Leveraging technology to balance work and family

January 13th, 2014
Leveraging technology to balance work and family

If you have a family with children in sports,  you probably occasionally struggle balance your personal and business responsibilities.  In my case my eldest daughter rows for Wappingers Crew Club.  Back in May were the State Championships in Saratoga Springs, NY.  The coach wanted the kids there at 4:30pm for a final practice.  Basic math says that is a departure time of about 2pm.

However, a client contacted us in the morning with a critical administrative file server down.  One of our systems engineers remoted into the client's virtual server environment and quickly repaired the operating system.  That resolved whatever corruption was that caused the server to melt down.  The server was up and the users were quickly back on-line doing what they needed to do.

However, the server still needed more work to get it back to optimum patch levels.  It was decided to let the user's finish their workday with no more interruptions.  The remaining work would need to be "after hours".

I needed to leave work early to make my family logistics work.  I left work  and off I went up the Thruway to Saratoga with my wife driving.  I turn on my iPhone5 with its built-in Verizon LTE hot spot.  I turn on my laptop.  Since our office uses VMware View, I have an anytime, anyplace virtual desktop in my office.  I connect into my office and quickly attach via our Paladin Sentinel Remote Monitoring system to the server that needs the work.  I begin doing what needs to be done.   The process will take hours. I use Paladin to continue to monitor the health and progress of the server.

Since I am "virtually", remotely sitting at my desk at work, I send and answer emails, listen to voicemails, research technical issues, and work on other quick technical issues in the slack times while the server updates proceed automatically.  With VMware View and the Verizon LTE connection I can pretty much do whatever I need to do with a similar performance experience to actually sitting in the office.

Despite driving 65mph up the Thruway my work day progresses and our customer needs are being met in a timely manner.

We arrive in Saratoga on-time for the last pre-race practice on the course.  That is followed by a team barbecue.  But my "must be done after hours" project is still going on. Fortunately VMware View also works directly from my iPhone5.  I attach to my work virtual desktop using only my phone.  My desktop is attached to the server I'm working on.  I continue to discretely monitor the progress of my work as I enjoy the barbecue occasionally telling the server to reboot and restarting the next step in the upgrade process.  Now updating a server using only your cell phone with a hot dog in your other hand is not the most efficient way to perform work on a server.  The screen is rather small.  However, I could see and respond to the update and reboot requests that came along in the upgrade process without any risk or difficulty.

With the team event finally over we head for the team hotel and check in.  I sit down to watch the Yankee game already in progress.  I pull out my iPad2 and re-connect to my VMware View desktop at work and finish my project.  While I am there I remember I was supposed to finish something on another church computer project I am working on.  I used my iPad2 to attach to what I want to work on via LogMeIn and finish the five minutes of work I had to do.

The off hours customer project is done without impacting the users.

I dealt with my other work responsibilities.

I dealt with my volunteer responsibilities.

I am in Saratoga on time.

My kid made practice so the coach is happy.

We had a nice barbecue in the park.

The Yankees won.

The next day my daughter's team advanced to the semi-final round of the state championships with the best time of any local team in our region.

Sometimes the business case for technology is simply quality of life.  Leveraging it to better balance the responsibilities of home and work.   In the old days I would have been forced to be stuck in the office dealing with my client's very real needs and would have missed my daughter's big races and all the fun that the entire weekend away had to offer.  Now I have other options.

If you would like to discuss how CSI can help you provide remote access solutions so you can also work "anytime" "anyplace" remotely so you can be there for the events that are really important in your life, give us a call.

CSINY_favicon To find out more about how CSI can help you, contact us.


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