I had a bunch of issues I needed to get off my chest, and I thought using video would be the easiest way. So check out my video blog and let me know if you agree with me. I'd also like to know if you think this is a good format for a blog.
@richnass: Your cable company isn't pulling your leg. Sun outages are a real problem with geosynchronous satellites. They occur when the earth, the satellite, and the sun are arranged in a straight line. The signal from the sun (which emits radiation across a wide range of frequencies, not just visible light) overwhelms the signal from the satellite. This happens twice a year, first around the spring equinox (later this month) and again around the fall equinox (in September).
As far as 160 mph speedometers go, this puts normal U.S. highway speeds right in the middle of the dial, which reduces the amount you need to lower your eyes to read the speedometer.
Regarding Yahoo's policy, I agree that there's no substitute for physical presence. That being said, there needs to be some flexibility for employees. I'm not sure that a total ban on telecommuting is the best idea. But telecommuting should not be the norm, either.
I didn't know about the sunspots, either, Al. I do know about lousy service, though, which is what I get from my Internet supplier here in the Chicago area. To add to what Rich said about home employment, I might add that the lousy Internet service makes it hard to be a home employee.
gauges of a car are often arranged so that when everything is normal, most the lines are pointing in essentially the same direction. this makes it easy to notice when, say, your water temp is skyrocketing.
Well first of all, I think a video blog is definitely an efficient and user-friendly way of getting some points across and fostering discussions on topics, so I like the format, Rich.
Secondly, I wanted to comment on your opinion about home employees. I think you have a good point, even though I work remotely and there is no way I could possibly even commute to the office form where I am! But I do think employees working together does inspire more collaboration and someimtes people come up with better ideas; that has been my experience.
Then again, I have worked in offices as a journalist where people didn't speak to each other much at all, since our jobs can be quite solitary when you really are working on a story and have to chat with sources and write privately.
But I know personally I wouldn't mind working in person with people, but it's not really an option. I also think there should be a balance and not an edict completely against working from home. Working from home sometimes makes sense and actually sometimes people can get more work done in isolation rather than in a busy office where it's easy to get caught up in idle chatter. So in essence, I, too, see both sides.
When in comes to telecommuting, I'm getting a chance to try it out this semester as I am on sabbatical and have happily ditched the 2-hour daily commute (45-min in, 75-min out) for most days. I'm getting loads of reading, writing, and programming accomplished at home, but when it comes to collaboration, especially new product design and brainstorming, I agree that face-2-face is optimal.
I also suggest that face-2-face needs to be "optimized". The chance meeting in the hallway on the way to the restroom by your office is not optimized f2f. I'm pretty sure what Marisa Mayer has in mind at Yahoo is what has been so successful at Google -- an "office-less" office. Going into the "office" at Google means going to Day Camp. On-tap Caffeine, Sugar, and Food. Movable tables, chairs on wheels, beanbag chairs, ping-pong tables, arcade rooms, whiteboard surfaces, computers every few inches. Google, and now Yahoo are not a collection of offices or a cubical farm, but Idea Factories.
It is very difficult to contribute to the Idea Factory floor from home. Maybe someday with increased telepresence, but not currently...
I was about to post but Dave covered three of my four points (sunspots, 160 mph speedometer, Yahoo policy) exactly.
The speedometer thing isn't new. In 2000, my son bought a 20-year old BMW and the second thing he did was to replace the speedometer head with one of greater range.
One thing that hasn't been addressed is the suitability of video for the enterprise office. All of the tech sites seem to think that their readers want more video. Truth be told, it is a problem in the office. The audio annoys co-workers. Headsets bring suspicion of goofing off. Content delivery is less efficient than print. I see little value to video in the office and usually skip it.
Why doesn't Yahoo provide Skype like service. That should be good enough for person to person interaction. And then there is 'chat' service. Chat saves me a 50 yard walk a few times a day. I know a few people who work from home and they like it. If all people are doing is processing paperwork, they should work from home. Yahoo should have been more selective about who can no longer telecomute and let the local manager decide.
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