Re: [IxDA] telecommuting and work/life balance

30 Jul 2010 - 8:15am
4 years ago
1 reply
707 reads
hassan.schroede...
2009

On Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 6:06 PM, Wendy Fischer wrote:

> 1) Do you have a situation where you have a flexible schedule and the > ability to WFH a couple of days a week with your employer?

I think (especially based on Tamella's response to this) it's a mistake to narrowly frame this as "WFH" - work from home.

It's been years since I've seen a large company that didn't have teams composed of people geographically disbursed across the entire globe. Conference calls, email, chat, all connect Silicon Valley, Boise, Hong Kong, Darmstadt, Singapore, London, Boston, Boulder. Employees, working all over, not in one monolithic complex.

So if those people can all work together, it's more properly referred to as Work From Anywhere :-)

Sure, face to face is good sometimes. But I'm currently engaged in a full-time contract with a large Silicon Valley company. Yesterday I was working on an issue with 3 people via Skype chat: one somewhere in the Valley (not in an office), one who is at various times in LA, Portland, Sydney, etc. -- I don't know where he was yesterday -- and I was in the passenger seat of a vehicle crossing the Salt Flats in Utah on the way to Colorado with my wife for a weekend art show. WFA.

Computers and networks make location largely irrelevant. Companies that haven't figured that out are dinosaurs.

FWIW,

Hassan Schroeder ------------------------ hassan.schroeder@gmail.com twitter: @hassan

Comments

30 Jul 2010 - 12:05pm
kniepers
2010

While I agree that location flexibility generally leads to far better productivity to say location is irrelevant seems to be a stretch and to simply say 'face to face is good sometimes' undervalues its importance. I find that being on site allows me to be tangentially aware of workplace trends, upcoming issues, interpersonal dynamics, etc and have productive chance encounters with coworkers. It also streamlines busting through organizational bureaucracy as I find showing up at someone's desk gets a lot more attention (and quicker!) than email. In fact the benefits of being 'on site' is what led me to relocate and return to school, full time, instead of pursuing a distance degree. Perhaps it is more a reflection of my personal quirks, but I believe the last two years of my educational experience was greatly enhanced by that decision. I learned things from chance conversations with my fellow students that I would've missed otherwise. Granted I took a hit in terms of income to do so, but that's another story :). So in conclusion, I think location is relevant for any organization, but needlessly tying folks to a single location for an arbitrary 40 hours a week is not.

BTW I like your redefining of WFH to WFA.

Sharon

On Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 12:40 PM, Hassan Schroeder <hassan.schroeder@gmail.com> wrote:

On Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 6:06 PM, Wendy Fischer wrote:

> 1) Do you have a situation where you have a flexible schedule and the
> ability to WFH a couple of days a week with your employer?

I think (especially based on Tamella's response to this) it's a mistake
to narrowly frame this as "WFH" - work from home.

It's been years since I've seen a large company that didn't have teams
composed of people geographically disbursed across the entire globe.
Conference calls, email, chat, all connect Silicon Valley, Boise, Hong
Kong, Darmstadt, Singapore, London, Boston, Boulder. Employees,
working all over, not in one monolithic complex.

So if those people can all work together, it's more properly referred to
as Work From Anywhere :-)

Sure, face to face is good sometimes. But I'm currently engaged in a
full-time contract with a large Silicon Valley company. Yesterday I was
working on an issue with 3 people via Skype chat: one somewhere in
the Valley (not in an office), one who is at various times in LA, Portland,
Sydney, etc. -- I don't know where he was yesterday -- and I was in
the passenger seat of a vehicle crossing the Salt Flats in Utah on the
way to Colorado with my wife for a weekend art show. WFA.

Computers and networks make location largely irrelevant. Companies
that haven't figured that out are dinosaurs.

-------- FWIW, ---------------------------------------------------------------

Hassan Schroeder ------------------------ hassan.schroeder@gmail.com
twitter: @hassan

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