Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wendy Works From Home

Wendy works at home. Wendy owns a successful home business, has 3 lovely children, and misses the outside world. Why? Wendy wakes up, heads to her home office, and is all put wired to her desk all day. She used to try to head out for breakfast to a nearby coffee shop with Wi-Fi wireless internet access, but the connection was never very stable. And now, as the coffee shop becomes more and more popular she’s never sure if she’s going to get a space, or an outlet, and really can’t afford to be losing all that time in which she could be working. There was a time when Wendy was there for every one of her kids’ soccer practices, but now she only makes it to weekend games because she needs the time to keep working. For a while she tried printing out reports so she could be at soccer practice and keep on working, but was losing time and money on all the printing supplies. Wendy’s not a bad mom, her priorities are in the right place, but Wendy also understands that after putting all her assets into her start-up company she can’t afford to fail. In a world where it can be hard supporting children even with two full time incomes, Wendy’s options are limited. Let’s put it this way, if Wendy had a dollar for every time she’s wished that she could take her office with her wherever she goes, she’s be able to retire. As very busy people do, Wendy thinks of all downtime as an opportunity to get ahead in her work.

Now let’s look at John who also works at home. Well, used to work at home. Now, John works some days in the public library, but only when it’s rainy. On sunny days he works right by the river in a shady spot with picnic tables and benches. Every now and again he heads up to the terrace on his building’s rooftop to get some extra sun, and very often gets his daily tasks completed while taking the train or bus out running errands. During the week John works in a small café right outside his son’s school where he can easily see his son crossing the street and the two walk home together. John always has a power outlet in the café, and it’s peaceful and quiet enough to get some work done. It’s not because the coffee is bad either, it’s because John is not relying on a traditional Wi-Fi wireless internet connection. John has a mobile air card, which allows him to have mobile broadband internet in his laptop just about anywhere he goes. Because of the quality of his broadband connection he can send and receive large files from anywhere, and has a constant signal when he’s on the move.

How can the stories of our home-working heroes be so different? John is taking advantage of the latest in 4G technology with a WiMax internet connection. It works just like a cell phone in that his internet provider is constantly broadcasting a signal, and his computer can access that signal from anywhere within range. Of course John has to do some work from his home still, he can’t always transport books or paper files with him, but since his company went digital John basically just needs an internet connection to get the job done. He is like many self-employed and telecommuting employees that in the world of today are skipping the office, and working on their own. Now, these lucky people are even luckier in that their world is no longer confined to the four walls of their apartments or houses.

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