By Ruphinder Chahal, Three
Sorry folks, but chances are you’re not a digital native. You remember times before smartphones, tablets and Wi-Fi — you may even have used a library to do your homework. Everything you know about technology you’ve consciously learnt, and this can limit how you think about technology as well as how much you get out of it.
You need to think like a digital native, born and raised with numerous contemporary technology tools, asking, ‘how can I get it to do that?’ rather than ’can it do that?’ Take inspiration from the one-year-old who became an internet sensation, trying to use tablet finger techniques on an old fashioned printed magazine; to a young digital native, a magazine is a tablet that doesn’t work. Challenge yourself to get every last drop of benefit out of your mobile technology.
Change your mind set by asking the right questions:
1. What do I do back in the office that I’d like to be able to do on the go?
- Look for apps that sync with your existing systems, e.g. scheduling and coordinating apps, ways of tracking your time against work for a variety of projects or clients, options for managing your network and its security.
2. What do I need to be able to do because I’m away from the office?
- Think about the visibility you need, e.g. remote CCTV viewing, user device tracking (who’s connected to your network and from where), site traffic analytics.
- Consider your on-the-go working needs, e.g. viewing-editing-exchanging documents, managing your online retail or service outlets, accepting credit card payments.
3. What would make my life easier?
- Focus on time-savers, e.g. staying updated on flight and travel arrangements, syncing notes with your office system as soon as they’re made, logging expenses as they happen, updating contact management information as you network with no need for business cards.
And allow for a little fun — no one needs an app to turn a smartphone into a PowerPoint presentation pointer, but it can make things more exciting.
If you’re in doubt, ask around to see what your colleagues find most useful.
True flexible working gives you what you need, when you need it — wherever you are. You already have the technology to make this a reality. All you need now is to keep your mind open to the possibilities.
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