I get really annoyed when I find myself having to do things over and over that a computer could easily do. I am also really bad at remembering to do small things that don’t seem that important.
The latest intersection of these 2 things is that I’ve been forgetting (or not bothering) to set my status as “Away” or “Back” on all the communications apps I have running when I leave the computer. This is something that a computer should be able to do itself, and something that I’m horribly bad at remembering to do.
For a number of reasons at a number of times in my career, I’ve found myself working with variously-distributed teams of one kind or another. Perhaps the “office” is a building that spans 2 square miles, perhaps someone was working from home for a day or someone was on a 2 week “vacation”, or even working for a distributed company with no real office. These were all different situations, but they all suffered from simliar challenges. I want to take a look at a couple of those challenges and some ways that you can help mitigate them.
I’m looking at this mostly as a member of a technical team of some sort, but I’m sure a lot of it would apply to pretty much anyone who’s not working face-to-face with their colleagues. Apologies in advance for this being kind of rambling (and very long). It’s a collection of all sorts of observations, links and ideas that I’ve collected over time. (more…)