Southwest has a tagline at the end of some there commercials that says “you are now free to get up and move about the country.”
Now ask yourself, what have you chained to your desk or “physically locked” in some other way?
As I write this paragraph I happen to be sitting on my balcony in Saint Augustine Florida on a 5-week stay even though my office is in Ohio. I don’t lose one bit of productivity being here rather than there. Yes, in my case I am the business owner, but one of our key employees wanted to move from Ohio to Phoenix, AZ about two years ago and is more productive than ever working out of his home.
Technology exists for you to free yourself and the first thing you have to change is your mindset about how you work.
Here is a list of “must-have” communication tools. If you aren’t using all of these, you may be missing a big opportunity to dramatically increase your productivity and/or free yourself from your desk.
Skype – I don’t know how I functioned before I had a Skype account. I talk to our Phoenix employee several times a day, with full audio and screen sharing capacity, (now read attentively) for free. If both parties (or several parties) all have a Skype account, they can be one-to-one or many-to-many calls with each other for an unlimited number of calls and amount of time.
I also have a Skype upgrade that lets me use my computer as a regular telephone and make and receive unlimited calls and time with anyone in North America for about $3.00 a month. The quality isn’t perfect but I do like the price.
An Online Meeting Account – We use Go To Meeting / Go To Webinar, but there are others. I started out in the insurance industry as an agent with appointments. All my appointments or interviews now are online where I have the full ability to share my desktop and deliver audio to anyone anywhere in the world that has Internet access. You may think you have to physically meet with someone to conduct business, but have you thought that the other person may find it less intrusive and be more open to an online meeting – saving all the time and travel issues? If you like traffic and airports, great, but they are a lot less necessary than a lot of people think.
Mobile Technology – The movie “Money Never Sleeps” is going to be released in a few weeks. One of the trailers has Michael Douglas as Gordon Gecko receiving his old Radio Shack mobile phone he had when he went into prison 20 years ago. I remember when that type of phone was totally cool and state-of-the-art. The phone most of us are using right now is going to seem just as antiquated as Gordon Gecko’s phone in a few years. In the next couple of years, as our service contracts come up, we are going to all be switching to 4g and whatever will be next. Get ready for another explosion of communication capacity.
Tablets – Tablets are going to be another huge communication change. Remember that argument a few years ago about “bricks” vs. “clicks.” We all need to think about our business model and how communication technology will impact us. How you are going to be communicating with your customers in the future should be a major consideration for any big decisions you will be making. Being cautious with huge commitments to “bricks” ought to at least be a guideline.
If you will embrace the communication technology available via Skype, Go-To-Meeting, and other mobile devices, you will save significant time and money and be more productive, which is not an insignificant statement.