Today I’m working from home. It saves me a commute to Rotterdam (one hour drive if there are no traffic jams). I do this at least two days a week. Today it struck me how fast the facilities for this have progressed in the past few years. I have colleagues in the Netherlands, Ukraine and the United States, Partners from Australia to the US and I can manage all that from home. Quite incredible if you stop for a moment and think about this. It struck me when I looked at my computer screens.
I have a laptop with a docking station and an external screen. On the left site you see my main screen, with the mail open. I use this screen to work in. The right site is my laptop screen, I have my communication programs on that screen. My phone (if you call my office number in Rotterdam you will get my laptop), communicator for in-company communication, Skype and Goto Meeting for external communication. I can call, mail, and talk to everyone all over the world. Goto allows me to do webinars and demo’s to groups of people.
And now I’m not even talking about all other communication options I have. Website, blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, e-Learning communities, Issue trackers, all accessible from home over the internet.
I have worked from home since the early nineties. I started out with a 56k modem. I will never forget that sound.
I was lucky because I worked with a company that started using mail in the early nineties. At first I had to use my phone line. So when I was online I could not make a call. Later we got two phone lines and I could call in to a computer that could to call me back (that made a big difference on my phone bill).
It is a long way from that modem to where we are now. Broadband connection, fast PC’s and an incredible amount of software and services to facilitate almost everything. Sometimes it is a good thing to stop for a moment a become aware of all the great things that you normally take for granted.