[LINK] Working at home

Tom Worthington tom.worthington at tomw.net.au
Wed Aug 4 08:44:33 AEST 2021

On 2/8/21 4:09 pm, Stephen Loosley wrote:

> Should employers pay for home internet during remote work? by R.
> Dallon Adams in CXO  on July 28, 2021, 6:07 AM PST 
> https://www.techrepublic.com/article/should-employers-pay-for-home-internet-during-remote-work/

Finally, back to something on topic for Link! ;-)

Employers should pay for worker's Internet at home. But they should be
careful of the precedent set.

If the worker can do their job from home, there is no need for the 
employer to pay for office space. Some organizations already don't have 
reserved seating for staff. That could be extended to the point where 
the if the employee wants to come to work, they have to pay for space.

> ... "video calls freezing" (34%) ...

I am surprised that video conference software companies have not done
more to prioritize audio. Zoom is best at this. Most of the time it 
doesn't matter if video freezes, provided the audio still works. Where 
possible, on my low speed home broadband, I use audio dial-up for video 
conferences. The sound comes over the phone and is combined with the 
video via the Internet. This way, if the video freezes, or is lost 
completely, the audio keeps working. At worst, the participants see my 
stock photo, rather than the live me. 

> "When collaboration was asynchronous (email, voice mail, etc.), the
> quality of the connectivity wasn't really an issue ...

Most collaboration is asynchronous and you should have an
asynchronous fallback anyway. I designed a course this way a decade 
before COVID-19 and this approach worked fine when the pandemic hit. The 
idea is you provide documents in advance of any meeting (or class) and 
ways to interact using text forums. The live F2F or video events are 
then just an optional extra.

When I run a committee for government, academia or professional bodies, 
I wage a war against "meetings" by making decisions asynchronously.
Circulate papers and then have a poll. If there is a clear
majority in favor of an action, then there is no need for a meeting.
This also works well during long large formal meetings. You can use tech
to make decisions silently on upcoming matters, and then quickly tick
them as completed without any discussion when they come up on the agenda.

Tom Worthington, MEd FHEA FACS CP IP3P http://www.tomw.net.au
TomW Communications Pty Ltd. PO Box 13, Belconnen ACT 2617, Australia
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Prof. Standards Legislation

Honorary Lecturer, Computer Science, Australian National University

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