Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Day Not At The Office

Maybe it's working in IT.  Or maybe just working at an office that Scott Adams could have based his comic strip on.  But it puts me of a mind to agree with this Treehugger article.  The days of the office are over.

One of my least favourite activities had to be meetings.  Once, sometimes twice a week.  To begin with.  But then suddenly there were meetings to schedule meetings, meetings to discuss stuff raised at other meetings, and more. I'd often take a wirelessly-connected laptop to those meetings so that while it might look like I only had my notes and spreadsheets with me, I was actually remote logged into the servers and doing the work that I would have been doing had the damn meeting not been called...

So I agree - in a teleconf, who hasn't been doing other things?  And why not?  That whole argument by Lane wallace smacks of someone who doesn't have focus, or at least who doesn't trust the rest of humanity to be as focused as her.  Yes I can understand that some people would use teleworking as their chance to goof off and just draw wages - but that's where management have to take a responsibility for monitoring and - surprise! - managing their teams.  If someone isn't performing, invite them to the (much smaller) office for a face to face if you must, or preferably have a telemeeting with them.  If that doesn't get their attention and their work ethic, then dismissal is always an option - after all, there's going to be ONE person in the world who will see that job as interesting and an opportunity...

I've worked from home with people around the globe, on servers at the end of a chain of VLANs and VPNs and office networks, and even for an IT administrator who needs to reboot and restart servers, it was possible to set up mechanisms that meant I rarely had to be onsite.  I've done helpdesk and remote admin for people up and down the state - while sitting on the edge of the bed watching TV and chatting with my partner.

Our Sales force were more on the road than at the office, and didn't even use a home office, instead using their laptops, mobile phones, and a dash of ingenuity to work remotely long before teleworking became a buzzword.  Most of our office staff that were in the office could easily have worked from home instead, the only thing keeping them at work was the management who were not at all receptive to teleworking or trusting of their staff to remain work-centric if they weren't under a watchful gaze and itchy whip hand.  I've got news for them, 75% of the office staff goofed off for periods of from 30 to 120 minutes every day anyway...

Lastly - I think I mentioned in another blog post that smaller enterprises are going to be a bit of a market force to deal with.  And it's also going to be the enterprises that work smarter, and can cover more of the globe.  You can organise almost anything using the Internet these days, and the 'almost' will be covered before another year or two have gone, mark my words.  Instead of having an office full of local people - many of whom will suffer from that "I'm only here for the wages" syndrome - you can pick a smaller, dedicated team from anywhere in the world.  And have a presence 24/7, everywhere.

They say that if you find a job you like, you'll never work for a living again.  And if you raise your sights when looking for staff to fill positions, you're more likely to find that person that actually likes the job you're offering, and reap the benefits...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Can Haz New New Inventors Plz?

I've just had the most wonderful trip around the garden path, and I haven't even left my chair...  As long-time readers know, I have ideas, eminently capitalisable ideas, and of the last five years at least, those ideas have been focused on making a difference to energy use, climate change, and sustainable resources use.

Today I think I experienced the ultimate "innovation" oxymoron.  I went to an Australian Government department whose sole function is to nurture innovative ideas, and got shunted around Australia a bit, then finally told that they don't actually deal in innovation, but in fully-formed innovative business ideas.  That was the main gist of the conversation I had with the various people on the phone.  "We're not actually interested in innovation so much as in the business making money from innovation..."

There are research grants, too, yes, I nearly forgot.  But for ideas and concepts that are already under development and which have projected earnings.  So if I have an idea for a way to make a motor vehicle more environmentally friendly, I have to somehow fund enough research (on a pension) to prove that I can produce the whole thing (i.e. a prototype) and then have done all the market research (again, on a pension) to prove that people will flock to it and buy it in droves, despite any future further economic downturns or disasters?  And I'm supposed to do this so that I can prove to that department that I don't need them?  Please to be off-buggering now, government department.

And thanks for all the fish, cos it sure wasn't any help!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

ORBs #1

Occasional Random Brainpharts (ORBs) seems to be a way to go - so many news articles that start me on a train of thought, interrupted, that isn't enough for a decent article, but is worthy of mention.  So I'll start collecting a few and see how I go.

Random thoughts #1:
Why does Hubble need grapple hooks?  Repelling Somalian Space Pirates?  Or are we hoping to snag a Vogon construction vessel?

Random thoughts #2:
Maybe the Renegade Scout ship will come from a place named by Venetia Phair. 

Random thoughts #3:
Do bras need grapple hooks, or is that just what we males do?

Random thoughts #4:
For heaven's sake, why bother with the bomb body in this case?  Why not just drop the capsules directly from a hopper?  Save all that extra manufacturing?  And, lastly, neatly looping this thread, maybe these capsules could benefit from some form of grapple hook to anchor them to the ground...

Monday, May 4, 2009

Another Day, Another Lying Company

Hmm - I wonder why people have lost faith in just about every business ever...  Latest assholes are a VOIP/phone service provider who trumpet "No more line rental fees!" all over their sign-up page.  Their plans start from $9.95 a month.

Hang on - a month?  So you actually still do charge a monthly fee (that any other telco calls the line rental fee) but without the messy business of actually having to provide, you know, a line...  Talk about slimy.

But I'm fair, even when the company appears not to be.  I emailed them for some information on the "no line rental fees!" thing.  Did this mean that $9.95 was available for call charges?
The monthly plans do not include their fees as call credit. So on the $9.95 plan this does not mean it includes $9.95 of calls each month. You do however get access to lower rates and in some cases free calls. The plans includes a standard local Australian phone number which allows incoming calls from any telephone service. There is no contract so you can change plans or cancel at any time.
 Hmmm. Just because you call it something different, VOIPco, doesn't mean it's not the same thing.  Please stop lying to me, my IQ is above the "average" of 110.  (And isn't that another ad that shits you?  The average IQ is, by definition, 100.  If you got that, and decided not to go get your IQ tested by such idiots, then you've automatically passed...)

Anyway - I guess those ads are back in force.  Stay tuned for more as I think of them...

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