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Finally a way to connect!

The work we have done this week has been eye opening and provided me with a number of new ideas on how to manage my team. As a sales manager, I have a team that is spread out through the western part of the US and it is difficult for me to keep in touch and help them where I need to. Personally, I don't think Twitter is the answer because we are in the field callin on prospective customers, but other options outlined will make it easier to connect with them. I did enjoy the time on Twitter because it gave me a forum to let people know what is going on in my day and the status I was at.
As for applying this to work, currently we use our cell phones to send emails, text messages and calls when necessary but we all have different schedules and meeting set and don't want our phones going off during an imprortant visit. By webifying our schedule and making sure that the time zones are followed, will give us an idea of when the other people are available and when we can make a call. The other tool that I will be implementing is a status update sent out, so that if somebody is unavailable we know that and can wait to make contact. Personally, I am not technical or internet savy so this is a big eye opener to me and what I can do with my remote team.

I really liked how the article mention that workers would send emails at late or early times in te day to show a boss that they are working. Personally I have done this on the weekends and late at night to show them that I keep long hours. As a boss, I feel that the article was right on by saying trust is implied when you hire someone and if they feel that they have to earn it, that will lead them to doubt themselves and less likely to take risks.

Comments

Tim - I think you are getting exactly what you were looking for with this class and I am very interested to hear if you get to implement any of the tools we are trying out. I have the handicap of working in a highly regulated environment so I get eye rolls when I mention new applications at work. I can't imagine the response I would get from IT if I asked to use an open source application for work chat.

I am kind of confused about the Time Zone dilemma, simply because I have outlook at work and it automatically transposes meeting times for you; although I guess you still have to be sensitive to time - we have all of our con calls with Ireland at 8am CST so they don't have to stay late. When I first started my job I was oblivious to time zones, but now it's kind of second nature - at least with the US zones, I have yet to memorize the time difference between Minnesota and Cork (Ire). I did master the status update quickly - although my boss is a smart cookie, he will call me at my desk now since he knows I get my email on my phone or that I can work from home and he knows to check the last updated dates on files to see if you are really working on what you say you are - and if he catches you falling behind he makes you give a presentation on what you aren't working on.

Please keep us up to date if you have a chance to try something out with your team during the semester.

That's great that you are thinking about ways to use these pieces of information and add it into your worklife. I've never had to manage a team or supervise any team spread out over the country. That's amazing in it's own way, but definitely I'm going to have to figure out ways to work technology into my life also. It's funny that you mentioned the late night e-mails. It never even hit me that communication at night correlated with long work hours. But of course, I shouldn't do that always as for this online course. Because submitting work later at night here, such as Thursday night when the blogs are due, seems like you are just posting because you are a procrastinator. Oh No!

I think it is awesome that people who are now getting into management positions are starting to experiment and utilize new internet applications to stay connected to their co-workers. I work on campus in a very professional office that has workers in and out of the office at various times of the day and week. It would be nice to be so connected with a system that would allow us to simply see if another person was able to be reached by phone, busy on a project yet available, or busy with a client that could not be interrupted. While many businesses now cannot afford to use these technologies, I think that as more and more companies realize the uses of these technologies, they will become more willing to integrate them into their companies budgets and protocol.