The One Year Experiment

Working From The Beach

As I write, the waves are crashing outside and the coffee is brewing. Not the burnt tar most offices pass off as coffee, but my choice of quality brew. My choice, Peet’s Sumatra.

Today marks my first day working remotely. I don’t start for another hour but I know this environment –my condo on the beach– is made for creativity. How can you not come up with killer ideas when the only sounds you hear are the ocean. Don’t people pay good money for cds of nothing but ocean sounds? In my opinion, those cds have too much seagull effects in attempts to be more convincing.

“Give me more seagull. I have a fever and the only cure is more seagull.”

My Experiment

On to the subject at hand, my experiment for the year is to the measure the effects of remote working on one’s influence at work. While stationed out of the corporate office, I was popular. I spoke to everyone and, more importantly, my opinions and thoughts held weight. The big boys listened to what I had to say and typically followed my recommendations. This influence is one of the reasons I was allowed to work from the beach.

Social Media to Maintain Contact

My goal with this blog is to share the tips, stradegies, and methods I use to stay connected while being away. Working from the beach is awesome, but that doesn’t mean your career has to be put on hold. It’s all about using the social tools we have at our disposal. This will be the ultimate test of social media and it’s effectiveness.

As a marketing and public relations –wanna-be– guru, I know how to connect and communicate with people. But will I be able to accomplish the same amount of influence without the all important ‘face time’?

We shall see.

I have 30 minutes before starting work. I’m going to sit on my porch, enjoy the ocean (it’s a rainy and overcast day) and drink some fine coffee before starting work. Once I start –I’m kicking ass today.

Today’s test is replacing email with a phone call. Instead of firing off the quick email, I will give that person a brief call. This is meant to ease the transition period for everyone else. Get them used to hearing my voice while not seeing my face.

You may not be working remotely just yet, but what tools do you use to stay connected?

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  1. Matthew
    May 6, 2009 at 11:29 am

    In our IT dept I’d say about 75% or more of the staff telecommutes, some at least once a week.
    While connected via VPN, instant message is a pretty vital form of communication, although interestingly enough it’s also critically important even while everyone is in the office at their desks. At some point everyone decided on Yahoo (not my favorite, but I run Pidgin so I can connect to all my IM clients at once — even Facebook chat), and it ends up being the quickest way to share information without being in someone’s face. It’s much less distracting to receive an IM asking a question, than someone stopping by my desk thinking they need to BS me with small talk before getting to the question; and if I need to do some research before answering your question, I don’t have you standing over my shoulder waiting.
    Our company also has something called a conference bridge; when inside the building, it’s another extension we can dial from the speakerphones in conference rooms. Outside the office, we call into it via a separate phone number to join an ongoing conference call. Makes tracking people down to call into a meeting much easier than having to call a bunch of people and conference them manually before a meeting starts.

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