Category Archives: Uncategorized

Sharing office space and a desk, an increasingly new way of working in our new normal world

By | Conference call, Teleworking, Uncategorized | No Comments

Its been a growing trend lately, partly due to the crisis and its austerity measures, but also partly due to a new way of approaching life – in a less wasteful way.

Sharing: time sharing, co-owning, renting, swapping, re-using… 

We can all relate, more and more people share, it is not uncommon to hear of a friend of colleague who co-owns (and shares) a car with a friend, or who has access to a shared car via its public transport yearly pass. People share summer houses, or share common areas in apartment buildings (spa, swimming pool but also just a play room), or share an vegetable garden in a neighborhood. Some people share a job, with two people working part time on the same task.

So it is no surprise that in the wake of a growing trend of remote working, we see sharing an office space and desks with others also becoming more and more popular. Although the concept of renting office space in a larger complex or office building is not new, what we are seeing appearing is the presence of remote workers who check-in to a close-by shared office space to telecommute. Effectively only renting out a desk and access to an internet connection, maybe a printer. A bit like what happens in airport lounges. Your neighbors in the office are not your colleagues, they work for other companies also remotely.

A bit like Airbnb proposes a platform for homeowners to advertise and rent their homes for a few days, ShareDesk proposes a platform for office space owners to advertise and rent their (extra) office space to occasional or not-so-occasional remote workers and telecommuters.

After all, if you are telecommuting, it is probably better for you to be in an office environment (a quite cool one too if possible) than just at home. You can meet people, have a chat, exchange views, grab a quick lunch next door… all of this without having to drive or commute for too long.

We love the idea, and we support it with the technology and service to enable it:conferencing calls!

myGC

Audioconference 101 – access codes

By | Conference call, my Global Conference, Uncategorized | No Comments

Why are audioconferences  so difficult to understand? I still remember the first time I received my own pair of conference codes at work… that was many years ago, before myglobalconference was launched.

The concept was easy, “many people talk together at the same time on the phone”… what could be so difficult? but why do I need codes? why 2 codes?

Well, it is simple, it just gets trickier as you become more aware on the subtleties of the technology.

Think of the codes as identifying the cyber meeting room you wish to access

An audioconference is like having a private meeting room somewhere in cyberspace, everyone meets there at a given date and time. As for any meeting, you need to know the “meeting room location and number”. In cyberspace the meeting room location is represented by the phone number you dial, the meeting room number is represented by the access code.
In other words: since everyone will dial the same phone number, you need to enter a code to uniquely identify the cyber meeting room you want to access.

The participant code is the code everyone wanting to join the call should know

The code that identifies the cyber meeting room, is the participant code .
If you are the one organizing the call, inform the participants the “participant code”. Anyone with this code can then “access the meeting”. Conversely, if you are a participant, request to the organizer this code for you to access the meeting.

The administrator code is used for extra security – if one wishes

Lets continue our parallel between bricks and mortar meeting rooms and cyber meeting rooms. Sometimes meeting rooms are locked  or need to be locked, only the owner of the key can unlock the meeting room. Locking a room could be a desired option if – for instance – you don’t want others to access the room without permission, or when you are not there… likewise, cyber meeting rooms can be locked too and unlocked using a key. This key is the administrator code.
To lock the cyber meeting room you need to activate an option in the webtool (tick the box in the web tool when creating a new conference as shown below)

This means that participants can get to the room using the participant code, but can only start talking to each other when the room is unlocked by someone who, instead of using the participant code to access, uses the administrator code (the key). Usually the one who has the administrator code is the one who has initiated the meeting or the owner of the conference call account. What this avoids is that participants use the cyber meeting room without the owner of the room knowing. in fact someone could just re-use the codes at another time and date if the room is “unlocked”….
In conclusion, its very simple, it just get a little more complicated when you start looking a little more into the details, hopefully the parallel with bricks and mortar rooms helps to clarify!.
Have great conferences!
myGC

 

Yahoo bans telecommuting…

By | Teleworking, Uncategorized | No Comments

Ok, maybe not bans completely, but the interweb has blogged a lot about this in the past week; Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, has announced that all employees should report to work to interact live with co-workers. This doesn’t mean that occasional telecommuting is forbidden, it just means that structural telecommuting should not be anymore…

According to a study reported by CNN, 65% of Americans believe that working from home is productive, still 29% think that working from home is prone to “goofing off”…

We, as many others, believe that we ought to re-define productivity in light of the new technologies that enable us to work remotely. When I work from home I have my rhythms which might be less in sync with those of someone sitting at a desk in the office. I might be taking breaks at odd times, but would end up working a lot after dinner or very early in the morning. Thanks to smart phones I can also do work while waiting for my kids sitting in a car in the school’s parking lot. I can get on a call from anywhere. So is being productive is not about the time you log on your employer’s premises. Its about your output.

The fact is that to get output you need managers to provide input, even if just in form of requests or directions; and that could be hard if your staff is out of sight… So, yes, some face time could help at times.

http://money.cnn.com/2013/03/14/news/economy/telecommuting-survey/index.html?section=money_topstories&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+rss%2Fmoney_topstories+(Top+Stories)

Remote hiring anyone?…

By | Teleworking, Uncategorized | No Comments

We had an interesting question the other day on “remote hiring”. This triggered our interest and hence this post was born to try to share what we know about this practice.

Remote hiring can be read in two ways:

The process of hiring remotely to work on site (i.e. without or with minimal face to face contact)

This is a practice that I have experienced personally, for one myGC does this. More and more companies go further than screening candidates by phone, they will hold actual interviews by phone (using call conferences to have various representatives of the employer present), some will go as far as hiring the candidate without a single face to face meeting. One word of advice, be ready to experience this by treating the phone interviews as seriously as you would treat a “traditional” in person interview. On the other hand, you, the candidate, should also be entitled to see in person the premises of your future potential employer. So if you do get an offer, don’t be shy to ask to visit before you sign! there is nothing wrong with this!

The process of hiring staff that will work from a home office or away from the main premises (eg. telecommuting)

In this space we distinguish between companies looking for remote freelancers and companies looking to hire in person staff that will work remotely (always or part or the time). The latter being usually referred to as telecommuting or remote working (although the first kind is also)

We see multiple companies that are specializing in connecting offer and demand (Elance.com, ihubbub.com, remoteemployment.com, just to name a few…). They focus mostly on time-bound or task-bound freelance missions. The fact that the employer and employee will interact remotely being a pre-requisite.

When looking for full time staff that will agree to work remotely the usual hiring process is applied, the fact that part or all of the work will be done remotely is usually mentioned in the offer or job posting. Actually it is usually mentioned as a benefit or perk!. If not mentioned, and you believe you could be accomplishing your tasks remotely, don’t be afraid to ask!

Have great conferences!