IT Career News: Productive Remote Work, Meeting the New Boss, Lynda Sells

    Tech career news this week included surprising sources of increased productivity, information on how to successfully interview a potential new boss for a good fit, and a huge acquisition in online education.

    Work Remotely, Be More Productive

    Employers are benefitting in so many ways by utilizing remote workers more often. A new survey by unified communications service provider ConnectSolutions found fully 77 percent of respondents said they are more productive when they work remotely. When IT Business Edge’s Don Tennant spoke with the company’s CEO, Michael Fitzpatrick, he noted that remote workers tend to work longer hours and call in sick less often. With the addition of more reliable, sophisticated and easy-to-use business communications tools every week, it’s becoming a huge win-win setup.

    Wi-Fi Leads to Higher Sales

    In a look at AT&T’s Wi-Fi Small Site product, IT Business Edge’s Kim Mays unearthed this interesting fact from a study of Wi-Fi in retail settings:

    “ … providing Wi-Fi to employees can also boost sales after half the respondents claimed ‘a 3.4 percent increase in sales after deploying Wi-Fi to its employees.’”

    Using a solution that enables separation of Wi-Fi for customers and for employees is key, both for performance and for tracking of customer behavior.

    How to Manage Developers

    A Management of Software Development class has been added to the Yale School of Business MBA program, with the expectation that pretty much all graduates will have to carry out these duties during their careers, and sooner rather than later. A little bit of coding is included, as well as a group project creating a mobile app, to help students learn to lead all sorts of development teams. With growth rates for hiring in some software development areas of nearly 40 percent, the demand for effective dev team management will be on the rise, as well.

    Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss?

    A big unknown for many starting in new positions is what the manager will be like. A bad match can make for miserable work hours and regret. While you’re being interviewed for a new position, advises Glassdoor’s Heather Huhman on IT Business Edge, make an effort to learn more about a potential manager. A couple of ideas: Ask why they love their job. The answer will give clues about what they enjoy working on and their leadership style. Or ask about how they give feedback. Is it ongoing? More sporadic? Very structured?

    How We Collaborate

    I pictured a great many product team members hanging their heads, and perhaps a few tears hitting the desk, upon hearing the news of how people report using Microsoft collaboration tools. Basically, it’s all about document sharing., which integrates said Microsoft collaboration tools, surveyed its users in 75 countries about what they do when they use’s tools built for mobile platforms. A summary at CITEworld says that just over 80 percent said the most frequent activity is document access and sharing, both offline and online. Seven percent add SharePoint communications to their collaboration; less than 2 percent use Yammer.

    LinkedIn Buys Lynda

    For a cool $1.5 billion, career site LinkedIn acquired online learning site Lynda this week. With a variety of web design, development and creative courses, Lynda is used by individuals and by schools, enterprises and libraries. LinkedIn Head of Content Products Ryan Roslansky says on Business Insider:

    “Imagine being a job seeker and being able to instantly know what skills are needed for the available jobs in a desired city, like Denver, and then to be prompted to take the relevant and accredited course to help you acquire this skill. Or doing a search on SlideShare to learn about integrated marketing and then to be prompted with a course on the same subject.”

    Reportedly, many of Lynda’s existing employees will join the LinkedIn team when the deal completes later this year.

    Kachina Shaw is managing editor for IT Business Edge and has been writing and editing about IT and the business for 15 years. She writes about IT careers, management, technology trends and managing risk. Follow Kachina on Twitter @Kachina and on Google+

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