In my last post I spoke about the pros and cons associated with working in the South of France, where I identified many challenges relating to ‘escaping’ from work, but in fact encountered very few problems relating to keeping in touch and remaining productive.
This time, I’m undertaking another mini experiment; I’m replacing my Mac with an iPad, and making a concerted effort to switch off during allotted downtime, with a view to making much more time for R&R on my working holiday.
There’s something rather liberating about travelling light; so this time around, I’ll only be taking lighting chargers for my iPad, with no heavy MacBook, or cumbersome chargers to speak of. The question is, whether the trade off for freedom and portability will prove too restrictive, and/ or whether workarounds will become a limiting factor, and actually hinder productivity.
Nowadays there is much talk about communicating with a single endpoint, whether that be a device or a person; many believe that in just a few years from now, the idea of personal smart devices will become redundant. The main reason for this will be the rapid growth in digitisation, which is outlined eloquently in the opening section of our new ‘Introducing Forfusion’ video.
I plan to use cloud based tools during this working holiday; primarily Cisco and Microsoft instant Messaging (IM) apps for quick, ad hoc updates. For more formal communications, I intend on using Cisco Jabber, Spark and WebEx, as well as Microsoft Office/ Dynamics 365 (CRM, Excel, PowerPoint, SharePoint and Word).
For microblogging and social media, I will utilise the usual suspects including LinkedIn and Twitter; however I will also be using some of the automation and social influence / intelligence tools used by our marketing team, such as Hootsuite and Lissted; all tools will be 100% cloud based.
Challenges I experienced last time weren't related to communications infrastructure, or being able to collaborate effectively with my team based back in the UK. It was actually being disciplined with myself in knowing when to switch off and when to make myself completely unavailable.
This is something many struggle with, whether on holiday or not. Some in the scientific community have believed for some time that smartphone usage is addictive and stimulates the same activity in the brain as hard drugs!
So, this time, I will be making a concerted effort to avoid getting sucked in, by disabling my email when out of office, and being strict in terms of hours I spend on my iPad – wish me luck!
During my working holiday I plan to post some short blogs, maybe even some vlogs, some of which will be work related, others will not.
I’m hoping that this experiment will provoke discussion and debate around how technology (or lack of it in some scenarios!) is changing the nature of work. So I invite your comments and questions!