Subscribe

‘End of Magic’ a Fallacy for Road Warriors, Children at Heart

Commentary
May 16th, 2011 No Comments »

Home Office Highway CollageSeth Godin wrote recently of the end of magic.He was lamenting how the newness of the new seems to have passed us by — how the really cool tools and applications that once wowed us in the workplace and life now are so commonplace that they are taken for granted, and no longer harbingers of Wow!

Wait. Take a moment to ponder the tools we use and what they bring to our daily lives. You might respectfully disagree.

Every day, I use services and tools that keep me connected with the world outside in ways that still seem magical. My BlackBerry brings the Internet and its motherlode of possibilities to a device smaller than a deck of cards (iPhone users will only smirk at the possibilities borne from their device).

Want to contact a peer, client or someone else from my database? Will that be by phone (office, mobile, home, “other”?), or email, or SMS, or MMS?

Add a new name to Google Contacts — and it’s “magically” duplicated in my BlackBerry. Send an email from my phone and it instantly appears in GMail.

As I prepare to head out on Home Office Highway once again this year, I think about the tools that’ll keep me connected from the road.

Read More »

Home Office Home Again: Random Observations After 2 Weeks on the Road

Commentary, The Road Warrior, technology
August 2nd, 2009 No Comments »

After two weeks on the road, it’s the simple observations that bring clarity to the home office adventure. Like…

- Sponsor or no, the Verizon Mifi ‘personal hotspot’ won the day — hands down. It was a true fan favorite and winner of the HOH’09 Product of Choice. Hey, anything that keeps the hoards from beating me up for my Internet connection is worthy of praise. Teleworkers and road warriors alike will find this tool extremely useful.

-Yes, family, we WILL survive two weeks without a TV. And we did. We talked, played more Yahtzee and Racko than we ever thought possible, and watched burning embers in the fire pit. And yes, we surfed the Web. A lot. Truth be told, we watched a few DVD movies on Zack’s HP laptop. But that’s NOT TV.

- Open a bag of animal crackers, and a dog’s nose knows. “Food, food, food…”

- “Yes, Mom, Spaghetti-Ohs make a perfectly suitable breakfast.”

Belkin Clap On Surge Suppressor

Belkin Clap On Surge Suppressor

- Success is in the gadgets you choose. Like the Belkin Clamp On surge suppressor that, well, clamped on to the edge of the bunk and supplied power to all our gadgets (no small feat, given the number of gadgets we employed).

- When plugs aren’t available, old-fashioned cigarette lighters will work. Just the ticket for the Scosche reCoil retractable car charger for iPod and iPhone.

- Netbooks beget adaptors and accessories. And manufacturers are responding. The Targus Netbook Accessory Kit includes a nifty USB hub, a travel mouse and a slip case for netbooks with screens up to 10.1 inches. Read More »

Leap of Faith or Trust in The Cloud?

Commentary
July 25th, 2009 No Comments »

Is the cloud-driven mobile home office a place of faith, or expectations.

Is the cloud-driven mobile home office a place of faith, or expectations?

Call it a leap of faith.

Every time my family travels on Home Office Highway, I load up a flash drive with documents, files and notes for stories and columns in progress.

This year, except for a flash-drive built into a card reader for my camera, I brought no portable drive.

All my documents, files and notes were / are stored in the Cloud. Notes for my columns, interviews for pending stories, even all the notes related to our destinations, RV parks and other trip details were stored either to Google Notes, Gmail or Google Docs. Read More »

The Cloud: Your Stuff — Bound in Chains?

Commentary
July 8th, 2009 No Comments »

the-big-switchYou can learn a lot — and be scared to death — by reading book reviews.

I was in my home office flipping through Newsweek’s 50 Books to Read Right Now looking for books to take on the road trip.

I came across No. 4 on the list: The Big Switch: Rewiring The World, From Edison to Google, by Nicholas Carr. This bestseller is touted as “the best read so far about the significance of the shift to cloud computing” by Financial Times.

Fair enough. Then The New Humanist chimed in: “Carr may take a somewhat apocalyptic view of the vast technological and social issues which a move to utility computing will raise, not least those of privacy, ownership and access, but he makes a compelling case for its desirability in a world where the network is pervasive. Whether we go gently into this world is, of course, up to us, but with the insight offered here we will at least be prepared to understand the consequences of our choices earlier in the process rather than later. ”

Truth be told, we all live in the cloud. Teleworkers who log on from home. Road warriors who access the corporate server via a customer’s conference room. Home officers who open the HP at some Starbucks to check Gmail or Google Docs. Moms on AOL. Dads checking their fantasy league stats. Bloggers blogging, tweeps tweeting, friends Facebooking.

We all live in the cloud.

Read More »

Waxing Philosophical on the Home Office Highway

Commentary, The New Work
August 1st, 2008 No Comments »

OK, so I can get a bit philosophical when discussing Henry David Thoreau and the implications of travel, home office and family life. Listen as I chat with Rich Roffman and Wanda Myles of The Rich Roffman Show.

