The Working World and the E-Mobile World

Confessions of a (work) junky on May, 1st

These days, my work is done (almost) totally mobile. Meaning simply that I do it wherever I happen to be and without cables. Neither for electricity, nor for the internet. It means I can work (almost) everywhere. There are some consequences…

As soon as I wake up, I start working in my “home office”. In fact, I enjoy doing it in bed. After having finished the most important tasks, I ride my bike to the enterprise. It feels nice to ride my bike: I am all by myself, enjoying fresh air. There is time to think and prepare for what comes next.

In the enterprise, my main computer only gives me limited mobility. Usually, I work at my desk. As it happens, I actually have something as old-fashioned as a PC (and my own office). It is about time for me to do something about this, isn’t it?

My office computer is connected to the central electricity network almost at all times. The internet connection, however, is wireless. Because once in a while, I take it with me for in-house meetings of presentations. And why would I wish to plug and de-plug a second cable? Luckily, the magnetic electricity plug is easy to handle.

My times “on the road” vary greatly. Sometimes it is more, sometimes less. If I have to cover long distances, I mostly take the train. I do not carry a “mobile five-seater”. Instead, I always have one or several “mobile offices” with me. They are places, or rather devices, enabling me to work, write and read. Sometimes I can use them for relaxing, if I so desire.

Mostly, I can use the waiting times during my travels quite well. If I cannot find WLAN or a “Hotspot”, I just take my old stick or my cell-phone. To be sure, this is not quite as comfortable, but it is certainly serviceable.

In Munich, I have several “city offices”. I sometimes change places and they are mostly coffee shops or restaurants. A nice atmosphere is mandatory, because you have to be able to meet and work there. The coffee should be drinkable and, of course, there absolutely has to be a WLAN connection.

I also try to make good use of my leisure time. After all, leisure time, too, is just some sort of work (or vice versa). For instance, if you relax. You have to consciously “do nothing”: going for a swim, playing soccer or chess. In general, I always try doing just one thing at one time. Go to the theatre, listen to some music, read a book. Enjoy a film. Perhaps even watch TV. Although this is mostly too boring and tends to be nothing but vegging in front of the tube.

Incidentally, at work, I also try to only do one thing at a time. As a general rule, I do not carry my cell-phone (which, as we all know, is now a smart phone) in meetings.  And I do not send emails while at the same time talking to a person. I always try to concentrate on what I am doing and then hopefully will do it well.

I used to work less. Still, I had less time. Luckily, I always had enough time for my small children. By now, they are all quite grown-up. Which (in this case unfortunately) gives me more time.

But in former times, I spent a lot more time doing stupid things. Just think of all the time I spent sitting in a car! Or all the time I sat in front of a TV set! I also used to spend far too much time reading stupid and meaningless magazines and newspapers. What a pity! But then, matters are like they are and they were like they were.

But still: in some way or other, life did improve through all these mobile devices.

(Translated by EG)

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