Archive for November, 2010

Winners and Turkeys

Friday, November 26th, 2010

Two things of note this week:

Winners!

PowWowNow team receiving B2B Award for Best Limited Budget Campaign

Congratulations are due to our friends at PowWowNow who scooped up the award for ‘Best limited budget campagn’ at last night’s B2B awards. Great win for two reasons: Who doesn’t have a limited budget? And have you seen who the competiton was? Well done!

Turkeys!

A big Hi to our many Stateside customers!


Back here in chilly old Blighty, the 25th of November is pretty much a resting day between Fireworks Night (Nov 1) and mad pre-Christmas panic, which runs pretty much Dec 01 – Dec 24! Not so in the US of A, so I understand: Thanksgiving Day has been and gone.

We hope you had a great time, and managed to get to wish all of your family a very happy day. But in case you couldn’t quite travel round to see everyone, why not fire up Yuuguu and give them a conference call.

That’s right – the whole lot! Everyone! Mom, Pa, Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents – the works. It’s by far the cheapest and easiest way of getting all those people talking together by phone, all at the same time!



Removing the last barrier to working from home

Friday, November 19th, 2010

You know the scene …

Yuuguu cut out and keep working from home desk sign

You: Boss – I could really use a work-from-home day next friday, we’ve got some builders coming round. I don’t want them knocking the wrong wall down, so I want to meet them.


Boss: (looks furtively at a spreadsheet that has lines and numbers but no information of any use). Huh?


You: Work from home – next Friday – me!


Boss: Oh that. It’s too difficult. IT have said no.


You: They did say no, that’s true, but then I showed them this Yuuguu thing, remember? Last team meeting? Just works across our firewall out of the box?


Boss: Hmmm, Oh. Yeah. It did, didn’t it. But … errr … it’s too expensive.


You: Unlike your two iPads I see you’ve got there. Anyway … the free trial I talked about?… and did you actually check that pricing page I sent you?


Boss: Oh .. that … ah. Yes. Well. I … well it’s just not that simple, you wouldn’t understand.


You: ( ! )


Boss: I .. errr … The Company … errr …. ‘we’ need to make sure that we could contact you, you know, if anything errr, anything err comes up, unexpectedly.


You: Tada!




And you pull out this handy Cut out and Keep Desk Sign we are giving you AT NO COST!


Simply:



And leave on your desk, where everyone can see it. The perfect marriage of low tech and high. The perfect compromise between remote work and availability.

At last – the final barrier to remote work at your office removed.

Until next week, At your service pulling down tiresome arguments against remote work -

Al

Top 5 Lunches remote working finally allows you to enjoy!

Friday, November 12th, 2010

Remote work let's you eat these - onions!

It has come to the attention of Yuuguu Central that the Future of Work is even brighter than we first thought.

Yes, it’s greener. Yes, it’s cheaper. Yes it’s more flexible. This much we know. But the real scoop?

Lunch.

We identified lunch as a ‘High Level Hazard’ for the office bound employee. It’s a jungle out there. There are the social norms – who sits with who? Who dares break rank from the pecking order of the canteen queue? The IT security issues: Did you really remember to lock your PC? Or will you spend this afternoon apologising for all the fake emails sent from ‘you’ by the IT interns? And there are even moral dilemmas thrown into the mix. Do you endure the hard road of sticking to your diet and exercise regime? Or succumb to the comforting easy pleasure of the pub lunch (again)?

Our Risk Analysis Spreadsheet never looked so grim.

Or so we thought. Until we looked at the upside. And like most upsides, we found it by simply looking at the greatest hazard through creative eyes.

The most difficult water that the hungry office worker has to navigate is choosing what to eat. A simple thing? By no means. Dare you eat what you like – but risk breaking the binding social contract of Maximum Permitted Office Stench? Or do you simply follow the herd – play safe, and become consigned to a life of sweetcorn and mayo salad (no onions)?

