Reading today in Seth's Blog: Goodbye to the office.
Extracting a few points from his observations
- How many meetings are important? If you didn't go, what would happen?
- You can get energy from people other than those in the same company.
- Of the # people in your office, how many do you collaborate with daily?
- SYNC or ASYNC?
There has long been a push to get everybody in the world to telecommute (I have had much pressure to stop getting onto planes and start working with Telepresence. But, a consistent roadblock to effectively running an organization via telepresence is the effectiveness with which we manage our synchronous and asynchronous working habits.
Synchronous work is that which requires that you and I be working/thinking/discussion simultaneously
Asynchronous work is that which allows that we do or things independently at different times/locations
I have logged enough hours in the Headset to tell you that sitting through "updates" for the web meeting is one of the most painful things in the world. Updating is an ASYNCH activity. I don't need to hear the update the same time as anybody else as long as I hear the same thing.
Discussions, as long as they are two-way channels of communication. Many emails threads of conversation we've had could have been much better if we bothered to make that conversation SYNC. But email is ASYNC. The Feedback mechanism as to whether or not your colleauge is listening or giving you proper attention is not clear.
Cameras are good for having telepresence. It is funny how the appearance of somebodies face on the screen makes a difference. They can also make the ASYNC aspects of telecommuting better, as I think if you need to monologue to get your point across you might as well record it to ensure that the body language and facial ticks are present to make sure that your nuance is not lost in the typing of an email, or chat window.
Make use of collobarative tools if you want me tuned in during these SYNC events online. Like Dabbleboard.
Would this help you tell your story more or less effectively during the telephone call or web conference?
Before we can kill the office we need to find what are the activities that really require us to be SYNC'd or ASYNC in our communication. Strip out the ASYNC (and ensure people do their meeting prep) and maximize the SYNC experience. Making sure we can be interactive and collaborative.