I woke up last Tuesday morning to find my car, my driveway and surrounding roads covered in 4 inches of snow so I made the decision to work from home.
Armed with an excellent Internet connection, an iPhone and 2 Mac Laptops, I actually have better equipment at home than I do at work so there was no reason for me not to be as productive (if not more productive) in my home office than if I was physically at work. I also have access to my work email and network resources thanks to being able to log in remotely via the company’s VPN.
Of course, the fact that several hundred (if not thousand) others had the same idea meant that the VPN servers were unable to cope, constantly crashing and refusing to connect. No problem – the work I’m doing could be done offline. I’m currently learning about ITIL and Remedy and have plenty of videos and podcasts on the subject to keep me entertained and educated.
I worked at home for the whole week and the only potential problem I had was that on Thursday I was due to deliver a training course. Our team offers a global training service, providing both classroom training and online/virtual training and this particular course was being delivered via Webex anyway.
If this had been, say, an Excel course, I’d have had no problem as I could log into the Webex directly (i.e. bypass the VPN), run Excel on my Virtual VMWare Fusion machine and share my “Desktop”. However, the course was “Using the Intranet Content Management System” and required me being connected to work via the (flaky) VPN.
Rather than rely on luck, I logged into the system during the evening prior to the course (when usage was low and therefore it was less likely to crash) and “delivered” the course whilst at the same time using Screenflow to record my screen.
When it came to deliver the course for real, I logged into Webex, shared my Desktop and played the Mov (that I’d exported from the Screenflow recording) whilst delivering the audio live. As well as not having to rely on being logged in via the VPN, it also gave me the advantage that when people asked questions about specific features of the system, I could rewind the Mov file to recap the point.
The delegates were impressed – and so was my Boss!