Chris Pepin

Tech reviews and more

laptop, mobile, smartphone, tablet

Work is not a place

As a resident of New Fairfield, CT, my family was personally affected by the October storm that dumped over a foot of snow and knocked out power to our home for 8 days.  The cold temperatures made living at home without heat a challenge. We didn’t sustain property damage other than a few fallen trees and refrigerator full of spoiled food.  Photos of the storm can be found on my Picasa account.  I’ve decided to purchase a backup generator for home to power my furnace, well pump and refrigerator.   This was the second time we’ve lost power in the past two months.   We lost power for one week due to hurricane Irene.   

We stayed with family for a few days and later checked into a hotel.   While I could have taken time off from work, I didn’t need to.  As a “mobile technology evangelist” for IBM I had the tools I needed to get my work done regardless of my physical location.  Here are a few examples:

  • Lenovo ThinkPad X201i ultra-portable laptop running Windows 7 with Lotus Notes 8.53AT&T Global Network Client for VPN access to the IBM network
  • Apple iPad (wi-fi) with Lotus Traveler and access to the IBM network.  The iPad’s long battery life and instant on capability are key advantages
  • Apple iPhone (AT&T) with wi-fi hotspot capability and the ability to simultaneously access voice and data.  The wi-fi hotspot was critical to connect my laptop and tablet to the network 
  • IBM Sametime Unified Telephony.   Employees and customers have a single phone number to reach me.  IBM employees could see from the contact list if I was on the phone and initiate a call by clicking on my name
  • Social media to connect with IBM employees via IBM Connections and with external customers via FaceBook, Twitter, YouTube etc. per IBM’s social computing guidelines

Perhaps my biggest challenge was finding a quiet place to work, free of background noise.

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  1. I heard IBM is asked employees to come back and work in the Labs (especially Littleton), instead of working at home. Any truth to that, or does IBM still promote employees working from home as effective or more effective as them working in an office?

  2. It very much depends on the job responsibilities. For example, my team is geographically distributed. However, other teams are more local and there are benefits to in-person meetings. Virtually all employees can benefit from the ability to work remotely one or more days a week to provide flexibility

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