blog.frederique.harmsze.nl my world of work and user experiences

August 31, 2009

Limits to my New World of Work

Filed under: New world of work — frederique @ 21:14

At the moment, I am on a business trip in Chicago. As I also have to do some work with people in my original time zone in the Netherlands, I had planned to get some work done on SharePoint team sites and then join a Live Meeting session from my hotel room. Always on, always connected, right? But here I encountered some limits to my New World of Work

No network, no work
It all went swimmingly, until my secured connection broke. From that moment I was unable to get online. Well, I already knew I was addicted to team sites, but having no network at all was far worse! No SharePoint, no Outlook, no Live Meeting, no Instant Messaging, no Google… The main part of the work that I wanted to do was impossible without a network.

Phone as first aid
Fortunately I still had my phone. So I could send an SMS to the person with who I was to have that Live Meeting, to tell him I’d miss the meeting. And it is a smart phone, so I could still use one of my e-mail accounts and find some basics on the internet. I try to limit that use while I’m here though, as well as using the phone in the classical way to call people, because it costs me a fortune.

Offline as backup plan
And fortunately I had taken the relevant documents offline, so I still had the information I required on the spot. My means of synchronizing online and offline information are far from perfect: I just download and re-upload the relevant documents. But it works, until I get better tools.

Real life meeting versus Live Meeting
So, you may ask, if I am wallowing in the new world of work, why take a trip across the Atlantic at all and not just use Live Meeting? Well, because in any world of work, it good to actually meet people in real life from time to time. Not just to work, but to have a drink together. Drinks are not a collaboration feature in the new tools yet…

We want to have some brainstorm session with a larger group of people. It is a lot easier to do that effectively and efficiently if you can see each other in person. Video conferencing is getting better, but what we have at our disposal is nowhere near as good as a trip to Chicago to meet in real life.

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