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Showing posts from 2014

Experience on a virtual "window to the office" solution

For some time we played around with an idea to have a virtual window to the office and through that connect all the teammembers working in different offices, cities and countries into one virtual room. The idea is that everyone would have an "always on" video meeting connecting everybody together onto one screen.

The virtual window actually did not start off very well and I think this is something interesting to learn from. The main reasons as I see it were two:
- Quite fast it felt like the window was not for me to see others, but for others (and the boss) to see me. And that is not a nice feeling.
- Technically the cameras of videoconferencing and laptops usually do not cover the whole room where they are in. So you get a creepy feeling as someone can watch you on the other end while himself being outside of his camera angle.

However I still think an always on virtual window to the office is useful for some situations. For example in a situation where a multi-location team…

For IT consultants and specialists who want to work with projects based in Estonia

I started a LinkedIN group to exchange the contacts between companies who need doers for their ICT projects and specialists/consultants who can do. You are most welcome to Join, post jobs, post projects, advertise your skills or just discuss.

To make the world a bit flatter and help ICT specialists to start working in Estonia I updated the post on my blog about "How to move to Estonia..." Please read and comment with any information that I have missed.

A virtual "Window to the office"

This is another post where I explore the ideas and benefits around video- and teleconferencing....

We are soon starting a test in our team where we install "a Window to the office". The idea is to have a virtual video room where everybody in the team can connect with almost any device from anywhere and there will be a central computer showing video from the main office room all the time. This could potentially be a huge change on how we look at office work today. Our preliminary tests show that the technology is almost there. It needs some tuning and testing though and probably some components (like the Chrome Beta browsers Webrtc client on tablet) need some iterations to get stable, but we are almost there.

This way we can make the teamwork in geographically split teams much better. Why one should do that? Here are the benefits that an employer could get from such an arrangement:

1. You no longer need to hire only from the same city your office is in.
2. Companies who provi…

Making work geographically independent in the Cloud Services Factory

For a year now I have worked as a manager in a team called The Cloud Services Factory in the TeliaSonera group. We are a team of project managers and ICT specialists and our responsibility are innovation and product development projects on different TeliaSonera markets. Most of our team is in Tallinn, I work in Stockholm and the projects are aimed towards the Swedish, Finnish, Danish and other markets. This all creates a very interesting geographical challenge! How to manage for example a project that is aimed for the Nordic markets and that is managed by specialists from Estonia, Nordics and other countries?

In this and a the next posts I would like to share some of the experience that we have in organizing our work to be geographically independent. I would like to push this even forward. I am quite sure that for ordinary office work the technology is almost there to end the need for being in the same physical location all together. This will create a shift in the whole society as co…

Why should starting a startup mean 60-80 hour workweeks?

The Economist put together recently a report on startups, incubators and how they are changing the world economy. Very good piece of reading! But there is one part in the startup scene that I don't quite understand.
 As the report points out it is very common that founding a startup means very intensive work. Both the startups and accelerators acknowledge that it means months if not years of 12+ workdays, no family, no holidays, no relations outside the company not to mention any hobbies. I would hereby argue a it against it. I mean it is important to focus and get things done, but one should fit into the 40 hour workweek. Here are some questions to argue for that:

- Do you make sound and good decisions if you have worked for 12+ hours seven days in a row or are you tired?
- Do you get the best deal with the best partner if you are hurrying and do not take the time (sometimes months) for negotiations or do you take the one that you can close in two weeks?
- If you only work and do…