- Jul 25, 2008
Collaboration and Telework, enhanced by Social Software
Gianna Trapani, an editor at Macworld and Lifehacker recently write a short article about the social software tools she uses to collaborate with her Lifehacker co-editors: The Portable Office: Work Anywhere. Regrettably, its key message – “With Web applications, you can collaborate no matter where you are” – is not heard by all employers (I have no complaints to make – I am sitting comfortably at home, escaping the Viennese rain whilst typing this). It’s ridiculous sometimes to hear which hardships, in particular long distance commutes, some people have to go through to please their employers – my guess is that at least 40% of their time (i.e. 2 days a week in a full-time job) they could be working from home. In particular now that powerful social software is available, and a lot of it for free.
The tools Gina lists are: Campfire as a group-chat web application, Gmail for email, Google Calendar as a group calendar, Google Docs for collaboration, MediaWiki for their documentation needs, Backpack as a project management tool and del.icio.us as a bookmark manager. Good list – at work, we use Zimbra as an email service, which has its own documents manager (which I use intensely) which can be used collaboratively, almost like a wiki, and Skype for keeping in touch or signaling that one is available (oops – I always forget to switch it on though – did that now).
Bottom-line: Affordability of collaborative tools is hardly an argument for employers to not open up to telework and telecommuting. Those who want to wise up can find more info here: Telecommute FAQs by Smartcommute – they also provided the picture above.