Close Together and Far Apart

In our forthcoming book, Undress For Success, we harp on the importance of good communications. If you work at home or telecommute, those you work with have to rely on email, phone, and sometimes video conferences. But they don’t get so-called ‘face time’ so you have to work extra hard to make it all work.

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Today I experienced first hand how communication issues can be handeled right and how they can be handled wrong.

The good news story came about as the result of hiring a freelance software contractor in India. We put a short request for a quote on oDesk, looking for someone   to build a new and improved telework savings calculator for us. (Check back around the first of March to see it.) Lots of spam responses from people that never bothered to look at our site. And one response   that was spot on because he did do some research, so we hired Saran on the spot.

We’ve been going back and forth over some design issues by email, and decided we needed to chat. He woke up early (as usual), we worked late (as usual), and we talked using Skype. The call was clearer than a neighborhood mobile phone call, even if there was a little satellite delay (we were nine thousand miles apart after all). We confirmed out understanding, and it cost nothing. Zero, zip, nada. Amazing.

The bad news story is that I spent 20-30 minutes today putting together a blog post for tomorrow. It was about the demographics of people that work at home: sex, age, education etc. Wouldn’t you know, Kate, about five feet from me wrote an almost identical piece. In fact, we both used a phrase about bad college cafeteria food. Her numbers were brand new, mine were a year old. So I deleted mine and you’ll have to wait till next Tuesday to see the results. Did we discuss what we working on? It would have cost nothing. No, nix, nein. Amazing.

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