Working Remotely--or Remotely Working?

Posted by: Michelle Conlin on November 21, 2007

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In my attempt to be all webby—this from a woman who, after a year of toting around her PDA, realized she could access the web on it—I’m throwing out something that’s been on my mind—and story list—for quite some time. And I’m throwing it out to you, dear reader. Please email. Write. Call. I want to know. Make me webby! Let it appear as if I’m 2.0.

For years I’ve been covering the trend of work that is post geographic. Location independent. Place agnostic. Meaning we extreme jobholders can work pretty much anywhere, anytime we want.

What I’m interested in now is when working remotely or flexibly or altneratively does NOT work. There must be times when the whole endeavour flops spectacularly. At HP a few years ago, the entire IT department was brought back in-house after an experiment with working remotely went awry.

As with all trends, there must be a counter trend. When is working remotely working? And when is it not remotely working?

Reader Comments

Brandon W

November 21, 2007 3:28 PM

An excellent, and fun, read regarding remote work is "The 4-Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferriss. Time tells all about how he runs his company and his entire life remotely, on about 4 hours of work per week. Then he tells you how to do it yourself, whether you want to run your own business or continue working at your white-collar job (the blue-collar folk are, frankly, out-of-luck; time to start their own business, I say!). The tips on how to work more efficiently are worth the time and money for this book, alone.

Ross

November 23, 2007 9:50 PM

Generally speaking, working remotely works. Jobholders today can access and be accessed everywhere 24/7 and have effective communication and collaboration tools to do so. When it does not work, it's less about the capability to do so than the mentality to do so. There's still a lot to be said about work ethic, focus and using one's time effectively. Without those, technology and place are irrelevant.

Stephen

November 27, 2007 8:57 AM

I think working remotely is all about balance. It can definitely go awry. I balance being in the office vs. being at the corporate coffee shop (networking) vs. being away from everyone so I can focus on my work. Too much of any one of those and it can go awry in terms of productivity.

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