So what is the value of working remotely – really? It’s weeks like this week where the mental calculation of business that you could be doing, and the value of your time, start to happen automatically in your head. What happened this week? – Hurricane Sandy impacted, well…., the entire east coast of the U.S. How functional were you during your last major weather event – unless of course you live in San Diego and your last weather event was forgetting your sunglasses and accidentally looking into the sun?
So here is what I mean by ‘working remotely’ take the quiz: Can you connect into your office systems at get decent network speed when connected from your home computer, from our company issued notebook computer, from your iPad or tablet? Can you connect from a hotel or coffee shop? Can you get to all of your critical business applications, email, invoices, work orders, schedules, projects, a spreadsheet when you are connected remotely? Picture sitting at your kitchen table and being able to send an invoice to a customer and generating revenue or knowing where everyone is all the time because you have the ultimate in scheduling. And what if the office network is down – having the ultimate flexibility is that your systems have enough data on your mobile device and on your notebook computer to answer basic customer questions in an emergency and have some level of functionality. How do you score yourself. Guess what – it’s 2012. Even iPads can connect to computers, servers etc. and give you functionality when you are out of the office. Are your connections slow – like watching paint dry, in this day and age – they shouldn’t be. Is the answer to put everything in the cloud? The answer depends on a) whether or not you have unlimited resources and b) if your ego won’t take a hit when you move at least part of your systems back in a couple of years.
I had a customer say to me last week: ‘The best thing you ever did was set us up so that everyone had remote connections in with Terminal Services. Why did we do it any other way before you suggested it and why would anyone that is figuring out how to do their network now – do it any other way – I just don’t understand it’. My answer was simple – short-sightedness of not wanting to spend a few extra thousand dollars to save many multiples of that in the future AND not realizing that one day they are going to be sitting at their kitchen table during Hurricane Sandy wondering why they can’t get to everything they need [I added that last part].