At the start of July, I relocated to Bristol from Surrey. It was a big decision to make both personally and professionally as I was leaving everything that I had come to know so well and the thought of leaving a job that I love was daunting.
Let’s go back to the beginning…
I originally worked for Tegen, a Managed Service Provider based in Redhill. I had a set desk with my PC where all my files and folders resided. This meant that the only place I could work efficiently was in the Redhill Office. If I needed to go to a conference or event in London, it meant I would be away from the PC and not working for the entire day. I could respond to emails on my phone but that was about it. If I had made the decision to work from Bristol back then it would have meant leaving the company.
Fortunately for me, Tegen was acquired by Metaphor IT, an awesome company who’s bread and butter is Agile Workspace Solutions so when they told me that I could work remotely from Bristol I was over the moon!
Working in marketing for an IT company, I have spent a lot of time gaining knowledge on the solutions that we sell so that I can market it effectively but what better way to understand a solution then to use it myself.
The journey to a Virtual Workspace…
The first step was to change what I worked on. Instead of working from a static PC which I could only access from Redhill, I now have a laptop which I can still use in the Redhill office but can also use from the London Office, from the comfort of my own home or from any location in between!
However, having a new shiny laptop isn’t enough. I also needed access to all my files and folders and knowing that I work with client data, I also needed to keep everything secure. Step in Virtual Workspaces!
A Virtual Workspace solution from Metaphor IT is a virtual desktop that can be accessed from any device, in any location. It does this by hosting my ‘desktop’ in a datacentre rather than on the device itself. I can tap into a full windows desktop experience whether I’m using a PC, Laptop or smartphone and my experience and functionality will be the same across the board. And if I don’t have an internet connection, which happens frequently on my commute, I can still work on my offline files which will automatically sync as soon as I regain a connection.
Because the data resides in the Cloud and not on the device, if that early morning coffee hasn’t kicked in and I leave my laptop on the train or it gets stolen, my company can rest easy knowing they can deploy a simple poison pill to the device to wipe all the corporate data.
There must be a drawback?
Since becoming a ‘remote worker’ 5 weeks ago, I have found that my productivity levels have risen as I don’t have all the distractions that comes with sitting in an office. I also don’t waste time waiting for Southern Rail to provide a train to get me to work!
But one drawback that all businesses must consider before choosing to embark on the Virtual Workspace journey is the change in culture. If culture and team work are paramount to running your business then you need to promote this amongst your remote workers and ensure that regular contact is made. Because we have Office 365, we also have Skype for Business so I can have regular calls with my team to keep updated and if I’m feeling a little isolated then I can video conference them in the office to feel even more involved… I just have to make sure I’ve changed out my pyjamas!