Enterprise Geeks Podcast – The Virtual Worker


The Virtual Worker

The Virtual Worker

In this monster of a podcast, we gather up three guest hosts (Craig Cmehil, Dan McWeeney, and Rich Heilman) to fill in for Ed while he is moving. In our gift to Ed, we explore the issue of the Virtual Worker and share tips and tricks from our own experiences as Virtual Workers. While on the subject of virtual environments, we also transition into a discussion on Virtual Events vs. Physical Events.

If you have questions, suggestions, or topic ideas for future episodes, give us a shout here. Enjoy!

Running Time: 1 hour 17 minutes

Talking Points

    1. 01:40 – Ed’s Shoes
    2. 03:00 – Virtual Worker Introduction
    3. 49:00Virtual Events vs. Physical Events
    4. 1:04:00Death of the Taco Bell Dog
  1. 1:07:00Comic Con
  2. 1:11:00Amazon is Big Brother?
  3. 1:12:00Flickr Backup Tool

5 responses to “Enterprise Geeks Podcast – The Virtual Worker”

  1. Jon Reed says :

    Guys – I really enjoyed this “virtual worker” roundtable. As someone who has worked virtually since 2000, I was interested to see what differences you identified and if there was anything you had missed, but you pretty much nailed it. I haven’t had to work virtually as a full time employee so that has some differences I suppose, maybe less hardcore equipment needs in terms of secure log ins, etc. But otherwise the vibe is the same and Ed should benefit from your anecdotes.

    One thing I would emphasize since I am on my pulpit about this one is: I think we need to step away from the expectation that email is the best real time medium for communication. I find that once I check my email, I can’t ignore the fifteen requests for various kinds of follow ups.

    I have therefore conditioned all my clients to know that they can find me real time via text, Twitter DM, phone, or even Skype, but not email. In my opinion, the “CrackBerrry” influence has not helped here, implying the “Did you get my email?” question is valid at all times of day or night. But email can be uniquely time consuming, I try to limit my email sessions to a couple big binges every day. Without that I would never get my deliverables done, much less my own blogs or podcasts, and that creative work is vital, it’s what keeps me recharged. You guys touched on some of this and also on how wikis can reduce email load, another great point. So I’m preaching to the choir here but I’ve been comparatively much happier with my workload since I took these steps so I’m trying to beat the drum on this one. Even Craig’s habit of keeping his mornings clear – some of this is really possible if you manage expectations and create ways of being accessible otherwise.

    Finally, as for virtual events and real ones, you pretty much nailed that too. The only thing I wanted to say is that I think there is much more potential to make virtual events a bit more “chatty,” with more breakout rooms by topic and more clubhouse-oriented activities that would make virtual more interactive. I’d really like to see SAP head in that direction for their virtual activities, to simulate more of the best of the trade show interactivity. Craig feel free to ping me on this at any point it is of use.

    One really cool thing about virtual events is how much it can help you get the most out of on site events. For example, I have the Virtual TechEd subscription from SAP. This means if I have to miss an educational session at TechEd in order to meet up with some peeps in real time, I can be happy knowing I’ll be able to check out the Virtual TechEd later whenever I’m in the mood to geek out.

    – Jon

  2. Ed Herrmann says :

    Great episode guys; I’m honored that you put together a special edition to help me out as I start my new adventure of remote working. I’m not sure I love the term “virtual” worker, since I still do real work. 🙂

    Thanks for all the great tips; I’m sure others will find them most useful as well.

    Regarding Amazon and the big brother segment, I think that topic probably deserves more time in a future episode, since it was kinda non-related and thrown in at the very end.

    Thanks again; I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to getting back into action on the podcast next week.

    -ewH

  3. Alex Schuchman says :

    I only heard Thomas mention taking a shower..interesting point to note there. Personally I rarely shower when I’m working from home.

    On a side note, I’ve been thinking to get rid of my land line to save some money but Rich’s experience shows me the value of good old AT&T. On the topic of telephony, I actually have to use a non-battery powered phone since I have lots of conference calls when I work from home. The portable’s battery always dies and I wind up running into the next room to swap to another one…not a fun task.
    Talked to some other people from work and they all bust out the super old telephones for long conference calls…which I find very funny.

  4. Kenneth says :

    I loved the podcast on the virtual worker. I just started about 1.5 years ago working remote full-time. I had no idea you guys worked remote. That’s pretty cool. Looks like we are all in the same boat as many of your experiences parallel mine. Nice to get some insight and some compainionship in this area.

  5. CoreKeeper says :

    One short note to the “Link-To-Flickr”-topic: The link to Ed’s shoes is broken, it says “This member is no longer active on Flickr.” One solution would be to download the Internet, but then the other problem with dying hard disks comes up… what a dilemma!

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