Presence or productivity… that is the question

I was born in a communistic country and was just about old enough to see how employment generally worked. The key attribute was presence at the workplace.

It did not matter how much you did, or if you did anything at all. The pay cheque was always there at the end of the month.

This was the first thing that came to my mind when a friend mentioned that her company had retracted her previous partial home office arrangement and required that she’d be at her desk full time.

I assumed that her performance had possibly been lower while working from a remote location. However she insisted that she had never been more productive. Instead it had been the other staff in her office that had complained.

They were upset that she had a special arrangement and wanted it too. Like the bullies at the school yard who saw someone with a shiny marble and if they could not have it then at least they would crush it.
It did not matter that my friend was working partially from home to be close to a family member who was ill, the other staff were just upset.

She had previously told me about the poor working conditions in the office. I suggested that maybe that was the main reason why other staff in the office also wanted to escape: not for the benefit of working from home but for the benefit of staying away from the office.

Finally my friend asked me what my advice would be and I told her the first thing that came to my mind.

Quit and find a real company that values results and is not run by second tear staff who are first grade champions in office politics.

Photo by k2space.

Linksys WAG54G 802.11g ADSL Modem VPN Router


Hello you world of wireless fun. Here I am, please take me in with open arms. I have been a believer for a long time but never really got around getting the right equipment. Now I have.
The Linksys WAG54G is a handy 4-in-one device for an ideal home broadband and wireless solution. The device is full of features
With the built-in ADSL modem the device connects to broadband Internet. The device comes with a micro filter and a phone cable so it’s all in the box, ready to run.
The device has a router with 4 switched ports to let you connect PC, laptops, printers and etc. via network cables. All computers connected to the router will be able to shares resources creating a home network. By plugging in additional hubs you can create as large network as needed. Of course, all computers will have access to the broadband connection.
The 802.11g (WiFi) access point lets you connect wirelessly from other devices. The g standard supports speeds of up 54Mbps and is backward compatible with the older b standard in case you have any such devices. The access point supports 128-bit WEP encryption and MAC address access list making it decently secure.
To complete the picture there is a firewall to fend off any hack attempts. The firewall is configurable for port forwarding and DMZ if you need more control over what services would be available inside your network. An extra security is time based access control. With this feature you can limit certain devices (like your child’s PC) to access the Internet only during certain hours.
The Linksys WAG54G can be set up to create a VPN connection to a VPN server. This is ideal If you are working from home and need to connect to your office. All devices inside the Linksys will automatically be able to access the LAN at work.
Included in the box is one network cable so that you can set up the device and start using it straight away. Connect to http://192.168.1.1, browse through all the settings and set them accordingly.
ADSL setup: account, password and ADSL parameters
WiFi: change SSID, turn off broadcast, turn on WEP 128-bit encryption, set up a MAC access list
Change the administrator name and password
Takes around 15 minutes and is very straight forward. The Linksys WAG54G can be purchased for just above £100.
Update 15/02/04
The newest firmware update from Linksys corrects incorrect system time and adds WPA security. Definitely a must.
Check out the the Linksys WAG54G forum.