During a typical week at Smart Dolphins, I work from home three to four days and go to the office one or two days.
I wake up early, and after attending to a few personal priorities (exercise, tea, breakfast, etc.), I will work for an hour before waking my daughter. After helping her get ready, and then dropping her off at school, I will either return home or drive to the office and get started on my day.
Benefits of a cloud environment
- Work from anywhere (flexible work environment)
- Real-time collaboration via Microsoft Teams
- Improved access to information
- Ability to attract global talent
- Better technology = stronger workplace culture
- Competitive advantage
- Enterprise-level security
Wherever I am (office or home), I plug my laptop into a docking station, which powers two to three monitors, and then I am ready to work. I open Microsoft Teams to join our pre-scheduled, recurring 8:10 a.m. daily meeting. This gives me a chance to see everyone (we turn on our video), say, “good morning” and help everyone get on the same page.
From there, I proceed with what I have planned for the day.
Work from anywhere can be seamless
My work experience does not change much whether I am in the office, at home, or even in a coffee shop. I do not have a Virtual Private Network (VPN) or Remote Desktop to connect to. Smart Dolphins has moved most of our applications and data into different cloud platforms. My laptop is encrypted, managed, and secured by Microsoft 365. Most of what I need to fulfill my job responsibilities is within a web browser, or Microsoft 365 (Teams, OneDrive, Outlook, etc.).
And this is the same for everyone on our team. We have equipped each dolphin with the technology and training they need to have a great “hybrid” work experience each day. Whether I am meeting with a member of our technical team or jumping into a planning session with the marketing team, it is flexible and frictionless for myself, and everyone involved.
To highlight this, we recently hired a new dolphin. We provided him with a new laptop, two monitors, a docking station, and a headset; all to take home and ensure that he can be just as productive remotely as he is at the office (where we have equipped every desk with the same technology).
I have come to take all of this for granted, and that point has really been illuminated for me lately in talking to business leaders who are struggling with their IT, especially since the pandemic was declared nearly two years ago.
Saying this, we do not want people working remotely from cafés, airports or hotels on unsecured Wi-Fi networks without added security.
Professionals should not have to struggle with remote work
From the broader business community, one of the most common complaints I heard in 2021 was a simple one, to paraphrase, “remote work is painful. We are connecting remotely to our workstations at the office, and there is always something wrong or broken. Remote connections stop working randomly, VPNs are painful, or an employee cannot remote in until someone pushes the power button on their tower on their behalf.”
These business leaders want a better way and are simply stuck. Understanding that technology can do so much more for business and culture, but they may not have the IT leadership needed to navigate out of it. Often, these business leaders are not aware of what is possible. As the saying goes, we don’t know what we don’t know.
At Smart Dolphins, our job has historically been to help businesses with their IT infrastructure. This perspective has sometimes seemed analogous to keeping the lights on and the building secure (a great proactive approach will do that for you). While those things are still important, I see that our role has shifted dramatically. By sharing our IT success stories, we can help leaders better understand what technology can do for them with the right guidance and investment. And then if it resonates, IT partners like us will help them get there.