Thursday, October 22, 2009

Guide to telecommuting

Telecommuting is becoming a more common practice these days. Technology has advanced to the point where we can have virtual companies with no tangible assets and no real office. My own company is just a room in my house and a bunch of outsourced programmers. It takes so little to have a company.

But how can a PHB keep tabs on his employees if they're not in his office? It can be a challenge, I admit, but it is doable. You need to create a virtual office. Just like the real office, you need to be able to communicate and issue orders to your workers whenever you want. You'll also need to be able to monitor your employees at all times to make sure they're not slacking. Finally, it's ideal if you can exert some sort of remote control over them. How do you create a virtual office that meets these criteria?

First off, you require that everyone keep a constantly open Skype connection. This connection will need to constantly stream audio and video so you can watch your workers and talk to them. With the constantly open connection, you can virtually drop in anytime you want and give them new orders. The big brother aspect of it makes sure they won't ever be goofing off. If they try to do something sneaky like close the Skype connection, Skype will sound a disconnect alert for you.

Most PHBs would be satisfied with the Skype monitoring setup, but a savvy PHB will go one step further. With remote desktop programs like VNC, the workers can be using the same desktop as the PHB. This allows the PHB can see exactly what his employees are doing. Even better, it allows the PHB to take over the keyboard and mouse controls. It's the ultimate management tool for a team.

The challenges of a telecommuting virtual company are many, but with some planning and technical know how, the smart PHB can make it work.

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Joseph M. Scandura, incompetent moron, idiot, pompous, stupid, failure, asshole, arrogant, bullshit, micromanager of the year, technologically clueless, ignorant, condescending, senile, dementia