I’m not afraid to admit that I hop on a train daily to get to work. Yes, most days it’s a tedious journey ridden with people who have been gifted voices too loud for public transport, but it got me thinking, this is two hours each day that I could be doing something productive. In this day and age that’s a lot of time.
So I took my laptop out and started writing some articles for work. Now I’m from a science background so I like to incorporate some good old facts into my articles because they’re more persuasive and credible than anything else (Ah Yun & Massi). I’m on the train googling statistics and looking for my file on OneDrive with all my useful stats on that I’ve harvested over time and that’s when it hit me. I’m using… the cloud. Madness. And I’d just been taking it for granted, in the same way that I took it for granted that I saved my article in the shared drive for work whilst I was travelling 70mph through the Merseyside landscape. Sorry I’m lying, more like 25mph because the train is ridiculously slow.
Now even I know this is a VERY simply use of the cloud for virtualisation, but it’s so useful. As a marketer, I won’t immediately be thinking of the scalability of the cloud when I’m using it, but the accessibility. And with £1.03trillion being spent on global business travel in 2017, more employees are travelling frequently for business. It’s bringing about an alternative meaning of business continuity if they can access their files and data, anywhere and everywhere. There’s no pauses or breaks in business if employees can be connected while out and about for business.
So for this article, I’m steering virtualisation away from the traditional, corporate view of benefits – employees can be connected at all times and it allows for freedom of movement etc. We can look at it from an employee-benefits point of view.
- Less guilt about having to leave for an appointment. I used to feel such dread when I needed to see the dentist. Obviously because it’s the dentist, but also because they work 9-5pm and you can see how it’s pretty impossible to make an appointment when you work 9-5.30pm. Where’s cloning when you need it? It’s either take a whole day holiday or miss the appointment. Anyway, in my first ‘proper job’ after university, I let my boss know my concerns and she laughed and said, ‘Vic just work from home and make up the time at some point’. I was flabbergasted. More so when I was at home with access to CRM, my emails, the CMS… everything! But the true value came from the respect I gained for my boss and the company for allowing me to do that. I felt valued as an employee that there were measures in place that I could take care of personal life. And every HR professional will tell you that you can’t put a price on that. (P.s. Dentists; listen up. There’s a gap in the market for out of hours practices!)
- Reduce the worry of having to stay late to complete work. A busy time at work results in stress for everyone involved. Not only does the workload increase, it often means employees stay later to get tasks finished and this eats into their personal life, which in turn means less rest and relax at a time they probably need it most. A person suffering from stress is less likely to carry out a job to the best of their ability according to neurologists from Harvard. So, take someone like me who has 2 hours per day doing absolutely nothing, but people watch (and there’s a huge amount of us!) and there’s a golden window. I’d much prefer to use the two hours to finish off work than to stay two hours later and have to muck out my horse at 9pm in the dark. And I know my boss is happy for me to do it this way because a) she trusts that I will get it done and b) we have the resources to allow me to do that. Obviously not everyone has horses, but they have families, hobbies, arrangements that mean a lot to them.
- Improved willingness to attend work-related events. As a marketer, whenever we have planned for an exhibition or a tradeshow we have to convince colleagues to attend with us. The main concern (or excuse!) that I hear is ‘I really can’t be away from my actual day job for a day’. It’s understandable, especially if you’re a senior member of staff with a hectic schedule. What I thought was cool at a recent exhibition I was at, was that a partner’s spokesperson (a director of product management) gave a great speech and presentation, and then stayed at the event, occasionally popping off to do some work and be ‘online’. He got the best of both worlds. You might find that providing employees with the ability to connect anywhere, they are keener to venture out, including trips that are for the business’ benefit too.
These are just three reasons from a different perspective to consider cloud migration and a VDI, my train journey home is now over- it’s gone faster than usual and I’ve finished one of my morning tasks for tomorrow. Not bragging or anything! Maybe some silver linings can be drawn from a commuter lifestyle…