I have just returned from an eleven day trip out west with my family. My staff had doubled the last month or so, in part to make sure that things kept moving forward while I was gone and that everything was handled. My case manager reviewed my mail and handled all emergency items while I was gone. My staff implemented all sorts of great technology, including skype, across the network of workers. I am looking around my office and seeing new counters, new computers, and new software downloads on those computers. There are boxes of paper files to be moved off to storage. There are empty file cabinets which are also ready to hit the scrap heap (Who needs file cabinets when you’re paperless?). Thing have changed significantly since I left.
I was in touch with my office on a marginal level for different points of my vacation. Technology gave me a sense of confidence. I knew there was nothing I couldn’t get done, if I had to, from afar. It also gave me a level of peace. I received updates from the office which let me know that things were being handled and, quite unexpectedly, lots of projects were moving forward without any involvement from me at all.
Technology allows us to stay connected. Of course, many people complain that it precludes people from taking real vacations where they disconnect from work. My experience on this particular vacation was the opposite. I completely disconnected from work, but I knew my lifeline was there if I needed it. Technology allowed me to check-in in ways not previously before possible. On this vacation technology was my friend, not my foe.