, I’d like to address feedback I’ve received. To the readers who’ve told me that I have interesting, unusual thoughts, I want you to know that I especially appreciate hearing this as I never thought that I’m unique enough to stand out so much amid the throngs of people you’ve met across various corners of the world. Your feedback means a lot to me!

To bloggers I’ve been following closely, I’ll be following and responding to your posts as always. No changes here. To others, you can reach me on LinkedIn, Twitter, or via email: ltpatra@gmail.com. Currently, I’m open to new professional opportunities, so inquiries are welcome. Comments on this blog will be closed on December 1st, 2015 and reopened when I return. Thank you for reading and Happy Holidays!

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5 Challenges Users Experience in Online Collaboration [Infographic]

If you haven’t yet read the Flipside Workspace versus Videoconferencing report, this infographic beautifully illustrates some of the main findings of the pilot study. Read on to learn about other possible implications related to the online collaboration tools of interest as well. Finally, give Flipside Workspace a try by visiting http://www.flipsideworkspace.com/. I look forward to your questions and comments!

View the infographic in full at Duncan-Coleverria, Inc.

Recap of Better Collaboration’s Recent Video-Conferencing Events

Better Collaboration

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. Read more of this post

Is Solo Creativity Really Dead?

Everywhere I look, various experts are heralding the benefits of group work over solo, independent work. Insisting on working alone is selfish they say. Collaboration fosters more creativity than solo work they say. It’s one thing to be describing the work style that brings out the best for the bulk of the “bell curve,” however if there’s one valuable lesson to learn from decades of studying psychology it’s that, when it comes to people, it’s impossible to generalize about a great, many things. Still worse is to subject the people who don’t fit to the “tyranny of the majority.”

So here I am working alone, independently on my blog and other creative writing, art, and musical side projects. I’m blissfully happy. Life seems great. Everything seems alright with the world. And yes, any creative inspiration that has struck me may owe its existence to the synergy of ideas I’ve gained in past encounters with people, films I’ve watched, and books I’ve read. However, I am producing my work now alone, on my own and it feels great. So the last thing I wish to witness is a mass movement that pushes one style of working (group work) over another (solo work).

Those of you who know what it’s like to be a “misfit” in one way or another, I think, can appreciate how statements about working “this way” or “that way” is better for everyone are ill-thought out. To maximize productivity and creativity across a whole society, it would be ideal to maximize freedom for everyone to work in the way that suits each person best. If you are most productive and creative while working in a more collaborative manner… great! If someone else is most productive and creative while working alone… great! Different strokes for different folks. The Industrial Age is characterized by standardized, one-size-fits-all work policies. Here’s hoping that the push towards group work with the simultaneous denouncement of solo work goes the way of the Industrial Age as well.

To my relief, I’m not alone in my leaning towards working alone. In this post, Patrick Ross makes a powerful argument about not making this an either-or situation. While celebrating the ways in which today’s digital tools foster collaboration, it’s not necessary or even desirable to denounce solo, independent work. As it turns out, many writers and artists would agree.

Related article

By the way, if you are interested in optimizing collaboration, the next Better Collaboration online Meetup, takes place on Wednesday, May 22nd, 2:30-4:00 pm EST (11:30-1:00 pm PST): Innovating the way dispersed teams collaborate!

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Featured speaker in this event will be Paul Brody, CEO and Co-Founder of Sococo. Sococo is an innovative tool for fostering impromptu collaboration without having to physically be at the same place. Everyone can see who is around and, with one click, can immediately start a conversation or meeting (voice, video, chat, multiple screen shares).

These educational video conference series are geared towards organizational leaders wishing to learn more about improving collaboration and productivity through the use of online tools. Visit the Better Collaboration website or register here at on the Better Collaboration meetup page!

The Artist's Road

Consider yourself lucky you’re not my wife. Every morning she is forced to endure a rant from me about something I’ve read in that day’s Washington Post. Sundays provide multiple opportunities for fist-shaking, but one editorial this past Sunday hit a nerve: the topic was creativity.

The headline said it all: “The end of lone-wolf capitalism.” For years now digital utopians have first insisted that we all believe in a myth that creativity and innovation comes from solitary thinkers; then they knock down their straw man by pointing to the power of collaboration. Citing the Firefox browser (volunteers maintain and upgrade it) and Facebook (the content comes from us, not Mark Zuckerberg), Neal Gabler wrote this: “In our global, networked economy, the lone wolf is rapidly becoming an anachronism, one that threatens to impede innovation rather than fostering it.”

Hmm.

Perhaps I’m sensitive to the suggestion that…

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