I´we just came back from a one months holiday in Thailand. Or actually I worked for 2 weeks so I only have to use two of those five weeks paid holiday we get as Swedes. But I could stay for double that time, I could work from the beach and 5 star hotels.
And just some weeks before Thailand I were one and a half week in the states for the Microsoft MVP summit and all this time, my customers could reach me without a thought of playing phone tennis trying to find different phone numbers or OOF responses. And the best thing about it, I could work as I was at home in my office but with the view bellow.
This series of posts will tell you all about how to use Office 365, Lync and Enterprise voice when you are traveling international. And some other stuff to about hereworking –working from where you do it the best.
The thing is, thanks to Lync and Office 365 I was able to be as productive as I am when im in my Office. Or I would rather say that I got more done these weeks than if i´d be back home.
I would like to back that up with this article. Tell Your Boss: Unlimited Vacation Actually Increases Productivity.
Working remote or hereworking as I would like to call it, is something that is really easy now with the technology from Microsoft. I got all my documents and notebooks in the cloud stored in Office 365 and SharePoint online. I do note taking in OneNote and that notebook is automatically synced to my personal SharePoint site. Also available from my Windows Phone 7 or iPad. I do some syncing of files between all my devices with Skydrive. My email is in Exchange Online and i use both Lync Online and Lync on-premises.
So how did my setup look like.
I have a Asus Zenbook and a Samsung Series 7 slate with Windows 8 on as my computers (and a iPad2 that I only used 5-10 minutes thanks to the Slate), depending on where I were going to sit and work I did choose the computer that best fit the needs, All files and OneNote were synced via Office 365. I use VPN and Remote Desktop Connection manager and the connection file of course also syncs between the computers.
For my communication I have a unlocked HTC Titan, Plantronics Voyager Pro UC2 and a Jabra UC Voice 250 MS Lync Optimized USB headset.
Thats what I used for phone calls and meetings. Both my PC´s has built in cameras for the video meetings I had in Lync.
Well that’s it for the hardware. Now some tips on how to find a good office for some hours of work.
To start with, there is always coffee shops, Starbucks and they are generally great in the morning, I’m tiered and like to have a coffee to start the day, not so many noisy people in the mornings either, but around lunch and especially after when the moms invade with their kids its usually time to switch place. Plus it don’t feel so good to sit in one coffee shop for eight hours only ordering a coffee.
The great things with many of the coffee shops though is that they have electrical outlets where you can borrow some power, so when you see an outlet rush over there and use it cause you will need it for the afternoon.
After lunch I usually hit the hotels, and preferably the “high so” ones, 5 stars where a coffee is 3 times more expensive than where I had the morning shot. Normally theses places are gorgeous to and have great chairs to work from, but not all has electric…
Some hotels can start playing some music around 3-4pm and have some after work bar or something that could get loud, so its usually time to finish work at this time, or switch seating to some seat away from the people/music. Here is a collection of other tips when hereworking at coffee shops.
However the firsts weeks of my trip where spent in Isaan in the northeast part of Thailand, planting rise
But with great 3G connection I even had some meetings from these fields in the middle of nowhere. And yes, with good quality of voice and video and I couldn’t hear that much latency either, when calling Sweden.
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And I would like to end this post with a link to 9 Tips for Overcoming Jet Lag
The next part will be a bit more technical, showing what settings I did to make this possible.