Why/Not Virtual Office? Sam Foster  @samfosteriam
 
A Distributed Team
Most of what we do is done as a team
Opportunities <ul><li>Staggered, extended work day </li></ul><ul><li>Less time wasted </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced overheads ...
Bigger Talent Pool <ul><li>Cast a much wider net </li></ul><ul><li>Relocation not necessary </li></ul>
Quality of Life <ul><li>Pick your own work environment </li></ul><ul><li>Choose your hours </li></ul><ul><li>See your fami...
Challenges <ul><li>IT support? </li></ul><ul><li>Large file exchange </li></ul>
Communication
Trust
To make it work...
Activity Feeds
Chat = Presence <ul><li>Secured Jabber Network </li></ul><ul><li>“ rooms” per project/team </li></ul><ul><li>1:1 chat </li...
 
SVN & Redmine
 
Pitfalls
Being grownup
The  work place
IMHO... Sam Foster  @samfosteriam
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Embracing Teleworking: Pros and Cons of the Virtual Office (Sam Foster)

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The challenges and opportunities presented by a fully virtual office, and what can make this an all-around win-win arrangement for employer, employee and the team as a whole

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  • ~20 FT employees, of which 75% are web-focussed software engineers CEO splits time btw. London, Arizona + biz travel/talks Span time-zones, bigger window for meeting support response time promises
  • Most of our work is team work: we work in small teams of 2-5 people, and we’re a collective resource for any individual member. Not just umbrella organization
  • There are some compelling logistical advantages. Note overheads are reduced overall, but some are just shifted to employee
  • But the most compelling reasons are about people Mid-career, geographic ties
  • We do have notion of “blue zone” to ensure there’s minimum 4 hour overlap In practice, for me, this means some late nights. But I enjoy my mornings
  • Some practical items: no IT (hardware) support. We all own and are responsible for our own kit.
  • Lynch-pin is good communication And good communicators
  • Trust between manager and staff, between peers
  • We constantly evolve the infrastructure Technical/logistical challenges And human challenges
  • Document updates, discussions, announcements Checkins, task/issue notifications
  • [
  • We use skype for 1:1 and conference calls, occasional screen sharing And fallback for chat in event of service outage
  • Everything has a ticket We use Redmine for issue tracking Email updates from subversion and redmine provide the pulse
  • Meet up at conferences, workshops. A lot of misunderstandings go away when you meet in person. Irony, enthusiasm, despair - don’t travel well over wires
  • Management lacks cues, FUD can ensue Attempts to micro-manage backfire We’re back to trust, and effective infrastructure to provide (unobtrusive) visibility into activity
  • Transparency and accountability Trust on both sides Self-motivation, time management. Judge by results
  • (answering loss of comraderie, atmosphere) Home/office Life is not work Work is a time, state of mind as well as a place. Work is what you produce, not where Your office is not your social life (could go either way)
  • Embracing Teleworking: Pros and Cons of the Virtual Office (Sam Foster)

    1. 1. Why/Not Virtual Office? Sam Foster @samfosteriam
    2. 3. A Distributed Team
    3. 4. Most of what we do is done as a team
    4. 5. Opportunities <ul><li>Staggered, extended work day </li></ul><ul><li>Less time wasted </li></ul><ul><li>Reduced overheads </li></ul>
    5. 6. Bigger Talent Pool <ul><li>Cast a much wider net </li></ul><ul><li>Relocation not necessary </li></ul>
    6. 7. Quality of Life <ul><li>Pick your own work environment </li></ul><ul><li>Choose your hours </li></ul><ul><li>See your family! </li></ul>
    7. 8. Challenges <ul><li>IT support? </li></ul><ul><li>Large file exchange </li></ul>
    8. 9. Communication
    9. 10. Trust
    10. 11. To make it work...
    11. 12. Activity Feeds
    12. 13. Chat = Presence <ul><li>Secured Jabber Network </li></ul><ul><li>“ rooms” per project/team </li></ul><ul><li>1:1 chat </li></ul>
    13. 15. SVN & Redmine
    14. 17. Pitfalls
    15. 18. Being grownup
    16. 19. The work place
    17. 20. IMHO... Sam Foster @samfosteriam

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