Posts tagged ‘mobility’

August 24, 2011

Why DropBox Is Easily Worth $5 billion.

Great article from Business Insider on the DropBox app (which I use to great benefit … and it’s free). Also, see the accompanying article about the cloud and our outdated allegiance to “files” (hint: we really don’t need them).

Dropbox is a blockbuster because it has magic economics.

 

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August 18, 2011

Green Collar

One of the great advantages of being a knowledge-based professional with a very specific work flow — i.e., a research report is submitted, edited, checked for compliance, returned to author, goes through some back and forth, then signed off and published/distributed — is that I can work from anywhere in the world, in any time zone; my kick-ass laptop and reliable WIFI service are all the “office” I need. It’s not in my nature, nor is it possible to “slack off”; the job is strictly task based: reports must be read and returned in a timely manner, publishing deadlines must be met, administrative data must be kept up-to-date. I’ve been successfully working in this highly efficient and win-win telecommuter manner for the past eight years or so, and I find it incredible that there continues to be debate on the matter.

Just today, LinkedIn featured a story from Fast Company entitled Should You Let Your Employees Work from Home?, a title I find, oh, just slightly condescending, to be as polite as possible about it. And it’s quite amusing because the determining factors all hinge on whether the employee rates this consideration. I believe it would be far more useful to create a similar infographic for management, with questions along the lines of:  “Are you a control freak? micro-manager?” “Do you believe your employees are capable of doing their jobs without your constant supervision?” “If you can’t physically see an employee, do they no longer exist?” “Do you know how to use email? a cellphone? land line? IM? Skype?Webex?” Well, I could go on — and on — but will refrain for the sake of brevity.

Anyhoo … this new infographic came across the wire this afternoon and I thought I’d share it. Not nearly so paternalistic in tone as the FastCompany/Mindflash version and speaks to what I believe are the obvious advantages (to employees, managers, and the environment) of corporations re-tooling their antiquated analog attitudes about “work”.

And for your listening pleasure …

August 13, 2011

Work is what we do …

… rather than a place we go.

The era of the nine-to-five job is over. Even just a few years ago, you were expected to commute to work, put in your hours and drive back home. Once you left work, it was done until you came back into the office the next way.

(via Mashable)

August 12, 2011

Head in(to) the clouds.

I’ve been doing some freelance work and cloud computing is the best. No need for back and forth emails with files attached, just work in the cloud! You share the file and get updates when files are changed, etc. Similar to having a network server in a regular office, but this server is limitless and you can invite anyone to be a part of it. You can restrict sharing to specific folders (i.e., one client doesn’t have access to another client’s folder).  And you can set up folders for anyone on any specific topic (say, vacation photos). It’s almost like the circles in Google+ (I’m assuming you’re on there too, I am … find it a bit ho hum but that’s a topic for another day).

Anyway, the cloud I’m on is “Dropbox” but there are many others. Free for the most part, an easy download and you’re up and running. If you use up massive amounts of space then you can opt to “rent” a cloud for a reasonable fee (consider the alternative of having an IT department maintain a server!). The files are regularly backed-up, the site is just as secure as any other site, like your email account, for example … so I wouldn’t tend to put highly sensitive material there … but that’s a judgement call. One business I work for has virtually all its working files uploaded so anyone (who has been granted access) can keep up-to-date on job progress from anywhere in the world without a lot of inbox clutter. Sweet.

Here’s an article that reviews a few of the free options available.

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/free_online_storage_services.php

July 31, 2011

Join Me and Log Me In

Two crazy easy apps to use, both free, and both with basic but awesome functionality, formerly reserved for IT departments, now available to us all.

Join Me allows you to invite anyone to drop in and view your desktop. Think about the possibilities for training, file sharing, peer-to-peer help and discussion! IT departments already use this function take over our computers  when we run into trouble, but now, anyone can have this ability. It is so simple to use you might think you’re missing something. But nope, it really is super easy. All you do is send an invite. As a special bonus, the app also generates a conference call number at the same time.  So, let’s say there are several of you together on one desktop discussing a presentation, you also have an 800 number to call to get in on the discussion. How great is that?

Log Me In is also free and equally easy to use. You can log onto your own desktop from any computer  or mobile device … from anywhere. Mobility and access just got a whole lot easier for freelancers; it’s like we have our own IT department! And … you can of course use the printer! So, while sipping campari on the terrace at Pensione Guerrato in Venice, I log in and put the final touches on an invoice, and print out a hard copy in my office in Toronto!  How sweet is that? (Not that I work with hard copies much anymore, but you get the drift.)

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