Thursday, July 10, 2008

Distributed work force

I am not among those lucky enough to have a work-from-home gig, though the 10-minute walk to work sure isn't too much off. Except for the having-to-wear-clothes part, I suppose.

I'm not sure about other papers, but ours is certainly at the point where we really don't need to have a newsroom per se. I am pretty sure all we'd need is a reliable way to connect to the servers at work and probably one person to act as a newsroom representative to the public, which thankfully continues to visit us in person on a fairly regular basis.

As for other departments? Well, this is probably oversimplified, but we've got:
  • A business office - internal and B2B bills.
  • A circulation department - sets up subscriptions, takes complaints, plans single-copy sales, etc.
  • An advertising department - ad sales people do nearly all their work out of the office.
  • An advertising composition section - they digitally compose the ads and produce certain publications not handled by the newsroom.
  • The press and mailroom - The latter being where all those fliers get inserted into your paper, as well as the distribution point for the finished product.
I'm probably missing something obvious.

It seems to me we could pare down to having department managers on site, if they felt that was necessary, plus one or two reps from each department except for the press and mailroom, the only parts of the factory that actually do stuff with tangible materials.

I suppose if there's ever a need to replace the building, we'd go to some sort of pared-down storefront and off-site printing and call it good, but I'm guessing the motivation to do that is low. Taxes are cheap here (about $16,000 last year for property tax, anyway), I'm pretty sure we own the building, etc.

But it wouldn't hurt my feelings if going to work consisted of turning on my computer at home and maybe meeting up with my staff occasionally for coffee :)

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