A little more shed…

I love it. Seen on the well appointed desk:

(originally from Sunset)

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Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution

From a tweet:

Olive Productions (@Olivepro)
9/22/10 2:20 AM
Shedworking: It’s Not About Cute Sheds, It’s About the Workplace Revolution (Book Review) : TreeHugger http://t.co/LNu2B28 via @TreeHugger

I love the shedworking site as much for the photographs as the written content. At some point in the future we may move to a house with a different yard and when that happens I’m definitely going shed. Shedworkers can surround themselves in a wonderful, peaceful, custom enclosure; a tightly focused working environment.

The book is in my Amazon wishlist; I’ll be getting it soon.

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Jayna Wallace: Showering Optional: Tips For Remote Employees

I’m at geekend2010 this week, in Savannah, GA. One of the sessions this morning was a talk about remote working, given by Jayna Wallace.

Gone are the days when physically being in the office is required to get your work done. As companies look towards workshifting (or telecommuting, for you old-skoolers) to reduce costs and recruit top talent, opportunities for “digital nomads” are more widely available than ever. And while it’s not all fun and games, once you leave the office, you’ll never want to go back. Ever. Learn the tips and tricks from someone who’s spent the last five years working for geographically diverse companies, spanning time zones and continents. “Telecommuting” is so 2002. “Remote Employees” are the new black.

It was a great overview of the remote employment, filled with examples from Jayna’s own work history. One nice touch is she added in a good bit about *how* to become a remote employee – approaching management with a proposal and backing it up with great reasons to put you back at home.

More at http://showeringoptional.blogspot.com/

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More on co-working

Working Alone in a Group

(Via The Future of Work Weblog.)

The Charleston area’s co-working situation now has a dedicated space in North Charleston, CHSCoWork is starting small and open on Thursdays. I wish them luck!

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DesksNear.Me :: Where do you want to work today?

Another site aggregating workplaces! Awesome.

http://desksnear.me

I love this – such a great way to share this information.

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Loosecubes – for Co-working facilities

Loosecubes

What a great idea. Aggregating all kinds of spaces, you can find one or list one. I love the interface!

Best of luck, Loosecubes!

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How to Stay Productive Working from Coffee Shops (or Anywhere Out of the Office)

How to Stay Productive Working from Coffee Shops (or Anywhere Out of the Office)

Continuing the theme while I conjure up a full post on the subject.

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Hivelogic – Offices Are Becoming Antiques

Hivelogic – Offices Are Becoming Antiques

Dan Benjamin, referencing a post by Seth Godin. My favorite quote:

The gain in speed, productivity and happiness is massive.

I haven’t been to my company’s office in a long time – 2 years now? While that hasn’t been fully the best thing personally (I miss some of the direct interaction that exists with people I normally don’t work with), there has been almost NO negative affect on my productivity, ability to execute and overall job satisfaction. The office really is dead, at least in software development circles.

There are so many places for a group of coworkers, especially if they’re geographically centralized, to meet. Coffee shops, coworking locations, hotel conference rooms, college campuses, etc. all satisfy the need for a face to face meeting without the overhead of a permanent physical space. All satisfy what might be single benefit of an office (the quick “everybody into the meeting room” need) while obviating the archaic traditions of office working. Even if not geographically centralized, options abound. And more are possible every day.

More to come about my own use of space in doing my daily work. This summer has been interesting around here, and working from home has made some great things possible.

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Why working at home is both awesome and horrible – The Oatmeal

Why working at home is both awesome and horrible – The Oatmeal

Oh my. The Oatmeal is awesome.

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Distributed Teams Presentation Redux 2

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Distributed Teams Presentation and offered two items for followup. I’ll address the second here.?

Second, what kind of tools are available to tie team and project status together into a single overview that can be used to track and manage disparate and distributed team members?

Jack, my presenting partner, uses along with his management team a shared spreadsheet on Google Docs which gets updated regularly for the high-level project dashboard view – rolling up team reports, status information, timelines and more into a consistent and concise overview.

I’ve used a variety of project task management tools to do project status; at Mark/Space we’re using FogBugz to track all features, bugs, schedule items and data points for projects. In the past I’ve also used Copper Project, which is an online project management application. For personal work, as well as for initial engineering project estimation scheduling and resource allocation, I use OmniPlan.

Additionally, and especially useful for distributed teams, web hosted applications are becoming more popular and more powerful. The suite of tools from 37signals, including BaseCamp, are a great way to jumpstart project management needs.

All of these tools work well – some great – but can only work to their full potential (and thereby become invaluable to the people using them) if the data that goes in is good. When using any tool, from simple spreadsheets to comprehensive PM software, if the numbers that the team enters are consistent, reliable and accurate, rolling the status of a project up into a high-level overview can be done.

The challenge then, no matter what tools are used is to have a team (distributed or not) who takes seriously the value of strong estimation, regular updating of status and the ultimate use of the data to improve project work and delivery. No single overview will be useful if the underlying information isn’t correct or isn’t available; it may be even more dangerous than having no overview at all.

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