21 October 2008

Long distance work

Working from home using your computer sounds like a doddle. Using Skype means no expensive transatlantic phone calls and email, online docs, spreadsheets and mind maps make working together easier, right? Well, only so far. If you've never visited your clients you don't know how their office is laid out spatially meaning that if you are dealing with several people in the organisation you don't know if they can just nip over and check on so-and-so, you don't even know if they can see if someone is in the office!

So you end up with half a dozen Skype chat windows, trying to track people down and playing round-robin chasing the people you need, and it's oh-so easy to ignore that flashing Skype window meaning that working becomes a matter of twiddling your thumbs waiting for responses and then not having enough time to do what you need to meaning you go to bed ever later (note to Cory Doctorow: EST is a great idea, but if you also have to live and in another timezone the payback's a bitch).

Anyway, sometimes it's really nice to do, it's just not great for the family.

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