I have finally written about my teleworking experiences. It’s just an ascii file tonight, straight out of emacs, but I’m too tired to make it look pretty just now.

My cool sounding job with the small startup fell through, due to them suffering cashflow problems. I feel quite sorry for them actually. Startups produce some of the coolest new ideas around. Financially, they often live a hand-to-mouth existence in their early stages. All it takes is for a big company to fail to pay on time, and that can throw a small companies financies into disarray, and sometimes on the road to bankruptcy. It’s plain wrong.

I’ve got several new interviews lined up over the coming week. I have really enjoyed taking December off to recharge my batteries. Part of the plan was to spend time doing non-computer stuff, and I’ve achieved that admirably. However, I’ll be a lot happier once I have something concrete sorted out on the job front.

4 replies on “Teleworking”

I think the solution to teleworking problems is a physical avatar in the office. This should be reasonably large, though not necessarily human-sized. It should have a wig of the right colour and hairstyle, and glasses if appropriate; this minimum will easily allow colleagues to recognise the person the avatar represents.

This would be good for 3 reasons:

  • It gives the teleworker a physical presence which cannot be ignored.
  • It allows more subtle communication via gesture & facial expression etc. in at least one direction.
  • Robots are cool.

Thanks for the write-up. Interesting.

I guess a (ecologically acceptable) solution to your finding you hated the commute might gave included investing travel cash in fancy technical kit to help solve communication problems (e.g. always on video conferencing) and to meet the need to truly be in one place together sometimes through taking longer trips, but less frequently.

Of course, getting a job in Edinburgh probably works pretty well too.

Another possibility is to squeeze together the part of the week when you work. I worked thirty hours per week for a year at a place two hours from my home (but, usefully, two minutes from my folks) travelling down early on Monday, working three long days, back on Wednesday evening. So I wrote off three-sevenths of my week, but the rest was great.

Actually, I think having always-on videoconferencing would’ve made quite a significant difference. It wasn’t something we explored deeply, having been put off by an early low-quality videoconferencing experience! It would provide a good background flow of information (“Andrew’s gone off to lunch” or “Anthony looks like he is concentrating on something”).

Now I can’t get the scene from “Alien” out of my head where you can see the video feeds from the various characters …

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