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Well? Why do we go to work? After all, we’ve got Teamviewer, so we can connect remotely to the entire office intranet and use all the specialised applications that are on our computers at the office. We’ve got Skype, so we can meet with people (staff, clients, suppliers, prospecttive employees) all face to face. We’ve got emails, instant messaging, SMS, MMS, Dropbox, Google Drive, and all sorts of other ways to share and communicate (I’ve just mentioned the ones that I use).

I worked every day through the Christmas holidays using my computer at home simply as a vehicle to connect (as I am right now) to the computer in my office. This gave me access to our server, Sage CRM, our specialised practice and tax management software. In fact, it was as if I was sitting at my desk about 15km away.

So Helen, my wife and I got to asking ourselves why is it necessary to go in to the office?

I think there’s a lot to be said for a flexible approach. When the going gets tough, I’ll work a lot from home and probably double my productivity by doing so.

I think a large part of the answer is “Well, we’ve always done it like that”or what I call the “Dead plant syndrome” in an earlier post. My job is practice development which means constantly questioning what we do and how we do it. So let’s take a look shall we?

Firstly, for those of you who don’t use Teamviewer, I suggest you try it out. I use it almost constantly when working at home. I connect to my office computer via Teamviewer and it is as if I was in the office using our specialised software and, just as important, our file server. As a matter of interest, I work with two screens both at the office and at home (once you’ve tried this you’ll never go back) and I can open them both remotely then drag one of them to my other screen, so I can still work at home with the two office screens just as if I was there. Teamviewer can be downloaded free and you can try it out indefinitely. However, for business use (which is what I’ve been describing) you’ll be encouraged to buy a license. It’s well worth it.

Next, we need to look at Skype. One good reason to go to the office is to have personal contact with your staff. I’ve always believed that it is my energy that invigorates the practice. It kindles the energy in others and they then pass it on so that the whole place buzzes. Take me away and you take that away. However, since I do work from home on varyious occasions, wouldn’t it be better to Skype my staff rather than phone them when I want to discuss something? I’ve decided to equip all of my staff with speakers (or earphones) and webcams and to start making Skype a habit. Which of our clients are on Skype? I haven’t a clue! That will change as well if we go down this route. Imagine one of our staff wants to notify a client that we’ve got their urgent tax clearance. How much more personalised to Skype rather than phone?

Do any of you have experience of this approach, or some ideas or questions? Post a comment and let’s all share them.


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