People First
People First

The Future of Remote Work

Over on the podcast and in the newsletter – oh and in the People First network, I have been ruminating about remote work.

Photo by Christine Roy on Unsplash

Specifically about work visas and wondering where work is done and once you know where it is done – then – do you need a work visa?

Quick example. You LIVE in P0rtugal. You connect to servers in the US. You are paid in London. Your value is delivered (eg where the code (for example) is rendered and turned into something that can be charged for in Canada.

Where do you work?

Seems like I am not the only one, Adam Ozimek from Upwork shares his ideas about nomadic workforces with Matt Yglesias. He is really only talking about the US – but still raising valid and related questions about the other side of the where do you work equation – where do you go if you cant work. Which state?

They discuss the implications for migration, local governance, and the elusive concept of work/life balance. (Where have I heard that one before?)

Adam argues strongly for the whole work thing in America to be Federalized.

Listen to the podcast here. If you don’t have a full 60 minutes to listen – scoot through to minute 4o for the pertinent stuff.


Switch It Off Already

I’m kind of over people complaining about how LinkedIN sucks because … or Facebook users are … or Instagram Photos are ….

Social Media channels are like TV channels. If you don’t like them you can ignore them or even delete them.

Just do that. Why fill my feed with your rubbish.

In fact you can refine your feed even further … block, remove, delete the people that offend you. It is

  • much easier
  • massively more effective
  • way quicker

than writing a screed on why you feel so upset.


Why Do You Work?

Photo by AR on Unsplash

I promise, Manton, Daniel and I did not coordinate this – I think sometimes synchronicity just happens.

In last weeks newsletter I asked the question

Why Do You Work?

A reply post will be available this Saturday.

There have been some great answers, but that is not the reason for this post.

Manton Reece – the brain behind Micro Blog 1 and Daniel Jalkut – the brain behind Red Sweater 2 have a weekly podcast called Core Intuition. This week I learned that they have been running their podcast for twelve years. A remarkable feat even of itself. Both of them are independent developers and this week the conversation turned to employment. A really nice discussion between two professionals that wrestle with following their dreams and passions, while balancing the need to put bread on the table.

Have a listen – you won’t regret it and very pertinent to the discussion ‘Why Do You Work’.


1] If you want to see MicroBlog working in the real world, my web site – John.Philpin.Com is powered by MicroBlog.

2] If you want to see Red Sweater working in the real world, that’s a little harder – but Daniel has a superb product called Mars Edit that I am using to write and post this article. Seriously. If you are a Mac user that writes a blog – you should be using Mars Edit.


When Zero Is Everything

For decades, the business world has embraced worker empowerment. But recently a countermovement—workforce optimization—has been on the rise. It treats labor as a commodity and seeks to cut it to a minimum by using automation and artificial intelligence, tightly controlling how people do their jobs, and replacing employees with contractors. This approach is especially prevalent in the tech sector and the gig economy. And it is cause for deep concern.

Peter Cappelli

I can only agree.

Read what Doc Searls has to say about Zero Party Data


Shaped By History?

”I thought back to the day I decided to go to law school. It was a warm spring day. May 4, 1970. I was a freshman at Oberlin College. A few days earlier, President Richard Nixon had expanded the Vietnam War by invading Cambodia. Antiwar college protests erupted throughout the country.

About 1 p.m. in the afternoon, the news hit us in the gut as we huddled around TVs and radios on our sheltered college campus. In just 12 seconds, the Ohio National Guard fired over 60 shots at student protesters at nearby Kent State University. Nine students were wounded, one of them paralyzed for life; and four students — Allison Krause, Jeff Miller, Sandra Scheuer, and Bill Schroeder — were killed.

Bill Schroeder was an ROTC student watching the protest; he was shot in the back. Sandy Scheuer was walking to class. I didn’t know them, but I’ve never forgotten their names.”

Lee Fisher
Photo by Andreea Popa on Unsplash

That quote comes from an article that my friend, colleague and ‘he that keeps me on the straight and narrow’ … Stuart Robbins just shared with me.

Stuart, thank-you.

My father fought for the British Army in the second world war. If you are 75 or under, you were not on planet earth during that war and as a result, the impact it had on that generation is being lost – if not forgotten.

The Vietnam war is much more recent, but still, is – like WWII being lost into history, so when I read first hand experiences, especially something as personal as the words Lee wrote, I like to stop and reflect for a moment.

And who is Lee Fisher?

”Lee Fisher is dean of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University. He is the former Ohio attorney general, lieutenant governor, director of the Ohio Department of Development, chair of the Ohio Third Frontier Commission, president and CEO of the Center for Families and Children, president and CEO of CEOs for Cities, state representative and state senator.

But there’s more. He recently came on to the People First Podcast and talked with Stuart about Law – and, IMHO, more importantly Leadership in Law. If you don’t want to jump off to another site, you can listen to it right here …

Or follow the link to a great interview, weighing in at under 30 minutes of ‘gold’.

I often find that knowing a little more about people, their history and what shaped them, helps me understand the context of who they are today and what they are saying. Lee is no exception. In fact I think it is possible to draw a straight line from the experience he described in that quote above to his life’s work. I hope you agree.