Tuesday January 5, 2016

Telecommuting May Perpetuate Increased Telecommuting

A Twitter friend shared a NYT article, yesterday, entitled Telecommuting Can Make the Office a Lonely Place, a Study Says. The <meta description...> tag on this article is "New research finds that off-site work can disrupt teamwork, alienate people who remain in the office and perpetuate increased telecommuting."


Another article about the same survey, published late last year in Business News Daily, is entitled Is Having Too Many Remote Workers Bad for Business?

Is having "too many" remote workers bad for business? I think the answer is... no. It may be "lonely" for some, but I see nothing in either article to indicate that increased remote work is bad for business. Many companies have made remote teams a cornerstone of their business model.

I'm afraid that my sympathy for this study is essentially non-existent. Also, I want the name of the unnamed "Fortune 100 Company in Silicon Valley" (singular) on which the study was based.

I want to apply for a job. ...
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Telecommuting May Perpetuate Increased Telecommuting - posted at Tue, 05 Jan, 13:05 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday July 17, 2015

Tea on Ice

A story about cold tea, brought on by a memory triggered by my mug of tea going cool. ...
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Tea on Ice - posted at Fri, 17 Jul, 16:14 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday June 13, 2015

OMG! Save Teh Waterz!

Yesterday via @ThinkProgress:
Skip Showers For Beef, a new grassroots project born of the California drought, acknowledges that giving up beef - a product that uses huge amounts of water - is hard. So the campaign's creators have come up with a creative way for Californians to keep eating meat while reducing their water use: Just stop showering.
Well, actually, no, as it turns out. While California beef production does use a lot of water compared to, say, one adult human taking a shower, it doesn't use much in comparison to a lot of other things. Most other things, if you think in terms of agriculture.

California certainly does have cows. California is #5 in US states for all cattle and calves (2015). However, while California leads the US in dairy production (about an $8 billion business annually), the state only raises two percent of the country's beef.


"We need to create more attention-grabbing campaigns like this to wake people the f*** up" -- MobyWho

Who, exactly, are we trying to "wake up"? And why do we need "attention-grabbing campaigns like this one" to do it? That "campaign" is silly... and it's dishonest. ...
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OMG! Save Teh Waterz! - posted at Sat, 13 Jun, 11:53 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday February 8, 2015

People Leave Managers

Axiom: People join companies, but leave managers

We had dinner with a friend last night. She was feeling the relief that comes from having made, and accepted, a major decision. She's giving notice at her job on Monday. Her manager has been creating a hostile work environment.

It probably would not be considered "hostile" in the actionable sense. There's no discrimination of a protected class involved. In a cruel plot twist, an equal-opportunity Bad Boss is, in most cases, just a bad boss, at least in terms of possible repercussions. ...
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People Leave Managers - posted at Sun, 08 Feb, 12:08 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday August 9, 2013

Who Represents the Company?

Do you represent the company you work for? If you're the CEO, you probably agree that you do. What about a vice president? CTO? Customer support staff? Surely these roles do.

What about a first-line manager? An engineer? An accountant? A receptionist?

Precedent has shown that if you make it clear that you work for a company, you represent that company when you talk about it in public. Precedent has been, at times, frighteningly clear on the subject.

What it means to represent the company

What does it mean to represent the company? At minimum, I think, it means that you act professionally when you come in contact with customers (or potential customers). You don't publicly disrespect the company and you don't disrespect the customer. Whether or not you add a disclaimer, "I don't speak for my company", to your social media feed, there will be times when you are speaking as a company representative. ...
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Who Represents the Company? - posted at Fri, 09 Aug, 11:09 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday March 8, 2013

From TANSTAAFL to Purple Sneakers?

People who know me know of my current obsession interest in Yahoo!'s recent changes to their telework policy. I just can't wrap my mind around a good reason for it.

