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Comment One thing scrum is good for. Defined responisibilt (Score 1) 102

> also if the management and the rest of the team is willing to make the effort to communicate and coordinate.

If you're the only person working remotely in a company where everyone else is in the office 9-5, I could see that being a problem. If a lot of people work remotely, even working from home two days per week, everyone figures out how to make that work.

In my professional career of almost 20 years I've only worked at a few different companies, but all did remote dev and ops work succesfully. In one company *most* people came to the office most days. Other people lived a thousand miles from the office. In all the other companies most people did not come in the office. I had one guy working for me and for months at a time I didn't know or care where in the world he was at the time.

Currently, I work at a place with scrums three times per week. That pretty well solves the communication issues. I'm not a big fan of Agile and Scrum overall, but it does facilitate communication. This company also has offices all over the world - I think that happened before people starting working remote a lot. Because different teams were already in different countries, all meetings include video conferencing by default. The whole infrastructure and everything is built on the assumption that people may be working from different locations. Therefore it doesn't matter if that location is our UK office or your house - either way I'm working with someone who isn't here in Dallas. Because I'm in Dallas, I *can* go into the office (other co-workers can't), but that requires sitting in traffic. Simply working from home instead of sitting in traffic saves an hour a day of unproductive time.

The company before this one, each person had a well-defined role. Each system had an "owner", someone responsible for that system. I developed amd maintained our online learning system (ecampus), someone else was responsible for the courses hosted on that ecampus, etc. That reduced the need for constant communication and coordination because you didn't have many chefs working on the same stew.

Before that, I worked at a very small company which at one point didn't have any two employees in the same city - we were all remote. At that company we used a ticket system for small jobs, larger jobs werw clearly assigned to one person, thereby reducing the need for constant communication.

As you said, it also depends on the individuals involved, some people are better at remote work than others. A big part of that is a few things you can learn (and teach). A company considering making changes to their remote work policy should consider a short training session for remote workers. Mainly covering these two items:

Set up a seperate work area, away from the normal distractions of the home. In my case, my office is the only thing upstairs, other than some storage and a guest bedroom. I go upstairs to work, I go downstairs to go home. There's never any confusion of whether I'm at work (upstairs) or at home (downstairs). If necessary, the office can be in one corner of a room, but it should be a defined place and with as few household distractions as possible.

Set and keep defined work hours. If I'm downstairs at 10:00 AM, I'm late for work. My wife needs me to do something around the house? I'll do that after 5:00, after work. Similarly, after 5:00 I'm at home with my family - I don't make it a habit to ignore my family at work all evening.

After doing this many years and establishing habits, I can *occasionally* work late in the evening or take care of a household issue during the day, just as people who drive to the office to work occasionally stay late. 90% of the time, though, I keep my work space and work time seperate from my home space and home time. Confusing the two leads to many of the problems people have working from home.

Comment Re:simple (Score 1) 323

I don't have a dropbox account (truthfully), so I can't give that up.

You can claim you don't have a Google account, if you're not carrying an Android phone. Carry a Windows phone and it'll seem believable. With the current popularity of Windows Phones (hehe), you should be able to get one of those really, really cheap now.

Comment Re:Are local managers more destructive ? (Score 2) 102

The only reason they can possibly be more productive is that the local management is toxic.

Oh come on. Local management not being toxic is the exception, not the rule. It's a rare workplace where you have really effective and competent management (and I don't mean just one manager, I mean the whole chain; I've had good direct managers, but they were hamstrung by the idiocy directly above them).

Comment Re:Seriously WTF? (Score 1) 323

Look, I'm sorry but this whole thread is about the gestapo like police force you've allowed

your willingness to put up with it

Organize yourselves America, start calling your "representatives"

What's that going to do? We've voted these people into office. That's the way representative democracy works: you elect someone to do the job the way they think it should be done, after they've campaigned and told you their positions. None of this is a surprise with these politicians. Calling them now isn't going to make a difference; most of their constituents are happy with the way they're doing their jobs: Congress is infamous for most Americans being extremely *un*happy with its performance, *except* for their own Congressman who they love. These representatives already are doing the jobs we've elected them to do. A minority of us bitching and complaining isn't going to change things, because most Americans *like* it this way, or they wouldn't have voted this way.

Comment Re:Travel phone (Score 1) 323

So if there is no evidence of an email account, no settings for connecting to it, or no evidence of use of social media on the phone or laptop you are carrying with you can you still be compelled to provide that information?

How? How would they know you have an email account someplace unless you tell them?

Now they could give you a hard time if you refuse to give them access to *any* email account. But that's easily solved: create a fake email account (Yahoo is perfect for this!) that you don't do anything with except receive some ads or something at. Give them the password to that one.

Social media is a little trickier. Perhaps you could disable your FB account before crossing the border? Claiming you have no such account could get you in trouble if they do a quick search with your name and find one that's obviously yours.

Comment Re:Am skeptical... (Score 1) 323

WTF? You don't tell the CBP which cloud service you're storing your encrypted phone image at.

As for email passwords, that's simple too: don't tell them! When they demand your email password, it's easy: "Ok sir, my email address is, and my password is abcxyz1234". (Make sure to set up the Yahoo email address beforehand and memorize the password correctly, and subscribe to some stupid advertising mailing lists or something.) No need to tell them that your *real* email address is with GMail.

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