The Business Case For Telecommuting


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This talk was presented at the Daycamp 4 Developers 2 on March 5th, 2011. In this talk I talked about my experiences with telecommuting, and why it makes sense for businesses to allow developers to work remotely.

Published in: Business, Technology
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The Business Case For Telecommuting

  1. @egeniq The Business Case For Telecommuting Ivo JanschDay Camp 4 Developers 2 - March 5th, 2011
  2. About Egeniq‣ Startup‣ Mobile‣ Geeks‣ Distributed‣ Lean 2
  3. About Ivo‣ Enterprenerd‣ Author‣ Developer‣ @ijansch 3
  4. Traffic Jams 4
  5. Congestion StatisticsBloomberg January 2011 Report:‣ Traffic congestion cost the U.S. $114.8 billion in time and fuel in 2009‣ Congestion in 2009 wasted 28 gallons of fuel per commuter‣ Chicago and Washington tied for the most congested urban area with commuters delayed by 70 hours a year on averageSource: 5
  6. Quick WinIf every office worker will work from home just one day a week, most countries would no longer have a congestion problem. 6
  7. Telecommuting Statistics‣ 40% of working population could work from home (at least part time)‣ 2% considered home primary work place (2008 number)‣ 13% occasionally telecommuted‣ Telecommuter numbers expected to grow 33% in the next 3 years (private sector)Source: 7
  8. The Bottom LineSavings and Costs when telecommuting 8
  9. Telecommuting Direct Savings‣ Office Space‣ Office Supplies‣ Travel (time and money)‣ Utility Bill 9
  10. Telecommuting Direct Costs‣ Home office supplies‣ Communication cost (phonebills, internet) 10
  11. Telecommuting Indirect Savings‣ Well-rested staff = more productive staff‣ Happier staff = more productive staff‣ Larger talent pool = more skilled staff‣ Less congestions = better economy 11
  12. Telecommuting Indirect Cost‣ Communication Efficiency Loss‣ Disconnected Staff = Less Productive Staff? 12
  13. Benefit: Increased Reach 13
  14. The Work / Life Balance‣ Adjust work to family instead of vice versa‣ Drop the kids off at school‣ Tasks between parents more evenly balanced‣ The line between work and spare time is fading 14
  15. Communication Colocation is Overrated 15
  16. The Tale Of The Office Door 16
  17. The Tale Of The Two Towers 17
  18. Communication Is Changing 18
  19. Talking To The Penguin Also known as ‘talking to the cat’ 19
  20. The Increased Talent Pool Recruiting Telecommuters 20
  21. The Increased Talent Pool Please leave your friends and family behind for this amazing job 21
  22. The Increased Talent Pool ?!?!?! 22
  23. The Increased Talent Pool Great Developer My company Great Developer Great Developer Great Developer 23
  24. Hurdles‣ Salary differentiation‣ The “London Tax”‣ The Interview Process 24
  25. International Distribution Hurdles‣ Laws‣ Taxes 25
  26. The Distributed Workplace The Cloud As An Enabler 26
  27. The File Server Is Dead‣ Documents in the cloud • Google Docs • Dropbox‣ Applications in the cloud • Private or public‣ Source Control 27
  28. Broadband Ubiquitous, fast internet 28
  29. Day To Day Operations Challenges 29
  30. Project Management‣ Skills required • Communication skills • Communication skills • Communication skills • Communication skills‣ Needs to believe in telecommuting 30
  31. Four Ways To Structure A Team‣ No Telecommuting • Agile ‘colocated teams’ principle‣ Distributed Teams • Two ore more colocated teams working on different parts 31
  32. Four Ways To Structure A Team‣ A few team members telecommute • Works well if some components are isolated • Be wary of isolation‣ Everybody telecommutes • May not be ideal for everybody 32
  33. Security‣ Teleworkers are a threat to corporate IT • Email leaves the firewall, scary! • Not being in control of the desktop • No control over where information goes‣ Ways to cope: • Standardization • ‘Bring your own device’ policy 33
  34. International Telecommuting‣ Timezone Challenges • (At what time is the #dc4d lunch break for you?) 34
  35. Telecommuting Requirements It’s not for everyone 35
  36. It only works if everybody’s on board‣ Employee Buy-In‣ Management Buy-In‣ Customer Buy-In 36
  37. Management Requirements‣ Project Manager communication skills‣ Results Driven • ‘Manage by objectives’ vs close scrutiny‣ Self Regulation‣ Shared Responsibility 37
  38. A Couch Is Not An Office 38
  39. Workplace Requirements‣ Ergonomic desk and chair‣ Good working conditions‣ Environment where you can concentrate • Common interruptors: kids, pets and partners‣ Proper internet connection 39
  40. Telecommuting != work from home‣ Coworking spaces‣ Telework centers‣ Shared office space 40
  41. Alternative: Nomad Workers 41
  42. Job Requirements Can I work from home tomorrow?‣ Work packages • Stories • Tickets 42
  43. Telecommuting Enablers Increasing chances of success 43
  44. Know Your Coworkers‣ Learn to read people. • That’s brilliant. • That’s BRILLIANT!!! :-) :-) • ... that’s brilliant. :-( 44
  45. Use Face To Face Meetings Differently 45
  46. Channel Communications‣ Use the right medium: • Practical things: skype chat • Emotions and politics involved? voip / phone • Asynchronous stuff: email‣ Intrusive Instant Messaging • Context Switching still applies 46
  47. Architecture Based Work Distribution‣ Bad: • Monolithic applications • Tied Coupling‣ Good: • Service Oriented • Design By Contract • Loosely Coupled • Componentized • Layered 47
  48. Mobile 48
  49. Telecommuter Friendly Offices ICTU Offices The Hague 49
  50. Telecommuter Friendly OfficesICTU Offices The Hague 50
  51. The Next StepsTelecommuting Is Just The Beginning 51
  52. The Paperless Office 52
  53. Say Goodbye to Office Hours‣ Work whenever you’re most comfortable‣ Work when you’re productive‣ Synchronize with clients and coworkers when needed 53
  54. Final Thoughts Almost There 54
  55. The Misinterpretation of ‘Work’“I’m going to work”: • 1. The act of starting to work on something • 2. Transporting oneself to the work place“Work is what you do, not where you go” • Start seeing work as the verb instead of the noun 55
  56. @egeniqThank you! Questions? @ijansch
  57. Credits ‣ ‘This is what I call telecommuting’ by Tina Lawson - ‣ ‘Traffic on 2nd Avenue’ by Oran Viriyincy - ‣ ‘365::295 - The Two Towers’ by Darren Kirby - ‣ ‘Dnamo Incubator Opening Day’ by Oriol Pascual - 4057036860/ ‣ ‘The new workplace collaboration’ by Tom Purves - ‣ ‘SuSE and Tux’ by Lee Jordan - ‣ ‘Girls with a laptop’ by Tom & Katrien - ‣ ‘Another day at the office’ by Peter Kaminski - ‣ ‘Baking bread’ by Christian Guthier - ‣ ‘Foosball’ by Yun Huang Yong - ‣ ‘iPad Case’ by Yutaka Tsutano - ‣ ‘Bob Braden’ by Carl Malamud -