My old office had a window. I could see the sun and clouds and tops of trees. Today I work for the same company in the same role. My view is now my back yard, my dog running around, and my wife weeding the garden. What else has changed for me, well, how I interact with my company's peers, management, and of course, meetings.
I do miss the stroll to the coffee machine. The occasional chit chat as I walk past someone's desk and the ability to press them on an email they have not responded to. In other ways, I feel a bit more productive. Those distractions are gone.
I have learned to embrace new technology. The UC Client my company gave me a while back allows me to see my peers virtually. I can type out a quick IM. I think today the word is "chat." I do get lost on the hip "word of the day". At the office, I saw no need for some of this new technology. Being forced to work from home, I have embraced it. As others in the company have also embraced it, it has forced us to use it in ways I never would have prior to working from home.
Meetings are now done using the same tool. We can turn on the video and see each other. Funny, no one does that unless they are forced to. We do screen share and collaborate probably better than when we met in the office. The meetings seem a bit more focused and to the point, and shorter.
Using the chat function, I get quicker answers, even if the other person is on the phone or in a meeting. That answer is not lost in an ever-growing email inbox. This "texting" feature of SMS is also nice and complements that chat feature. It is nice to know you can reach someone on the cell phone.
My productivity is further complimented, as I don't need to hunt for voicemails. I never even listen to them because now I can read them. A little wizardry of a transcription tool turns my .wav file into words I read. This makes me feel a little more efficient. I can even record my calls on demand for those times when I need to and find them up to 90 days later.
I guess some lessons learned here are not so bad and might even help me stay productive when I can go back to seeing the tops of trees.
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