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How we work these days June 21, 2008

Posted by globalizer in IBM.
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It was with some bemusement that I read this description of TPM’s work arrangements. David Kurtz describes how the geographically dispersed staff keeps in touch mainly via email, phone and IM, and emphasizes that he didn’t meet any other staff member until he had worked on the team for about 2 years. He seems to consider all this very advanced and outlandish.

To anybody working in IBM this would all be totally routine. In my previous job in IBM I didn’t meet my personnel manager until at least 2 years after I started reporting to him, and I still haven’t met my current personnel manager after having reported to him for about 16 months. My functional manager is located in London, while I live in North Carolina in the US.

My daily work is with team members located in Bedford (MA), London, (England), Cork (Ireland), Rome (Italy), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), El Segundo (CA), Taiwan, Shanghai (China) plus various other scattered places in the United States (depending on where people’s home offices are). I have met very few of the people that I work with on a daily basis face-to-face.

We are obviously totally dependent on phone, email and IM communication, but it is so routine that nobody would think of mentioning it.

Oh, and I should mention that I work from a home office myself, so my only daily communication vehicles are of course phone, email and IM.

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