It's such a simple question. Does "where" matter anymore?
In some cases it doesn't. For months now I've been amazed by Bradley's ability to "live out of a bag" at work and still be very much in contact and productive. While he's rarely at his desk, through the magic of wireless networking, a cell phone, laptop, and Treo, he's in touch and able to work from the cafeteria, home, the Berkeley office, Hong Kong, or nearly anywhere.
I've noticed Chad doing this more and more as well. He'll often gather up his stuff and say something like "I'll be living out of my bag for the rest of the day."
I've made an effort to work remotely (from home or the Berkeley office) one day a week, but it's still challenging. Conference calls and meetings tend to be the sticking points. It's rarely the technology that gets in the way. Instead it's the human factors.
When we interviewed Andrei Broder (the interview will be posted next week, I hope) he talked about this too. He noted that at IBM they made conference calls completely virtual. In no case would you have 5 people in a conference room and 2 calling in remotely. That's because the 5 who are face to face forget that they can't have 2 conversations going on at once, can't rely on hand gestures and whiteboard drawings, etc.
I've noticed that when we have our weekly team meetings, Bradley often speaks directly into the speaker phone so that our London-based coworkers get a clear shot at hearing him. But most folks at Yahoo don't grok that yet. It's quite frustrating to be one of the few people "calling in" to a room full of people. You're generally a second class citizen.
Until we solve that problem, location will still matter.
Posted by jzawodn at February 26, 2006 07:30 AM