November 10 – 12, 2020

Online Edition!


I Bought a Robot

Remote Working and Telepresence Tech.

To truly connect with a team working remotely, use new telepresence tech to integrate and inform.

I recently started a new job working for a company in Munich, Germany, while I live in Veen, the Netherlands, about an 8 hour train ride away. This would the first time I've done work primarily remotely, and I immediately set to remedy any missing time with the team by setting up web connections, slack discussions, forums and attending every Agile standup meeting etc.

Despite all of this, it still feels as if I am somehow disconnected from the team, as if being physically present and avilable for trivial things forms a basis of team culture. As such, I did the only rational thing possible: I bought a robot and decided to live in it.

This telepresence robot rolls around the halls of my new company and at times goes along to clients. When I want to get a cup of coffee or something I roll up to a colleague and invite them to the water cooler. I roll the thing into meetings, attending via robot rather than shakey video conference, and I turn its head when I want to talk to different people. When leaving meetings I make small talk with my colleagues and joke about the topics of the day.

All of this brings a much different experience to working remotely. I no longer feel apart and I am constantly finding new ways to interact, make my robot useful and be more preesnt and avilable for my team. In this talk I will explore the theories and outcomes behind this experience so far and whatever comes in between now and then. Join me on this journey to a new way of working together!

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