24Mar

WFA: Work from Anywhere, but Deliver

The Future of Work is on my mind: for individuals and organizations. I get dressed up and goes to ‘work’ every day in my home office or an associated city coworking space. I’ve spent the last 4 years digitally working and/or volunteering for some digital humanitarian and social tech organizations. On my journey to think about how to work better, I’ve been collecting books, websites, blogs and stories all about how others consider the work.

When was the last time you picked up a book about workstyle and drank all of it in a matter of days? Well, The Year Without Pants: WordPress.com and the future of work now tops that list. How can all of us learn from WordPress? Reading about remote working is kind of soothing. The insanity of ducktaping together various tools for global collaboration and basic communications is a microcosm of the Internet. We are a growing oddity of remote workers. A few months ago a dear friend had his job relocated. While the work he does is Internet-based, he has to travel up to 3 hours a day to get to work. Last fall while temporarily living in London (UK), I spent over about 4 hours a day commuting to the co-working space just so that I could have solid internet and co-work in person. The toll was insane. In the past years, I’ve always worked biking distance from employment. This is my continued plan: WFH or bike distance. As a community organizer, I tend to have verbal calls in various timezones. This makes co-working hard on occasion because you need to be at a location at 07:00 ET or take over a board room for a day.

Berkun is hosting a webinar this Thursday. I highly recommend that you read the book and attend. Go! You have 3 days to deliver.

words on metal

In the Social Policy Forecast by Stanford’s Center for Philanthropy and Civil Society, they cite non-profits like Mozilla and Ushahidi:
“They are blazing new paths regarding community accountability and decision-making, cross-border (and-currency) financial management, and multiple layers of reporting. For these organizations, and many to come, the governance requirements of nonprofits – particularly in terms of how decisions are made, how they are reported, who has final say, and to whom results are reported – are more limiting than helpful.”

They go on the highlight the need for the possibility of new governance needs for global, digital, networked civil action. This really means thinking about how we interact and work with communities while getting things done. Their research into the various types of funding and models for sane, stable organizations is just the surface.

Both Mozilla and Ushahidi, like Automattic, have highly distributed teams. There is no one formula for work style or funding models, but each of these bodies of thought are helping me unclutter the “what works” and “needs work”.

(photo credit: Heather Leson (October 2013) The Crystal Sustainable Cities Initiative: Safe and Sound Exhibition)

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2 comments

  1. Thanks for the mention Heather. I’ll check out Stanford’s forecast – haven’t seen it before. Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Very Cool.

    Lucy also writes a great blog.

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