[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Edlug Archive Apr 2004 ]

Re: [edlug] teleworking



    > I'm curious to know: how many teleworkers are there on this list?

I was one.  I got fired after 3 months teleworking when there was a
financial crisis.  (A few crucial people were pretty hostile to
teleworking.)  Basically you become very ignorable and disposable.
You have to make a big effort to get in people's faces so they
remember you exist; and work your balls off.  The phone is very, very
important.

    > I am, for one.  I'm a newcomer to Edinburgh and to EDLUG.  I used to live
    > and work in London but have moved here with my girlfirend, who has a new job
    > at the university.  I work for a small company who agreed to let me telework
    > from Edinburgh, since replacing me would be rather more exensive and
    > inconvenient.  It's an experiment, which seems to be going okay so far,
    > after a few weeks.  The plan is to return to London every month or so for a
    > week of face-to-face work, but the rest of the time my office is the sofa in
    > a small flat in Newington.

This sounds very familiar!  

    > I expect one of the biggest challenges will be to avoid getting cabin-fever,
    > but another problem is general communications with the other people I'm
    > working with.  So far we've been getting by okay with MS messenger, CVS and
    > TightVNC over an ssh tunnel, a wiki, email and the phone.  Net/Gnomemeeting
    > doesn't (quite) work both ways, as we have a NAT firewall at both ends and
    > no VPN set up yet... but then, video seems more of a distraction than an
    > aid.  Voice over IP would probably be more useful, if it was simple to use.

I used VPN over smoothwall.  It took weeks to set up, because the sysadmin
was being a complete bastard with the personality of Napoleon Bonaparte.
(It was a French company...).  

    > Any solution will need to be a bit platform-agnostic, since my work requires
    > developing in .Net, which I am becoming fairly comfortable with, but I'm
    > traditionally much happier using Unix, specifically Linux, and I don't see
    > myself ever switching to MS entirely.  This is not usually true of the
    > people I work with / for, however.

This too sounds familiar.  I found it very difficult to work on Windows
machines, not having used them before.  I took a windows box up here
and figured out ways I could actually work on my own linux machines,
with minimal use of the windows.  It was something that some people
didn't like, that I could work they way I wanted.  I'm surprised they
didn't require that I used a particular brand of pencil/paper too... .

    > It's not just a technological problem either.  It's a social and management
    > issue, too, and we'll need to change the way we work.  There are some
    > interesting suggestions on http://www.fastnloose.com/cgi-bin/wiki.pl/dad,
    > which I've not had time to read thoroughly yet.

You seem to be anticipating the problems.

    > So, do any of you telework, or know of any teleworking interest groups,
    > especially any in the Edinburgh area?

My wife also teleworks. She spends about 75% of the day on the phone.
She has the skin of a rhinocerous, which is an important and very
valuable attribute when you are ringing people up.

She doesn't like it.  She keeps saying she wants to work in a proper
office, with proper gossip.  Mind you, she's English.  There are a
couple of others from her company in Edinburgh.  They meet in the
flesh eand have a blether every few weeks, but its not enough.

    > Regards,

    > Nick

Best of luck.  You have to make it work yourself: don't expect them
to help. 

Hank
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