The Way we (will) Work

On ABC-TV’s Difference of Opinion: The Way We Work, there is an excellent view on the world of modern “work”.  The world of work has changed from a mere 5 years ago, let alone 10 or 15 years.

IM (instant messaging), blogs, RSS feeds, live calendars etc all dramatically change the immediacy of information and access to people. Thankfully, I have yet to get a corporate mobile phone and my desk phone number isn’t widely known outside the internal phonelist. Email, blogging and RSS are my main outputs/inputs.

This week has been an interesting week “at work.” Being locked in a room, laptops off, being ‘inducted’ into Microsoft after some 4 weeks in the organisation. I am constantly inspired by my new work collegues, my boss; there is no shortage of information and toys to play with. So, it sorta seems induction is a little late for me. Anyway, it’s required so into a room for 3 days.

There has been an interesting reaction of people I know to my new employer. Many are happy I am doing what I love: technology and customers. Some question “what is your title again, and what exactly are you doing?” Other, more Mac-a-philes are surprised and ask a few more questions. My analysis is that Microsoft people are just like normal people: friendly, helpful but smarter than the average bear.  Explaining your title as “professional geek” gets smiles and starts a conversation.

So, stuck in a laptops-off meeting, you have to do more “second shift” work to keep up with the RSS feeds (to know what your boss is doing) and emails.  Feeling guilty about not keeping up drives to bad on-the-lap work behaviour. Filtering, sorting, deleting, replying. Blogging.

If you think this all sounds very “web 2.0 social networking blognorati” – guess what? This is how your kids are learning and collaborating now. IM, email, Powerpoints, short bursty just-in-time learning. Watch and ask ’em. I bet their “production” application is not Excel or Outlook. It’s Messenger.

Uncle Mike warned me about keeping my email load down. In an attempt to be subversive, I retain this goal. Also breaking the rule about blogging when tired. Yep, doing that too. Hence the rambling.

The inner Munge Brother comes alive!

The Protestant Work Ethic Does’t Work.

In a culture where work can be a religion, burnout is its crisis of faith.

About the technology-centric world in which we live: One has to wonder whether the developments of a high-speed world haven’t made burnout worse.
Another good read is “The Latham Diaries“. Whilst Mark Latham has damaged the Australian Labor Party more than their political opponents, he does detail a personal crisis. The institution that built him in his work life ultimately destroyed him. Yeah, Mark was a bit of a bloke’s bloke in a poisonous profession – but the personal toll led him to leave.

Another quote: happiness equals reality divided by expectations.

I know it is a bit rich coming from someone who is working part-time, at best: but I feel it must be said.

Time does not go backwards. Remember that.

First Day of Self-employment

About 21 years ago, before sitting my “final” exams I knew I had a full-time job. Thanks to Tim Kleemann now owner of Next Byte, the IT industry had sucked me in. January 6th, 1986. I was working for the man.

20 years on…and for the first time in my employable life, I am technically self-employed. Whilst my self-employment is by choice, but it’s still weird.

Do I call myself if I am going to be late to the office?