Looking for a Tier 1 ISP Mentor for career advice.

Leo Bicknell bicknell at ufp.org
Fri Dec 2 15:37:08 UTC 2011

In a message written on Fri, Dec 02, 2011 at 12:25:41PM +0000, Thorsten Dahm wrote:
> The downside of this is that you are not around in the office in case 
> someone wants to talk to you. I often end up with guys from our 
> operations team or other teams stopping at my desk and ask questions. Or 
> guys who want to have a quick chat about a problem and want to ask for 
> an advice or idea. Or people who want to learn Perl and have a question 
> that you can answer in 30 seconds.

I've both delt with remote employees and been a telecommuter.  After
those experiences, and reading a few books I've decided the hardest
thing about having successful telecommuters is dealing with the
folks in the office.

Telecommuters quickly turn to technology, they want to video-chat
with collegues.  Are eager to pick up the phone and talk.  They
reach out (generally).  It's the folks in the office that are
reluctant.  They don't see the point of figuring out how the video
chat software works, of setting their status to indicate what they
are doing, and so on.

The "water cooler" conversations can be moved to Skype, FaceTime,
Google Hangouts, or any number of other solutions, but it requires
everyone to be in that mindset.

If you have telecommuters _everyone_ in the office should be forced
to work from home at least 2 weeks a year, including the manager.
It's only from that experience you learn to deal with your telecommuting
co-workers in a way that raises everyone's productivity.

Once over that hump there are huge rewards to having telecommuters.
You can pay lower salaries as people can live in cheaper locations.
People in multiple timezones provide better natural coverage.  People
are much more willing to do off hour work when they can roll out
of bed at 5AM and be working at 5:05 in their PJ's, rather than
getting up at 4 and getting dressed to drive in and do the work.

       Leo Bicknell - bicknell at ufp.org - CCIE 3440
        PGP keys at http://www.ufp.org/~bicknell/
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