Virtual Work

Over lunch today, we discussed the trials and tribulations of work and the different challenges faced by salaried employees and independent virtual workers. Being a virtual worker or virtual student can be quite lonely whereas the opposite may be true as a face-to-face, salaried worker. The latter has no choice in who he or she may have to face with day-to-day regularity. Good bosses are wonderful, but their opposite can lead you down a slow path to depression.

All of this talk reminded me of the joys of working for yourself, much of which is as part of a virtual team. I had recently come across these rules for virtual web design work from The Useful Arts which I’ve summarized:

Stick to small groups, and
if you’re the leader, give up control, because
there is no leader, so
have complete trust, and
allow for total transparency, but
provide clear & achievable goals, while also having
an open ended final goal.

These are good rules, because virtual work requires a lot of trust, intuition and initiative. I disagree with the last part, because I think that there should be a final goal, so that at some point the project can be considered over and everyone can get paid. This way, everyone will want to work together again.

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