I recently talked to someone with a friend who had a 3-hour daily commute (1-way) from Richmond to Washington, D.C. The job had moved, and he had to show up to the D.C. office every day or lose his retirement benefits. It’s a tough call to make, especially if retirement wasn’t too far away. Clearly, he didn’t want to leave his job, but moving closer to the D.C. area apparently wasn’t an option either. It probably meant uprooting his family, leaving friends and community, and more importantly, it probably meant more expensive housing and a higher cost of living.
Amir was the Director of Quality Assurance for a California-based medical devices company when it was bought out by another company in 2008. Consequently, it was relocated to Naples, Florida. Amir was in no position to pick up his family and move there, but because of his 14 years experience and familiarity with the company, he was an invaluable resource that they wanted to keep around. He continued doing some special projects for them and for the past year and a half he has been kept on as a retainer through his own consulting company, Medical Device Diagnostics. This was largely made possible through the helping hand of the VSee software. I talked with Amir about the difference it has made for him:
I was lucky enough to be in the VSee office last Friday (I’m usually remote) for an exciting engineering team show-and-tell. It’s killing me not to share, but let’s just say that the hours upon hours of hard work the engineers have been putting in are really beginning to pay off: Mac VSee beta is looking really impressive, user interaction group is doing some nice things to make VSee even more accessible to first-time users, and in general VSee is getting closer to its goal of “it just works.” I also have to give a special “hurrah” to Continue reading
Working remotely can feel like you’re always on the periphery of things, lost and forgotten by managers and coworkers who can’t see you. So it’s great when people come up with better ways of giving remote workers more presence. One fascinating idea that makes use of videoconferencing technology is the “Embodied Social Proxy” (ESP) designed by a team of Microsoft researchers lead by Gina Venolia.
A few articles ago, Milton wrote about how hard it is to get noticed and remembered in today’s work world because of all the information noise coming at us. This really goes double for remote workers since they are rarely seen or heard in their work places. Many feel isolated and out of the loop, constantly fearing that they have been given up for lost by managers and colleagues. When I read tech writer and partially remote worker Alistair Christie’s blog describing the guilt and paranoia that often plagues remote workers, I thought “Whew! It isn’t just me!” He talked about feeling guilty because Continue reading