Nathan Zeldes is a globally recognized thought leader in the search for improved knowledge worker productivity. After a 26 year career as a manager and principal engineer at Intel Corporation, he now helps organizations solve core problems at the intersection of information technology and human behavior.
Communicating through our computers at any length is still primarily taking place through some physical or virtual manifestation of the QWERTY keyboard – a device invented for the early typewriters of the 19th century, and supposedly designed – intentionally – to work slowly even then.
Nathan ZeldesStar Trek, voice interaction and the future of email
Computers are advancing in leaps and bounds and are increasingly displaying attributes of practical Artificial Intelligence: they may not yet clash with astronauts, but they definitely take over many daily tasks that used to depend entirely on human brainpower.
Two aspects of the modern workplace are information overload and stress. These two rose precipitously from the mid-nineties to the mess we are so used to today; which raises the question: is there a connection?
Nathan ZeldesProductivity, Information Overload & Stress: is there a Sweet Spot
We don’t usually look at computer use from a biological standpoint. But why not? We do consider athletic performance as a matter of optimal cardiovascular function and muscle metabolism, and performance of knowledge work is just as biological, even though it uses the brain, not the muscles. So why not look at optimizing brain function?
Nathan ZeldesInformation Overload and Neuroscience
The custom of celebrating independence day hasn’t changed in America since 1776, but one thing is definitely different today: when folks get back to work after the long weekend or vacation, they lose the holiday’s festive mood with a harsh reality check when they see the content of their inbox; the anxiety actually begins with the status message/screen as the inbox count is refreshed.
Electronic communications – email, social media, SMS, and so on – are rapidly replacing a good part of human interaction on our planet, and enabling whole new vistas of collaboration. This has its benefits – the ability to work anytime, anywhere, and with anyone, for one. But it also has some drawbacks, and today I want to discuss the problem of human rapport and trust in distributed teams.
Nathan ZeldesHow to create Trust in Global Distributed Teams
Productivity: everybody wants it and also laments the lack of it. After all, no matter how productive you are, you can strive for more…and really only a few of us are all that productive in the first place.
So – if you aren’t as productive as you might wish, who is to blame? You, someone else, perhaps an actual entity? Check the culprits below (in no order of ascending or descending guilt) and what you can do about it.
Note: in this post I define telecommuting as a knowledge worker working from home part time (usually 1-2 days a week), with the rest of the time done at a company office. Full time work from home, as in freelancing, may be covered in a future post.
Telecommuting is always a hot subject. There are many opinions – some swear by it, others think it the work of the devil.
As an engineer, I prefer observable facts to opinions; and having deployed a successful telecommuting program in a global Fortune 500, I’ve done my part to collect such facts and make my observations. Here is what I learned:
Nathan ZeldesTelecommuting and productivity: pros and cons of working from home