What makes telework so successful for Cisco and its employees? For me the answer is simple and powerful: video.
As I sit in my home office, surrounded by amazing technology, I’m struck by how different telework is today from just a few years ago.
A few years ago it started with a second phone line and the company VPN. Today my laptop is plugged into a workstation connected to a Cisco router, as is my Cisco IP phone. When someone calls my work phone it rings in multiple places at once. And my computer monitor is huge, which makes my high-definition videoconferences all the more interesting. I can even access the corporate network with my iPad, at home or on the go. For me, it’s all seamless. Everything I do is connected, and easier, thanks to Cisco. Read More »
I enjoy being part of a team. It’s great for generating ideas, getting support for my ideas, feeling like I am not alone and knowing I can get help if I get stuck. And then there’s the celebrating when we pull off a big project and get to share in the glory and excitement.
But these days, at least half my team members are somewhere else.
While I can walk down the hall to talk to some of my co-workers, I find I am on email or WebEx for others. Keeping everyone on track is my main goal. In this article on the Seven Habits of Extraordinary Teams, they confirm communication is an important ingredient:
Depending upon the goals and time frame, teams should meet at least once a week, and more often if necessary. More importantly, team communications must be tooled (or retooled if necessary) so that each team member understands what’s going on–and, perhaps more importantly, what is expected of him or her before the next meeting.
But it also cites the complimentary requirement that goes with good communication, sharing resources.
For a team to be successful, members must be willing to share whatever resources they control that are required for the team to achieve its goal. These include physical resources (money, materials, office space, computers, etc.) as well as mental or emotional resources (like ideas, suggestions, encouragement, or enthusiasm). When team members hoard, teams are weakened–often to the point of total failure.
In a recent study conducted by Cisco WebEx by Wakefield Research, small business owners will spend up to four weeks working remotely. They will do by using online tools and web collaboration to stay in touch and get the job done. The survey was conducted between June 6 and June 14, involving the owners of businesses with 100 or fewer employees.
Summer may be the time for vacations, but small business owners can’t afford to be away from the office for long. To make the most of work and personal time, many plan to work remotely, on average, 18 days this summer, according to the survey of 500 U.S. small business owners.
One way to get it done is with a free basic account from WebEx.
15% say they intend to work remotely 36 days or more. Read More »
Laura Spencer writes an interesting blog today, 10 of the Most Surprising Things about Freelancing. I think at some point, everyone has the fantasy of breaking free of the corporate hamster wheel and going out on their own. Especially if you have a skill set that can be easily transferred to different situations.
Freelancing is 100% risk. You are responsible for selling your skills and building a client base. You almost never turn down work because you never know when the next assignment will come along. It’s risky and it’s true what Laura says, you really don’t get “personal days” unless you do some careful planning.
But what if you aren’t ready to jump into freelancing 100% of the time?
There are ways you can put your foot in the water and see if you have Read More »