Sunday, March 4, 2007

Facade Time

Web Worker Daily has an interesting post about how virtual employees can simulate face-time -- giving the folks around you the impression that you're working hard. Because of course you are working hard, they just can't see you like if you were there in the Real Office making paper fly around on your desk.

I try to remember to use my IM status to give people who might be thinking about popping in on me an idea about what I'm up to. There are the obvious statuses: "In a meeting", "On the phone", and the rare "Away from my desk". I recommend other status messages that help convey the nature and intensity of the work I'm engaged in:

"In the throes of [insert monolithic unresponsive vendor name here] Hell"


"Programming, please do not disturb"

"On a spree!"

"Making progress"

"Making the best of it"



I find that the ones that are a little obtuse tend to make people pop in on me -- misanthropic almost always gets a fly-by from my boss. He knows that I might be having some kind of issue with one of our customers and checks in to see what's up.

It's the virtual equivalent of the boss walking by your office and overhearing you struggling to reason with a customer over the phone. And that's something better than banal face time -- it's helping me work better. Nice!


Barbara Gavin said...

"going to the post office, back in 15"

"Out getting into trouble. Send lawyers, drugs and money."

Stella Commute said...

Hi, Barbara. I like a mix of honest and frivolous -- it lets you inject a little personality into the world of bits. I'm thinking about adding "Taking a Three Martini Lunch" to my assortment, but that starts looking problematic when my "lunch" time is at 10:00 in the morning my time.

Thanks for reading and sharing!