Technology plus companies figuring out its cheaper for you to work from home plus laid off workers returning to the workforce as independent contractors working offsite plus employers and employees going green avoiding long commutes equals more virtual workers than ever.
Business must be brisk at Starbucks.
I am both types of worker. I go to a day job on site and put in my forty hours a week (not related to technology) and I am a virtual worker who freelances on the edges.
I've been strictly an on site worker and I have been strictly a 1099 independent contractor working from anywhere but a traditional office. Now, I am both.
Both is better.
When I was strictly virtual I constantly battled crossing the line into becoming what I would call a feral worker.
When I say "feral", I mean...
- Working in your pajamas or shorts all day, not because you can; but because you don't really own any professional clothes anymore. Putting on a suit to go to a meeting is out of the comfort zone, instead of putting you in it.
- Working non-linearly all day (a polite way of saying I was increasingly unable to sit down and focus on work for long periods of time as an office requires). Instead, work was taskus interuptus all day (stopping down to take cupcakes to my kid's school, play on youtube for 45 minutes, go to yoga class, etc.).
- Being out of sync with work culture. In other words, working ONLY at weird hours.
- Communicating without the reality check of reality. Having an e-mail only relationship with your colleagues is simply not healthy. E-mails often miscommunicate their intended tone. When you know the person well who sent it, you know how to mitigate that tone and know better. Without it...