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December 3, 2010
The Perks and Pitfalls of the Virtual Workplace
 
Imagine faceless names, nonexistent co-workers, and zero office politics.  Say hello to the colorless, collarless work force that can be a beautiful reality … as long as you meet your deadlines.
 
Breaks are yours for the taking, menial tasks (i.e. laundry, cleaning) can actually “get done,” the dogs can be walked, YOU can work-out, futz with emails, cook gourmet, stay up past midnight and sleep until noon … as long as you meet your deadlines.
 
The nine-to-five road is your highway (with uncrowded streets) to run all the to-do’s you can fit in your day … as long as you meet your deadlines
 
But it’s not always “TGIF”...  as “virtuals” often choose weekends to work (in order to make weekday job freedom ring), which can make life better than good -- in fact, swell … as long as you meet your deadlines.
 
And talk about “get out of town.” You can, any day of the week or month of the year, as work knows no time zones, wherever you roam, how long you stay or when you return ... as long as long as you meet your deadlines.
 
Deadlines … a grim-sounding word that makes many industries thrive and is the opposite of anything gloomy. It is the rainbow at the finish, the dance at the goal ... with only one sad part: The project attachment has ended.

So, whether you call it mobile, virtual, or telecommuter, the names all translate into a perfect work style that flows virtually two-ways, for employee and employer.

V-employee has independence to work on his or her own; it’s a way for many (parents and caregivers) to keep careers alive and well, and a second stream of income for moonlighters who hold regular and/or part-time jobs.
 
V-employer gains a more cost efficient/effective means to contract a job and today it’s more common and fashionably acceptable to have a virtual workforce due to technology and economic necessity.
 
And yet, the virtual workplace way of life is not for the meek. According to a study by Pearn Kandola's consulting company, being a virtual employee isan extrovert’s game.
 
Chief researcher Stuart Duff found that those who chased socialization … for example “the office gabbers,” “the life of the break-room party,” were the ones best suited to work in the virtual world.  In fact, they were found to be even more organized than their office-bound counterparts.
 
However, without three-dimensional co-workers around, virtual reality can still be a social reality as well -- via affiliations with various organizations.  And aside from professional groups (e.g. LinkedIn and Spoke), there’s MeetUp, which takes you beyond the Web to mingle with your specialized interests wherever you reside.
 
So, who needs office parties or water-cooler talk when you can reap so many precious rewards? Whether you choose to run for your health (instead of a jam-packed morning bus), reunite with a friend and sip lattes, or scoop top bargains at early-bird sales, virtually anything’s possible ... as long as you meet your deadlines.
 
Live it up to work, and work to live it up ... as long as you meet your deadlines.
 

  • Can you manage time?
  • Are you disciplined?
  • Can you screen and ignore calls?
  • Do you like to work alone?
  • Can you live without office chatter?
  • Can you ignore dumb interruptions, doorbells, texts?
  • Are you self motivated?
  • Do you have a passion for your work?
  • Are you dependable?
 
How do you live with virtual deadlines? We’re listening … do tell.


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Phyllis Briskman is a verse contributor and does PR/marketing. She sharpened her first pencil as retail fashion copywriter, writing to count before Twitter tweeted its first hello. Later, she flew the cubicle to do freelance creative becoming a writer of all trades, from beauty to fitness for catalogs, magazines, and websites. Born to brainstorm, she's named retail businesses and website domains. She loves quick wit, survives on laughter, is a little hokey, but aims to please because that’s what life’s all about.

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