Work from home, is it working?

The theme of the week has been geography. Listening to Startup CEO, in which Matt Blumberg states strongly, that having a central office for as long as you can is important for that human connection, serendipitous conversations and culture. This is in contrast to virtual or home working. How connected are we to physical geography and at the same time, connected to a virtual world?

Open Plan Office

I live in a house, in a village, in a county and is subject to taxes from the local government. Large companies have been known to use the fact they are virtual and have many offices, to move profits around the world and change the amount of tax that is due to each jurisdiction.

I drive my car, I go to events so I can meet, hug (I am a huggy type of person) and chat with other people. I spend time on site at my customers offices. One of my customers also uses a lot of video conferencing which allows their offices’ meeting rooms to be connected. This is useful for them to reduce costs incurred from travel and time, (rather than time travel, that would be something else) but does this create a break in social contact? At the same time they have open plan offices, without cubicles, to promote interaction.

My business has a virtual office address, as we work from our customers’ sites and from home. Using Skype and other collaboration tools allows us to keep in contact but is no substitute for working together on site. We use virtual servers, okay we know roughly where they are as Amazon tells us, but other than trianglating ping times, how would we know?

People have reported that apps like facebook may actually raise levels of anxiety and loneliness, rather than bringing people together.

There is a balance to be had as we humans occupy the physical space and computers are now ever increasingly occupying the virtual space.

That balance is important, as even geeks need to get out and speak to and see people. That face to face connection is so important for all of us, which is why you will see me at conferences and meet up events. As the website is having a redesign, I will be publishing events I attend soon. Who would like to meet me, or perhaps we could arrange our own exciting event.

What are your thoughts? Please share in the comments.