I haven’t been late for work for over a year.
Whilst I think my time management skills are good, this is not a post to brag about them.
My previous role was a 45-minute drive to the office without traffic (there was always traffic) and my current role is a 2-hour door to door train journey, as long as there are no cows or leaves on the line. I never miss a meeting.
Fortunately for me, both companies were early adopters and great ambassadors for remote working, collaborative working or working from anywhere. Call it what you like – and different companies will use all sorts of terminology to sound innovative and differentiate themselves – it’s a great way of working.
COMMUTE TO INDIA
I used to have two meetings a week in India. If I (and all my colleagues) had to travel to Chennai and back twice a week, the company would probably no longer exist. Simple tools like WebEx and conference bridges have been around for years now but have always seemed clunky and buggy so we needed a resolution.
We used a federated version of Microsoft Lync better than I have seen deployed in most businesses, which allowed us to conduct ad-hoc meetings, 8 hour migrations and collaborate on the fly internally and externally. There was no waiting for contractors to pick up voicemails or wondering if they have gone home yet due to the time difference – everything flowed.
ON THE MOVE
Closer contacts of mine know that I spend the majority of my working life on a train or in my home office. This is not a problem. Most trains have a good enough standard of Wi-Fi to host a Skype for Business meeting. Within this meeting, I can share my desktop, instant message the participants and even take control of their PowerPoint presentation that they are working on. If we need to brainstorm some ideas for the next meeting, we can pop up a whiteboard and search the internet together to source material.
I could even be doing this over 3G or 4G as mobile data is so cheap. As a consumer, I recently upgraded to a 20GB monthly data package with my mobile phone contract.
Even when changing trains, I can stay connected to my colleagues or customers. I log in to my mobile app and can hold a conversation using my business landline number, saving me from calling a premium number from my personal mobile.
These tools come in all shapes and sizes and in so many different flavours that it’s hard to say what is the perfect fit for each business. There are well respected and profitable vendors out there that can sell you a telephone system and get it installed quickly but what about your needs and your development road map?
A consultative approach is required to get collaborative working spot on. If your company doesn’t do this now, it will be a scary step. Change is scary because change is different and there will be lots of questions running through a business owners head.
So, get onto your SP, or find a new one and bespoke build a solution to help you never be late again.
Dominic Kent is a Technology Consultant and a Freelance Writer for hire. Versed in business and consumer technology, he regularly shares insights on the latest happenings in the industry as well as relating to everyday life. Find Dominic on LinkedIn here.