On 9 April 2015 at 16:47, Garfield Byrd <gb...@wikimedia.org> wrote:
> Hi Fae,
> We have 215 staff in total, with a hub of activity in San Francisco and
> other staff in several other states and 18 countries.  So I agree talented
> people can be found globally and WMF does hire the best talent it can find
> wherever they are located.  At this point adding offices in other locations
> add cost without any benefits to the community or the Wikimedia
> Foundation.  We also do not have the luxury of Mozilla's $300 million
> budget that can support a London office or Microsoft's billions to have a
> globally distributed workforce with offices.  So we are not closing the
> door to anything. Based on our test project of trying to develop centers of
> activity in other parts of the United States there is no need for
> additional offices. We do need and will continue to hire a globally
> distributed staff of talented people to support our global community of
> talented volunteers.

Thanks for the response, it makes sense to me.

I agree with avoiding additional offices unless there is a very good
business case. Back in the late 1990s I was part of a small
consultancy where we chose to eliminate having a central office
altogether. It was a strange thing to try back last century, but
moving more of the administrative functions into the virtual working
space, and arming employees with excellent teamworking tools they can
use from home (or bookable office spaces locally) has become part of
the ordinary world of work these days.

WMF development happens this way already, and you writing here shows
that management/executive level folks are comfortable and skilled with
virtual spaces. It would be jolly interesting if the WMF were seen to
try out more virtual methods in other parts of its operation, and find
meaningful ways of reporting on benefits or avoidable costs. I see
this as part of the learning organization... Maybe a topic for another
thread at some point. :-)


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