Yesterday, I had dinner with a friend of mine who was visiting from Boston. Let’s call her Cassandra, in order to protect the innocent. Anyway, it was the typical conversation you have with someone you haven’t seen in a while. What have you been up to? How is the family?

Working at the hotel is no funShe was here in San Francisco visiting family and had decided to spend a few extra days in town to visit friends (thank you!). She mentioned that the trip was very rewarding professionally, but ended up being quite frustrating professionally. She was completing a business plan proposal and needed to work with a few colleagues back in Boston. She explained that the team was constantly emailing around giant PowerPoint presentations and, given she had to be on the VPN, connected to email to send and access these 20MB presentations, she was having major issues. They kept hopping on conference calls to “collaborate” on the presentation, but constantly had to tell each other which slide they were on, which just wasted time.

All this was annoying, but not catastrophic. Then things went from bad to ugly. A colleague emailed her saying that he still hadn’t received the PPT she had supposedly sent an hour before. She was furious – it must have gotten caught in her outbox. Given the time difference in Boston, she couldn’t wait until she was back at the hotel to send out the presentation. She had no choice. She promptly got up, excused herself, and explained she would have to go back to the hotel to send the presentation. We wouldn’t eat dinner for another hour. Total frustration. And the icing on the cake? She had considering bringing her laptop for just such an emergency, but didn’t because it was just so heavy. Well, of course I had to ask, what computer she had. It made her laugh at me as she says I always want to talk tech! Anyway, she has an old laptop – that shall remain nameless to protect the innocent, or in this case, guilty. But at home she has a modern, sleek ultrabook. She just can’t use it at work as her company won’t give her access to her apps and data. Sadly, many companies still have no BYO policy. Before she scurried back to her hotel, she sadly admitted that if she had known the technology issues she was going to have, she wouldn’t have stayed in town as long as she did.

I was listening to her talk about her struggles and I couldn’t help but smile. Every day I am reminded how Citrix technology truly enables me to work better, while enjoying life. Now let’s look at the second tale in the saga. Every summer I take a break from the office and drive down to Paso Robles. The change in scenery is refreshing. However, this is not vacation time for me. It is simply “working remotely” (and I mean that literally, not just figuratively). This is not only an acceptable practice at Citrix, but an encouraged one. And, in hearing the story of my friend, I now completely understand why.

Working on the water front

When I work remotely, I use my own personal Macbook Air which runs Citrix DesktopPlayer (a type-2 hypervisor with the Citrix corporate image) and it has all of my corporate apps and data on it. I still attend all meetings and more importantly, I can collaborate in real time over GoToMeeting on any presentations or reports that I may be working on. This means in the touch of a button, I can create a video conference with my colleagues and share my screen to collaborate on a document, instead of spending time working asynchronously and sending large files back and forth.

But really, one of the coolest capabilities – that has gotten me out of more binds than I can count – is the Citrix productivity apps. I can’t tell you the number of times that I have been out to lunch or dinner without my computer and a colleague of mine needs a file ASAP. With Citrix WorxMail (the mobile email apps) integration with Citrix ShareFile (the enterprise file sync and share solution), I can simply reply to that email from the restaurant and attach the file sitting on my computer (which is also synced to the cloud to allow me to access it from anywhere). It is this same ShareFile technology that makes it so I never have to send large files through Outlook (where they can get stuck), but instead, just send a link to the file that my colleagues (or customers as the case may be) can download to their computer. So, unlike my friend, I will never have to leave a restaurant to send a file. I definitely took this for granted before our dinner.

This is all made possible because of the Citrix mobile workspace technologies that I have at my fingertips. This mobile workspace keeps me connected to work content wherever I go, no matter what device I use, and no matter what connectivity I happen to have. This mobile workspace isn’t making me work more, it is enabling me to work better…and for me, that is in a new location where I can open my mind to new ideas and come back refreshed. While I didn’t have the heart to tell my friend about how I work (especially after her week), I know these capabilities are changing people’s lives for the better – it certainly is for me.

By the way, it is worth noting that I wrote this post in Word, from my iPad, while at the restaurant – wine in hand – all in the hour it took “Cassandra” to return to her hotel to send a single email.

Photo Credit #1: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Paso Robles via Compfight cc

Photo Credit #2: Giorgio Montersino via Compfight cc