We realised immediately that we had a Future of Work winner on our hands. There is pure joy in being freed from office politics to be able to eat whatever you want, whenever you want it. So for your delight and delectation:

Team Yuuguu’s Top Five Remote Worker Lunches

  • 1. Curry

    Oh yes. A long time favourite of Team Yuuguu, something like a Chicken Pathia is sure to fire up the imagination in the afternoon. And possibly other areas. As a remote worker, the office-clearing properties of the garlic and chilli laden curry need only concern yourself. Result!
  • 2. Beetroot

    Our very own CTO Chris suggested Beetroot; that innocuous looking vegetable, with juice capable of rendering any office white shirt into something resembling the latest Saw movie. And yet all is well in the land of the remote worker. Your own, personal washroom facility and change of clothes is but a moment away.
  • And yes, we did ask: Beetroot? What – raw? The man must be an animal! Chris declined to expound further …

  • 3. Raw Onions

    Ah yes. Perhaps mild onions may be the edgiest thing you may dare to ask for on your salad whilst office-bound. Experience true freedom all the way up the onion scale! From freshly chopped strong onions all the way up to that slightly nauseous feeling found only on coaches on hot days where everyone took beef paste and onion sandwiches for lunch.

  • 4. Garlic German Sausage

    ‘Ist keine problem’ for the teleworker.

  • 5. Yesterday’s Blue Cheese and Tuna salad

    Blue cheese and tuna can leave an aroma that can test even the brave. Yet, prepared in the right hands, it can be a delight to eat (you probably want @phillColeman, and not @almellor on that job). We’re not quite sure if Mike’s suggestion of “yesterday’s” salad was borne from personal experience or not. But just when we thought we had covered all the benefits of remote work, in crashes another winner: You don’t even need to clean the kitchen if you don’t want to!


And as a bonus, perhaps the most intriguing suggestion:

6. Naked Lunch Friday

One of our staff, who shall remain nameless (@phillcoleman, whoops, slipped out, my backspace key seems to be broken…) suggested this gem. We’re not sure what’s more worrying, really. The sight of Phill eating his curry in one of his normal football shirts … or this. But either way, as a remote worker, even this ultimate option is available to you.

Do switch your video conferencing off, first, though.

Til next time –
Happy Unregulated Eating!

Al

The 3 incontrovertible reasons you should remote work next friday

Friday, November 5th, 2010

Working from a rather nice home by lute1 at sxc.huGo on.

Take up my challenge: declare a remote-work-next-friday day for your team.

I am speaking to all of you business leaders, mid managers and execs who have never even tried getting your team to work remotely. It’s all very well me in this blog talking endlessly about the benefits of remote work. But if nobody converts that into action – nobody will realise them. But you can change that today.

Three reasons you should do this

“But wait! – We’ve never done this before! We can’t just do this on friday!”.

What nonsense. And here are three utterly sensible reasons why.


1. Because you will boost morale

The very first time you walk in to your team and say ‘Hey – this week, we’re working from home’ it will feel almost as good as a holiday. There is enormous personal capital in creating what is perceived as a ‘perk’. Don’t get me wrong, your team will be working for you just as hard, if not harder. But it is pleasant to avoid your commute for a day, to make your own coffee, to have your own space.

Because you have chosen to offer this, you will find that the next time you need to rouse the troops to cope with something difficult, they will remember that you were there for them in the good times.

I’ve seen it happen.

2. Because you will see your team step up to the plate

Control freaks don’t get this. They see teams as doing nothing and going nowehere unless they are micro-managed to within an inch of their lives. Let me speak as someone who has been both a follower and leader of a team.

No!

Nobody is standing over my shoulder as I write this now. I’m writing it because – along with many other tasks I have to do today – it needs to be done to build the company I work for. To clarify – I’m not the owner of the company.

If you place faith in your team, they will return that faith in you

As a leader, that might just be an incredible lesson and reward for you – watching your team grow as you give direction, then slacken the reigns.

3. Because this means change

I’m indebted to Seth Godin’s blog for this one. We all want to do better than we are doing now. This will mean doing things differently than we do now. Obvious, really. If we don’t, we can only ever expect to get the same results as we do now. But our fear – Seth calls it ‘the lizard brain’ – stops us from changing anything – in case we make things worse by mistake.

By organising a single, remote-working friday, you are trying something new. It is not a central business-level change kind of new, so you are not risking that much – you will still be shipping the same products and services as you did on thursday. But you are exploring a possible new way to do something. You have conquered the inertia and fear, and you are experimenting with a new business technique.

Even if this doesn’t work – you’ve started a habit; trying things, not just doing the same things as you always did. This is a mindset, a way of perceiving the world and its possibilities around you. It is this mindset that will eventually lead you to identify – and act on – whatever change it is that results in bigger success.

So, go on. Just one day. Remote work friday.

Just remember, it works for us at Yuuguu – and we make it happen using our own product. Just sign up for a trial from our site, and start remote work friday!

Good luck! Let me know how you get on – the good, the bad and the ugly stories!