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Thread: Hiring and Managing Remote Employees

  1. #11

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    That's interesting! The polyphasic sleep cycle is something I would want to try myself.

    That should really work best for people (remote workers) who are enjoying the privilege of having a flexible work schedule.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Altenhofel View Post
    4, sometimes 5 of continuous night sleep, then a half-hour siesta early afternoon. My body works pretty naturally on that form of polyphasic sleep. Sometimes I'll do 2.5 or 3 hours of sleep at night and then take a long 90-minute afternoon siesta.

    24 hours up and 6 hours down works extremely well for me, but that doesn't work so well when one must also interact with society.
    They say Martha Stewart sleeps about 5 hours a night. I sleep about 9 hours to feel good the next day. Been like that since I was a kid. But I never fell into a deep sleep quickly.

    Had a friend who woke up rain or shine at 4am. Didn't matter what time.

    My partner wakes up at 7am every day. But he always hits the sack at 11pm. Not for a schedule, he just gets tired ad goes to bed. If he goes out drinking with friends and gets to bed late, he still gets up at 7am.

    I think the morning workout thing makes a lot of sense. Even a short workout in the morning gets your day off to a good start. Since I go to an organized workout, I need to go to classes after working hours. Timewise I don't think that is as good. Ideally I do a 20 min weight workout in the morning that gets me out of breath. In the evening its martial arts which can either be very intense or just working on techniques.

    Out of curiosity Brian, what do you do for your workout. I'm always interested in exercise stuff.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by billbenson View Post
    Out of curiosity Brian, what do you do for your workout. I'm always interested in exercise stuff.
    I'm doing Crossfit. A gym opened up this year offering it, and it's something both my wife and I can do together. That was the biggest issue before - she'd do the treadmill stuff that I couldn't do because of my asthma, and I'd do weightlifting, so it was hard for either of us to keep each other accountable.

    Crossfit is really nothing more than group-oriented high intensity circuit training, and our coaches aren't the "if you're not hurting, you're not working hard enough" type. They just encourage everyone to not leave feeling like they could have done more and everyone should only do as much as they are comfortable. They are very strict about form, which I know a lot of coaches aren't.

    Both my wife and I have a bit of a competitive nature between us, so that helps us to push each other a little more.

    Apologies to the OP about the thread derailment. I'm really good at that.
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  4. #14

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    No problem with the 'thread derailment' Brian.

    Exercise is always a big part (and issue) for remote workers. It's something most of us neglect but is needed.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Freelancie
    because it was too difficult (and inconvenient) to do effective project management over a group of people whose work hours are completely outside the manager's normal hours
    I suspect the problems they encountered had more to do with the specific people hired than the time zone. If you hire the right people you don't need to manage them beyond letting them know when something needs to be completed. You can do keep track of how much work someone has done though email and instant messenger and any number of collaborative project management tools.

    Most of my clients don't live in the same time zone as I do. Granted we're not far apart, but we don't work the same hours and much of the communication is via email. I've worked out times to talk with people on the other side of the world too. I really think it's less a time zone thing and more who you choose to work with.

    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Altenhofel
    24 hours up and 6 hours down works extremely well for me, but that doesn't work so well when one must also interact with society.
    I can do that as well. I usually try to get around six hours of sleep each night, though I can function on less. I'm not as consistent. Sometimes I'll sleep seven hours and sometimes I fall asleep on the couch, wake up for a few hours in the middle of the night, and then crawl into bed for a few more hours of sleep.
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  6. #16

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    I think one of the things about a late night work schedule is lack of distraction. For thinks like programming I work best at night. But that may be the lack of phone calls, my wife pestering me, lawn mowers running outside etc.

    As I've gotten older, I don't have the stamina to play sales guy during the day and programmer, account, whatever at night. I used to be really productive at night though.

    Getting old ain't that great.

  7. #17
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    I was a virtual assistant for 3 years for an online health insurance broker. I was referred to the company by a mutual acquaintance. There were 3 partners and 2 of us were in CO and the other 2 in GA. Everyone had their roles; president (visionary), sales agent, IT guy (web design, social media). I was hired to create processes. Working together, we went from 1 agent to 12 agents in a short amount of time. It worked because we were all entrepreneurial. I feel remote employees or contractors have to be self-disciplined and somewhat independent. If they have to the be 'managed', it may not be a good fit.

  8. #18

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    With current connectivity options and quality it makes perfect sense to hire remote employees, you can even collaborate using Citrix, Skype etc. I occasionally hire freelance help either state side or abroad, but it always is on a pay per product base. I'm not sure if that would work on hourly base.
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  9. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by IrekJanek View Post
    With current connectivity options and quality it makes perfect sense to hire remote employees, you can even collaborate using Citrix, Skype etc. I occasionally hire freelance help either state side or abroad, but it always is on a pay per product base. I'm not sure if that would work on hourly base.
    It definitely works on an hourly basis. I only work hourly.
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  10. #20

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    Working by the hour requires a higher trust factor. It may also require that you fill out more paperwork to track you (which I don't want you doing because I'm paying you for the time to fill out that paperwork). In reality my only way to manage you as a remote employee is by the project. I know about how many hours a project will take. If you invoice me by the hour it really doesn't matter as the bottom line makes sense. And since you do programming, sometimes that takes longer or shorter times than anticipated, or I may have no clue how long a task will take.

    For most of my working for someone else career I was a remote employee, living in a different state or country. I've had people make me fill out trip reports. Even had a boss that was new and wanted me to call on people that were non prospects. He was new and didn't know our industry. I actually flew to Tennessee once, called the prospect on the phone and never left the hotel just so I could fill out my report. He was eventually fired.

    Bottom line, I don't see how you can manage a remote employee by the hour. You may charge me by the hour, but it's not relevant to me.

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