2) I don’t (usually) get my best ideas in the shower
But I do something that is increasingly common: I telecommute.
And telecommuting comes with a set of stereotypes (like the
one about working in your fuzzy slippers), most of which are rooted in the
1960s-era concept that anyone doing any serious business did it in an office.
But I work from lots of places, and the people I work with are scattered, quite
literally, around the world.
My friend and colleague, Andrew Winston, asks “Will Video Conferencing Kill Business-Class Travel?” and he’s not the first to suggest that telework technologies will replace a lot of travel and commuting (and eliminate a significant volume of carbon emissions in the process). Web Worker Daily asks if this is “The End of Cubicle Dwelling?” concluding that many jobs can be easily (and maybe better) done from anywhere.
My colleagues here at Cisco also just
released a study showing that tele-commuting increases productivity,
flexibility and job satisfaction.
Convinced? Good. Now back to my question.
If you’re like me, you have ideas. If you’re more like me,
you love to talk with your colleagues, friends and other associates. And I know
when I do, my ideas get better. New ideas get merged and hatched. And brilliant
plans start to take shape. That’s how my ideas turn into initiatives that
produce real results.
But when I’m sitting at my desk at home, there are no
colleagues or friends there to talk with. Just me, my brilliant diagrams and my
And my WebEx account.
And that’s where things start to get interesting. I immediately
reach the people – often scattered around the world - who really help make my
ideas great. I can show them – not just tell them – my great idea, and every
conversation helps turn those ideas into reality and results.
This is how I “pass the ball.” This is also how I make telecommuting work for me.
And going back again to my original question: I don’t know about you, but I get ideas at the strangest times and in the most unusual places. But I know that wherever I am, I can act on them right then and there, and instead of letting them wither away in my head, share them and let others help me make them better – and make them happen.
So, tell us, where do you get your best ideas?
Jeff Weinberger leads the Sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives for Cisco’s Collaboration Software Group.