• Hi

    These is my log of professional, political and sometimes personal thoughts and observations. I am Bettina Walter, a Senior Information Architect (IA), Interaction Designer and Usability Professional.
    I am co-owner of PunkLogic.

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    Interaction Design

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Remote team working

Great sxsw presentation by W. Cruce Saunders and Linda Norman from Ariesnet on efficient remote working and virtual teaming.
Listen to the podcast here.
(via the IAInstitute mailing list)

This is particularly relevant for a location like Noosa offering a fantastic outdoor lifestyle and a good family friendly community – with great potential for establishing a knowledge-based and creative community working for big clients remotely.

Here are some notes from the podcast:

Strength of virtual teaming:

  • no commute = better life quality and reducing carbon footprint
  • brain power with low over heads and has flexibility in recruitment
  • most successful for knowledge workers and creatives with focus, discipline and high professionalism
  • high degree of efficiency and effectiveness.
  • access to talent – recruiting is easier without geographical limitations
  • much cheaper to run, lower overheads
  • higher productivity
  • happier team
  • no office politics
  • for stronger family life, flexibility for home life
  • result oriented


  • requires good management
  • you need to focus on management systems and tools
  • no adhoc communications around the water cooler
  • lost visual cues and body language
  • client perception: are you a real company – maintaining a professional virtual identity
  • isolation – geographic dispersion – cabin fever
  • focus and not ‘over working’

Tools and best practices:

  • 37 signal tools (basecamp, highrise, etc), various Google file sharing tools and collaboration tools, go-to meeting, webex, Camtasia, conceptshare, MindManager, recruiting/sales/accounting: quickbooks, blinksale
  • pace / regular beats and patterns: regular team and management meetings help to anchor the actions
  • hire office system: execs suites – rent for actual meetings – a homebase to meet – virtual home base
  • format for clean commitments and tasks – good solid project management
  • communication: synchronous and asynchronous
  • for professional phone call management: virtual pbx with ivr / call-butler, VERY important for client perception
  • google for ‘free conference call’

Tips for a strong team culture:

  • implement virtual hallways or ‘water coolers’ for company culture – informal chat opportunities
  • company culture is based based around results: as long as team members exceed client expectations on time you need to give the team freedom and flexibility
  • clear set of standards for new team members
  • communications is an important part of the work
  • don’t overwork
  • keep communication to the point and follow up with phone calls

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