It's not about productivity (studies show that many people are more productive when they're not in the office). It's not really about collaboration; most people in offices talk a lot but that doesn't lead to great new products. It can't really be about a fraction of a fraction of the employees who both worked from home and also "hid". That's too small a number to care about.

And then, someone I was chatting with in Twitter made a comment that might, actually, explain things:

... [Marissa] needs to do this to weed out folks not totally committed to Yahoo!.

Think about it. ...
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From TANSTAAFL to Purple Sneakers? - posted at Fri, 08 Mar, 21:09 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday March 6, 2013

Yahoo!'s WFH Edict And Ensuing Kerfuffle

Yahoo! recently decided to bring its "free range" (i.e., remote working) employees into the office. Much of the Net has an opinion on this edict. This is mine.

Disclaimer: I worked at Yahoo from June 2006 - Nov 2011. I left before Marissa Mayer came on board. I have a vested interest in the future of telecommuting in general and the policy at Yahoo! in particular (I have friends there who work/ed remotely.) You can probably guess how I feel about this policy from my use of the word "edict". :-)

As recently as a day before the news hit the fan, I still considered the possibility of going back to Yahoo!. Now? No.

How it Started

The fireworks started when Yahoo!'s head of HR sent a memo to everyone at the company:

To become the absolute best place to work, communication and collaboration will be important, so we need to be working side-by-side. That is why it is critical that we are all present in our offices. Some of the best decisions and insights come from hallway and cafeteria discussions, meeting new people, and impromptu team meetings. Speed and quality are often sacrificed when we work from home. We need to be one Yahoo!, and that starts with physically being together.

Beginning in June, we're asking all employees with work-from-home arrangements to work in Yahoo! offices. If this impacts you, your management has already been in touch with next steps. And, for the rest of us who occasionally have to stay home for the cable guy, please use your best judgment in the spirit of collaboration. Being a Yahoo isn't just about your day-to-day job, it is about the interactions and experiences that are only possible in our offices.

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Yahoo!'s WFH Edict And Ensuing Kerfuffle - posted at Wed, 06 Mar, 22:09 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday February 23, 2013

Working From Home

I read this today in the Huffington Post:

Marissa Mayer's Work-From-Home Ban Is The Exact Opposite Of What CEOs Should Be Doing

Lisa Belkin
Senior Columnist on Life/Work/Family, The Huffington Post

What others see as the future of the workplace, and what parents see as a most important tool for juggling home and work, Marissa Mayer apparently sees as disposable.

Lisa Belkin disagrees with Marissa and so do I.

Read my commentary...

Working From Home - posted at Sat, 23 Feb, 18:33 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday January 27, 2012

Looking for Work

After 5 years with the same company, I'm looking for a new job. There was a division re-org back in August and my manager resigned the same week (coincidentally). I wasn't a fit for the new team I was assigned to and, despite my best efforts, couldn't find a team I did fit.

"What you do is very valuable, Vicki... but there's no position for you in our group."

I heard that a lot. ...
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Looking for Work - posted at Fri, 27 Jan, 17:24 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday November 13, 2010

Highly Sensitive People and the Interruptive Workplace

Good News: I have a new manager and increased scope at Dayjob. My job title and description will be adjusted to formally recognize what I've actually been doing for the past three years.

Bad news: New manager wants me in the office "more often". It's the only point on which we disagree. But it's a big point. For some time now, I've been telecommuting three days a week.

Within a month of my starting work at this company (on a temporary "contract"), I asked to telecommute one day a week. When they offered to make the position permanent, I requested permission to telecommute two days a week. That (and a Mac on my desk :-) were my most important negotiating points before saying Yes.

About a year and a half ago, I increased my telecommuting to three days a week. As my commute time and exposure to noise and disruption have gone down, my stress levels have also gone down. The ability to telecommute is one of my top reasons for staying with this company.

Asking me to "be the office more" feels like a punishment for a job well done.

Read more in commentary.

Highly Sensitive People and the Interruptive Workplace - posted at Sat, 13 Nov, 17:36 Pacific | Comments (0)