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Where's the "knowlege worker"?
Old 04-22-2005, 09:34 AM   #1
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Where's the "knowlege worker"?

Here's one that's sure to rasp salt-encrusted sandpaper across raw nerves: Business Week's "Face Time: The New Assembly Line".

Don't read it until you're reasonably sure that you're going to be logging less than 50 hours this week...
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Re: Where's the "knowlege worker"?
Old 04-22-2005, 10:41 AM   #2
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Re: Where's the "knowlege worker"?

Self-preservation. If a manager's employees can work unsupervised from anywhere, then there isn't much need for a manager, is there? Or at least that's his fear. Alternatively if the work can be done outside the office someone may get the idea to outsource it.

I'm lucky; the early part of my career was in hourly positions where I was paid for all face time. The rest of my career has been in roving field positions or a building miles from my manager where my job involves varying amounts of time away from the desk, and facetime over 40 hours hasn't been an issue so far.
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Re: Where's the "knowlege worker"?
Old 04-22-2005, 06:00 PM   #3
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Re: Where's the "knowlege worker"?

One of my co-workers (a mid-management type) quit after a new senior bigshot told her flat out that she was "expected" to be at her desk 10 hours a day. Never mind that she already was on call 24/7. Being a single mom, she decided that she'd find a more family-friendly atmosphere....
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Re: Where's the "knowlege worker"?
Old 04-22-2005, 06:34 PM   #4
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Re: Where's the "knowlege worker"?

Hey, if face-time keeps me from getting outsourced, it can't be all bad.

I am going to start marketing a cup of coffee that plugs into the wall...so your boss will always see a perpetually steaming mug of joe on your desk, no matter how late or early it is.
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Re: Where's the "knowlege worker"?
Old 04-22-2005, 09:40 PM   #5
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Re: Where's the "knowlege worker"?

From IEEE Microwave Magazine:

The Virtual Engineer

Neil Rails looked puzzled as he read the note handed to him only a moment ago by Gladys Best. He was moving in the middle of a herd of engineers that were now filing out of the large conference room at com.Wireless.com. An all hands meeting to announce the candidacy of Leary McFly for IEEE MTT Society Adcom member was just letting out. As Neil approached the door, he tried to turn around and find Gladys to ask her about the note. He caught sight of Gladys just in time to see her place her finger on her lips indicating he should remain silent. At the door, Gladys averted her eyes and moved the opposite way down the hall from Neil. He was confused . . . and a little bit worried. The note indicated that he should meet Gladys at the hamburger joint just down the street from com.Wireless.com at 9:30 and that he should not mention the meeting to anyone. “Why all the secrecy?” Neil thought. It occurred to him that he had not seen her around much lately.

Neil marched straight to Gladys’ office. The light was on and her computer screen had some marketing forecast graphs displayed, but Gladys was absent. After collecting his coat from his own office he passed by Gladys’ office one more time in the hope of catching her before she left for the mysterious meeting. The light was still on, but the computer display had changed and a coffee mug had appeared on her desk. He must have just missed her.

A few minutes later, Neil walked into the restaurant and looked around the room. Scattered at several tables were faces he recognized of engineers from a number of nearby companies. He caught sight of Gladys who was sitting at a table with Joe Nors at the back of the room. Both Gladys and Joe were busy tapping away on their palm-held computers. Gladys looked up as Neil approached and in a hushed voice invited him to sit.

“Neil,” Gladys started, “Whether you decide to join us or not, I need you to pledge complete secrecy for what I’m about to tell you. If you don’t feel comfortable with that arrangement, speak up now.”

That sounded ominous. If it had been anyone other than Gladys and Joe, Neil would have been very concerned. But Neil had been through a lot with Gladys and Joe at com.Wireless.com. They were good engineers and colleagues whose friendship he valued. He trusted them both. “Okay,” Neil said. “Tell me what’s up.”

Gladys began, “Joe and I have started a new company. It’s not a wireless company, it’s a service company . . . providing enhanced professional presence for the busy engineer. We provide several levels of virtual presence at the office for a reasonable monthly rate. Most of our clients start with what we call our Long Lunch and Extended Weekend (LLEW) service. But many find that additional freedom is needed and upgrade to our Engineering Advancement (EA) option. We have even considering the establishment of a new Executive Advantage (EXADV) service targeting VPs from nearby companies.”
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Re: Where's the "knowlege worker"?
Old 04-22-2005, 09:41 PM   #6
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Re: Where's the "knowlege worker"?

Part II:

“Wait a minute.” Neil blurted. “What are you talking about?”

Joe looked up from his palm-held computer for the first time and glanced at Gladys. He looked back at Neil. “It’s our new company, Neil, The Virtual Engineer. You see, most of these large engineering firms in this area are so poorly run that 60% to 80% of their workforce might as well be out playing golf, or hiking, or camping . . . No one knows what anyone else is doing or even what they are supposed to be doing. Let’s face it, when they’re in the office a lot of engineers spend most of their time playing games and surfing the internet. The only reason most of these people go to work is to collect their paycheck so that they can pay for their golfing, hiking, or camping. We are offering a solution – a better solution. The engineer concentrates on important things (like outings with family and friends) but still collects a paycheck. We take care of appearances in the office.”

Neil was silent so Joe continued, “This is not just a matter of opening an office door, turning on a light and throwing a jacket over a chair. Sure, we provide that service too. We’ll move some items around on the desk or have a cup of coffee appear and disappear. And we guarantee to leave your office POOPI (Protect Our Organization’s Proprietary Information) compliant. But what makes us effective is our extensive use of the latest wireless technology to create a virtual office presence that will be viewed positively by management. With our LLEW service, we focus on eliminating several time-consuming and inconvenient meetings each week. We will manipulate the engineer’s computer remotely, open documents, and print them out on shared office printers. We change the office voicemail message each day, and we will populate an engineer’s computer schedule with important sounding business priorities and offsite meetings. These services eliminate the need to actually appear at the office for as many as three days per week.”

“With an upgrade to the EA service, we’ll take it a step further. We can remotely reply to emails, schedule participation in virtual focus groups (comprised entirely of other Virtual Engineer customers), and even generate Group reports and letters of accommodation and praise from your co-workers and internal customers. This service eliminates the need to appear at the office more than one or two days per month. So far, 65% of our EA customers have actually received raises and promotions after less than 6 months of subscription. The raise more than pays our subscription fee.”

Gladys looked at Neil who was stunned and silent. She handed him a flyer for The Virtual Engineer that included a price list. “Our business is booming, Neil, and we need to add staff. That’s what we want to talk to you about.”

Neil looked around the restaurant at all the engineers. He did some mental calculations: number of large office buildings in the area . . . number of engineers per building . . . He looked at the price list. “This just might work.” He finally said, “Count me in.”
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Re: Where's the "knowlege worker"?
Old 04-23-2005, 10:54 AM   #7
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Re: Where's the "knowlege worker"?

Anyone who feels that without face time a manager has no value never had a good manager, or never had good managers reporting to them.

Also, if you cant create value without 'face time', you stink!
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Re: Where's the "knowlege worker"?
Old 04-26-2005, 07:22 AM   #8
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Re: Where's the "knowlege worker"?

SG,

Where can I sign up?

John
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