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Posts Tagged ‘virtual

As we near the end of the year of revolutions, it is worth noting the quiet one going on in redesigning how we work. Future workplaces look set to model freelancers’ style – using a more open, free-style work practice and environment. It is all about mobility, flexibility and connectivity.

It is well-known amongst freelancers that working from home can be very productive – with the ability to create a personalized workspace, choose the most productive time to work (based on your body clock) and not be caught up in day-to-day office culture that can be time consuming. So what are traditional workplaces borrowing from homeworkers?

Cindy Krischer Goodman’s story for McClatchy Newspapers (MCT), highlights the findings of “Future Work: How Businesses Can Adapt and Thrive in the New World of Work” co-authors Alison Maitland and Peter Thomson. They found companies are looking closely at the workspace and doing away with cubicles, in favour of coffee-shop interior design. They are getting rid of schedules, in favour of a work to the task not the time clock approach. The movement is gathering strength, but not everyone is jumping on board.

 At the Washington Work-Life Focus conference, Goodman reports although there is evidence to support rewarding productivity instead of time, many companies don’t want to move away from traditional practices – yet.

 However, those implementing the changes can look for these new definitions for the old standards:

  1. Time management = choose your own working hours.
  2. The office =  home, coffee shop, anywhere. Telecommuting is in.
  3. Management leadership = move to ‘enabling’ rather than ‘controlling’.
  4. Networking  = meeting will be done virtually and using social media.

New technology – like Skype, videoconferencing, Google chat – is making this easy, efficient and inexpensive to adapt to the new world of work. The change is coming. All organizations have to do is decide whether to lead or follow.

Has your organization tried it? What is it like for you?

Other stories:

The 2020 Workplace

The Workplace of the Future

Kate is now working from a small town in BC with a client in Alberta, visiting the office occasionally. Skype, videoconferencing, intranet sharing are now daily work tools.

 

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Having relocated from the UK to Canada I find I am using Skype and FaceTime about 3 times as much as my landline for personal calls. But, what are businesses using? And, why aren’t they using visual conference calling more? This branch of the social media tree is powerful, persuasive and cost saving – with many of the options free.

Mashable profiles all four, recognizing freeconferencecalling.com as a starting point.

Then they analyze Rondee, Wiggio, GroupMe and Google Voice. They all have outstanding characteristics: Rondee, easy meeting coordination; Wiggio, other group management services; GroupMe; the quintessential mobile group meeting App; and Google Vocie, people simply call your contact number at the same time and you approve.

This technology has come a long way, and it is quite surprising that many people – who also complain about the travel time and expense – are still driving, flying, riding to meetings that could be just as effective in a virtual environment. And, reduce the carbon footprint and costs substantially.

When working virtually (as a consultant) and being part of team made up of other part-time consultants, communications can be real challenge. Tasked with finding a solution for one-such team I am on, I posted a Tweet asking for help. The replies were as varied as the options.

@criagmcginty advised checking Check what 37Signals has http://bit.ly/18lVOi and Zoho http://bit.ly/19Zcr1.

You should absolutely check out Basecamp, which I’d heard of but not participated in,  http://basecamphq.com/, was  @philpowell ‘s recommendation. It looks quite thorough and built to spec.

For virtual teams, @fit_to_print and colleague  edit each other’s files via Dropbox.

Google Wave was recommended by @Swindon, who sounded envious adding ‘if you are fortunate to have it’.

Aside from private blog pages or IM, I will continue researching.

Have you used something that really works? Any ideas or testimonials welcome.


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