Industry Updates

Working with People You Can't Be With Daily Report (July 15, 2008)

The People Part of Working with People You Can’t Be With

  • A recent survey found some disquiet about working with others at a distance. “Nearly half (48 percent) of workers polled said their jobs would be more difficult if they did not work in the same office as their supervisors. Of this group, 27 percent felt it would be much more difficult. Similarly, 58 percent of managers surveyed said it is important that all staff members work in the same location.Time and deliberate effort to make it work by explicitly talking about what is working and what is difficult is needed here.
  • Jason argues that clarity over naming and therefore clear signals about called-for behavior is a key to the effective use of collaboration tools. “What I’m observing is if you are very proscriptive in how you want employees or customers to collaborate, they will respond. I’m not saying limit their options. If they want to create additional groups and collaborate more, by all means turn them loose. However, when getting things started, the more specific you can be, the better results you will achieve.Signaling what is socially acceptable in collaborative software settings helps people avoid feeling like idiots.

The Technology Trends of Working with People You Can’t Be With

  • Captaris is hosting three webinars in the coming weeks on Version 8.3 of Alchemy, its document management system. “Captaris Alchemy document management software creates a digital file cabinet for your organization, a trusted digital archive where you can securely store any document type and then find it within seconds, even years later.
  • Unisys released free trials of its hosted Exchange 2007, Office Communications Server 2007 and Office Live Meeting services. “The trial service, implemented and managed by Unisys, will offer organizations the opportunity to evaluate the features available in the Microsoft unified communications suite, including e-mail, calendaring and unified messaging, in addition to multi-party instant messaging, and voice and video conferencing. Up to 20 accounts can be established per customer, extending the trial experience to a larger group of individuals across the company. Organizations interested in participating in a 30-day trial should contact their Microsoft Sales Executive.That’s a relatively easy way to ‘kick the tyres’ on a hosted Unisys offering; of course, they’ll hope you stay!
  • Near-Time announced Connection, an integration of the Near-Time service with WebEx Connect. “The Near-Time Connection widget enables users to access new information in their communities, create wiki and weblog posts, make comments to forums, as well as receive and play podcasts. In addition to running in WebEx Connect, the Near-Time Connection widget runs on mobile devices running Safari or Opera browsers and iGoogle Web pages. Near-Time’s support for rich media in its wikis and blogs makes it easy for customers to save and publish their WebEx Connect sessions and conferences privately or to the Web. The combination of WebEx Connect and Near-Time means users can span client, on-demand and mobile Web collaboration.

Insights on Being Productive and Effective

  • When your brain feels stressed out and overwhelmed, take a break to calm and relax your brain. “His first message to people banging their overworked, underperforming brain on the desk is sure to come as a relief – give yourself a break. Rock says one of the key findings of neuroscience is that the brain’s power is surprisingly limited when it comes to complex cognitive tasks.Hear, hear. Taking 10-15 minutes to walk outside, if that’s possible, or to read something not related to work, is a great way to do this during the day. See also Recharge in Minutes, a great book related to this.
  • Stephen Covey on the problems with multi-tasking: “Today the average college student or corporate worker considers themselves a “multitasker”. It’s not unusual to meet people in their 20s who are working, going to school, starting their own company, married, raising kids and enjoying hobbies. They end up with a huge list of things that fracture their attention. This isn’t wrong in any way–for the most part it’s admirable–but there is an old saying: to a hammer, everything looks like a nail. To a chronic multitasker, everything is a task. Soon, the things in life that are really important to them are in the same list as everything else, and the only tasks that get done are the ones that have become urgent, but often aren’t very important. Because of this they are driven by an addiction to the urgent and continually respond to the the four P’s—those things that are Pressing, Proximate, Pleasant and Popular—leaving very little time to do those things that are truly important.“Fracturing of one’s attention” — now there’s a startling way of putting it.
  • Mark outlines one way of choosing which task to do next: do the less difficult one in a toss-up between two on your list. “The idea is to work through the to do list comparing each task in turn with the next task on the list and doing the one which you are resisting the least. That way each task you do seems like the easy option, even though it may be quite difficult.” But he found some problems in its implementation, so has a revision: “A simple modification makes the method work much better. Instead of comparing each item with the next item on the list, you compare the first item on the list (i.e. the oldest) with the last item (the newest) …. What I have found is that because the list is being tackled at both ends, it tends to get less bogged down than the previous method I recommended.

Other Noteworthy Insights

Categories: Industry Updates