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Web Worker Daily and the virtual worker

Dave » 12 years 6 weeks ago

Web Worker Daily is a new blog which I came across recently via the excellent TechCrunch site. With its tagline “Rebooting the Workforce”, it’s dedicated to those operating outside of the conventional workplace paradigm. The virtual worker — often referred to by the site’s authors as “bedouins” after the desert-dwelling nomadic tribes — is one whose primary tool is a laptop, who works wherever there’s a WiFi connection and a coffee, out of bistros and bars, even on the beach. Virtual workers freelance, have flexible schedules, and can show up to work in pajamas. The site aims to explore this phenomenon and provide a forum for these workers to come together and share.

The authors have already explored a number of spots around the United States that are ideal for working virtually — places with good coffee, friendly environments, and a strong Internet connection of course. (Jim and Charlie of The Future of Work call these “Third Places”, and paint a more comprehensive picture of these other work environments.) They’ve begun to explore how to address some of the shortcomings of working virtually, discussing the idea of freelancers meeting regularly in a common place to “work together alone”, so as to be able to do lunch and interact with other interesting people. I’d like to see the authors continue in that strain and further explore the challenges the virtual worker faces. They’ve also begun to discuss some of the tools virtual workers prefer.

The site appears to cater to the urban elite, laptop-lugging, mobile professional crowd, and does not address the broader, global nature of distributed work as we do here at the Woven blog. Nonetheless, it’s shaping up to be a valuable resource for the many people who’ve chosen to sever the bonds of the corporation and abandon the traditional workplace (and those who wish to understand them).