Dear Lifehacker, I work full time from home for a company based interstate and do nearly all my work by VPN to a desktop in the office. Over the normal course of a working week there are occasional speed and up-time issues. I’m having some difficulty getting my manager to understand that some downtime is to be expected and unavoidable (it’s not possible for me to change/upgrade my internet at home).
Teleworking is apparently a controversial topic. The recent decision by Yahoo! to effectively ban it has inspired a lot of discussion. Absolutes aren’t useful in this context, but it is worth recognising that telework can be useful even in areas where you might expect that face-to-face contact was vital.
Last week, the media went into overdrive when Marissa Mayer announced that Yahoo was doing away with telecommuting and insisting that employees come into the office and work cheek-to-cheek — or cubicle to cubicle — with their co-workers. The reactions to the announcement have been fairly typical.
Teleworking has been in the news both in Australia, where National Telework Week has just finished, and in the US, where Hurricane Sandy saw many people forced to work from home or a remote office for a week or longer. Parse.ly CEO Sachin Kamdar was one of them. He explains how working from home post-Sandy inspired him to keep it up one day each week (and his rules for successful telecommuting).
As part of our National Telework Week coverage, we’re looking at how the Lifehacker team makes use of teleworking techniques to be more productive. Today, Lifehacker publisher (and former Gizmodo US/Australia editor) Danny Allen explains how he captures a great idea before it slips away in the night.
Dear Lifehacker, I am wanting to progress further into the area of user experience design. The majority of the companies that do great UX work and that actively advertise for UX people are based in Melbourne or Sydney. I don’t live there, but I am fully set up at home with an iMac and all of the necessary software. Is it worthwhile applying for these positions and proposing a ‘working remotely’ type role? Thanks, Remote User
Telework can be useful workers all year round, but having an efficient system for working offsite really comes into its own when a natural disaster strikes and staff can’t get to the office. The benefits can be considerable, but you need to ensure that your cloud infrastructure is up to the task — and do some sneaky social networking planning as well.