What to write about in the middle of August with most Europeans on holiday? Well the answer is pretty clearly mobility and the change in expectations of what being on holiday means. If work has already changed from the definitions of attendance at a certain place at a certain time to use the provided tools (i.e. being in your designated office during business hours using your enterprise-provided PC), then does the definition of being on holiday and therefore out of touch still hold?
According to the statistics I can find it depends on your country and their acceptable social habits, i.e. in France when the entire population tends to be off work in August, it seems to be more acceptable than in the UK, and of course in the USA it is almost unacceptable to be out of touch. But what does being in touch mean? I accept that I might be a little more technology conscious than average, though in the case of my point I’m not sure that’s true.
I use a tablet (it’s an iPad actually) to read newspapers and stay up to date with other interests such as the weather forecast for the coming ten days, (well it’s a holiday and in northern Europe that’s a pretty variable quality), then I need to figure out places to go, or places to eat. Interestingly I do use a Kindle to read books though as I find it better than using the iPad because my mind tends to wander and I drift off looking at other things on the Web. That’s before I get to my smartphone which I carry all the time as an unobtrusive belt-mounted item with my enterprise eMail, SMS and, of course, to make a few phone calls.
I expect to find free WiFi reasonably easily in hotels, restaurants and coffee bars, and I even have an app to help, and 3G should be universal in any town for my phone. In short I use the mobility to help me have a better holiday by finding out the local secrets as to where and when to visit places or where to eat etc. If you, as a mature person, are not so dependant then take a look around and the chances are that within sight the 16 to 30 year-olds are there with device in hand busy interacting with their ‘life’.
Mobility is increasingly nothing more or less than a fact of life, and yet we are still struggling to understand what it means to many enterprises, and in many cases the senior management who are the least likely to have made a life change are the decision makers for their enterprises. On the other hand, if you are reading this then it’s likely you are a ‘modern’ person and so here is something to help you make the point about usage and change that might, just might, gain attention and persuade your less enlightened colleagues.
So happy reading! Oh and of course have a great holiday!!!