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Twitter and working from my living room

Sitting at home in my living room with a nice cup of coffee I consider Big Trends these days: distant working, working in results-only environments (ROWE) and microblogging.

This morning I talked to an Australian sales guy in my office 2 minutes after breakfast. Now, I just mailed my boss in Canada and colleague in Luxembourg something. Reality these days for most people – and so we can enjoy the positive side of it. Focus more on results than business, cut on time on the road and see our children every now and then. But it does pose some challenges to team work – how do we know what the others are doing? How do we keep a sense of team?

Microblogging seems to be an avenue to explore. Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook have gotten a lot of hype. Possibly too much play and 2.0-euphoria, but it might have some use for the distributed folks or those working from home. This is what I recently heard from a friend:

TWITTER – the simple way

  • Set up a twitter channel for everyone in the group.
  • Set the channel to private.
  • Only add each other as followers.
  • Everyone post once a day what they are working on.

Voila – you have your group updates. Maybe even more so than in offices next to each other.

WEEK NOTES and FACEBOOK – the personal way

A new thing happened to me today on the internet. Week notes – some people start posting weekly reflections on their work. Very valueable for he individual in reflecting on their successes and challenges. Sort of a public journal. It might be a bit too personal, but nontheless can foster a great way of catching a vibe from each other and promoting teaming.

  • Setup a profile on facebook that is for your work relations
  • Add each other as friends
  • Once a week, post your weekly reflections
  • Comment on each other’s postings

Some folks migh be uncomfortable with Facebook’s reach and private nature.

TUMBLR – the third way

  • Set up a tumblr account
  • Set up your own tumblr
  • Add an additional tumblr blog
  • Password protect it
  • Add members from your team
  • Allow them to post into the blog
  • Post weekly or daily updates

This might be the best way to combine the speed of twitter with private settings and flexible posting options.

Communication does need some thinking. A lot of places possibly resist home office or distributed work for the lack of control or information that they perceive. These apps can help and we’ll see where they take us. In the future, we will probably work more and more from the places we like than taking long commutes to stuffy, expensive offices.

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