After 3 Weeks, We’re at the Home Office. Now, the Retrospective

Commentary, Telework & Virtual Officing, Uncategorized, organization, sponsor news
July 25th, 2008 1 Comment »

Ready for departure on the Home Office HighwayI’m sitting at my kitchen counter, HP laptop powered up, and pondering what we just completed.

Home Office Highway was an unbelievable exercise, in freedom, family, adventure, escape, work / life balance (and then some), technology and the power tools that empower the remote worker, personalities, workstyles, and what it takes to get all these concepts to meet up on the same page.

I have no doubt that we’ll do this again. I’ve spoken with my partners, and the interest is there. My clients were buoyed by the concept, and for the most part, were none the wiser — or at least didn’t seem to mind — that I was working from Lord knows where.

To be sure, there’s some balancing that needs working out. A few thoughts in retrospect… Read More »

Healthy, Green & Eco-Friendly Home Office RVing

Commentary
July 20th, 2008 1 Comment »

Zoe reaches high to reveal just how dramatic Georgia\'s drought has been.In Home Office Highway, we’ve tried to do our part for the environment — and our health.

We’ve seen the decline of our world. We drove through Atlanta, where a persistent drought is raising serious questions about long-term solutions. We visited the state’s northeast, where dropping water levels are plainly and shockingly apparently.

We had to do better. We have no paper goods, aside from napkins, tissues and paper towels (we have two cloth kitchen towels that do the bulk of the wiping and drying), and the paper of our journal. We’re eating off Corele chip- and scratch-resistant plates with actual silverware, drinking from sturdy plastic cups, and re-using water bottles. To wash, we’re doing the “fill one sink with soapy water, the other with fresh” to do the dishes.

The intention of this trip was not to be a burden on the environment, but to enjoy Mother Nature without eco-guilt. We’ve done a fairly good job. We’ve cooked out (ever had Rocky Mountain toast cooked over an open fire?), recycled where possible, and tried to minimize our waste. Read More »

Reality vs. Fiction vs. What One Home Officer Always Believed

Commentary, Soloing, Uncategorized
July 19th, 2008 2 Comments »

I’ve been a fan of Henry David Thoreau for more than a decade. Didn’t read him in grade school or college. I came across his works and thinking later in life, and found a piece of him in me. Equal parts poet, essayist, biologist, ecologist, transcendentalist, anarchist, abolitionist and a creator of civil disobediance whose writings later were followed by Leo Tolstoy, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, I believe any free spirited thinker can say they feel his work.

So it was when we were driving down I-495 in Central Massachusetts this week and came across a sign for the Walden Pond State Reservation, I knew I just had to stop.

I knew it would be an idyllic place, this campsite and woods that Thoreau spent two years, two months and two days in the 1840s exploring, journaling, and living a solitary life. I’d read some of his works, and while the details were a bit fuzzy, the big picture revealed a place I had to be.

“You’re going to see a lot of ‘earthy’ people,” I forewarned Robbie. “People in Birkenstocks and women in peasant skirts who still follow his writings.”

So Robbie, Nicole and I went. And we parked in a lot with far too many vehicles to be just members of The Thoreau Society. Whatever. We were all on the same plane.

And as I rounded a corner from the parking lot, I saw it… Read More »

A(nother) Birthday From the Home Office & Highway

Commentary, Making Memories, Uncategorized
July 12th, 2008 2 Comments »

Southern Salads...

Today was my birthday. It’s the 19th such event enjoyed from a home office.

This time around, my home office was an RV, and my “cake” was ambrosia. I love that stuff — a Southern favorite made of mini marshmallows, mandarin oranges, shredded coconut and sour cream (among other ingredients, depending on the maker).

No candles were lit. No songs were sung (except for my sister-in-law and nephew, who sang it via cell). Just a plastic fork from Panda Express at Carowinds — the Carolinas theme park where we spent the day.

I haven’t had ambrosia in a dozen years — and certainly not as a birthday dish. But more to the point, I never would have enjoyed this delicacy if we hadn’t gotten off Interstate 85 to spend two nights at Paynes Creek Campground. Sure, there were a dozen RV parks we could have chosen along the interstate. But Paynes Creek seemed cool at the time. And it lived up to its billing. And then some… Read More »

Setting Home Office Work Expectations - Even Your Own

Commentary
July 10th, 2008 1 Comment »

Jeff @ work at the dinette home office

Before we left home on Home Office Highway, I made sure to let my clients and family know the boundaries we’d all be facing. I told them I’d be working “part time.” That meant, at least to me, that I’d ply my own hours — usually before the “traditional” workday or on a spotty, unpredictable schedule throughout.

But something funny happened on the highway: The home officer’s own expectations seem out of whack. I thought I’d be working very little. But I find myself working a fair amount. Less than at home, for sure. But more than I’d expected. I’m at the dinette table early (nothing unusual there), and checking email — in the RV, at gas stops (plenty of time there to fetch, read and reply), while standing atop Stone Mountain outside Atlanta.

I guess I’m the one who missed the work-expectations memo. Read More »


   Designed By:  WP Theme

   With some exceptions, all content © 1999-2008 Jeffery D. Zbar Inc. All Rights Reserved.