I was going to start this blog by talking about the evolution of technology and how the workplace is rapidly changing. How work is no longer about coming into the office at 9 a.m., toiling away at your desk on your provisioned desktop, then leaving for home at 5 p.m.
The fact is, this has never really been my reality.
The last time I was deskbound, with a desktop computer, was in primary school, when my work consisted of spelling exercises, reading worksheets, and competitions with classmates on Miniclip.com (without our teacher’s consent … that was the life!). Even then, I was adamant about being able to show my parents the amazing work I had done at school. But sending files to myself via email was the only way I knew to transport my work between home, school, and the library.
I’ve grown up with technology. I spent thousands of hours on my home computer as a technology native. I got my first touchscreen phone in my teens (an LG Cookie), a smartphone just in time for college (an iPhone 6), and a tablet when I got to university (an iPad).
When starting my engineering internship at Citrix in July 2018, I got to choose between a Windows laptop or a Mac laptop. I was familiar with Windows already, so I opted for the Mac to pick up some new skills (and I could say, by the end of my internship, “Mum. Dad. I know how to use a Mac now!”).
Since starting my internship at Citrix, doing my work has never been easier. Every day I head to the Paddington office — laptop in my backpack — ready to conduct either a solutions demonstration or give a webinar to various partners and customers. At the end of the day, I pack my laptop and head home. There, I continue to use my laptop for both work and university assignments. It’s easy to access both my personal files and work files on the same machine. And with Citrix Files, I can access multiple file repositories, including my personal OneDrive and Google Drive accounts.
Losing My Laptop, Continuing to Work
Halfway through my internship at Citrix, I was invited to the University of Kent, my school, to give a presentation to the first-year students, share details about my work experience, and talk about the benefits of internships.
Now imagine what would happen if you went all the way to the other side of England for two days and only realised after you arrived at your final destination that you left your laptop on the train. And what would you do if your personal and business data were on the device?
That’s what happened to me.
Instantly my head filled with thoughts of all the projects I’d been working on the last two weeks, the customer research I’d conducted. And I had I spent hours working on my presentation for the first-year students. A feeling of despair overcame me as I got to the university campus. Everything that I needed to be able to get my work done lived on this one MacBook right?
When you work at Citrix, you get comfortable quickly with the idea that your personal computer is just a piece of hardware. Thanks to Citrix Workspace, it was extra easy for me to pick up a spare Chromebook device from the university’s IT department, type in a URL, and enter my login credentials. Citrix delivered all my applications, desktops, and files in one unified portal. The presentation that I was working on for the first-year students opened as soon as I launched my VDI. It was just as I had left it. And none of my personal or Citrix work had been lost. It was an absolute relief!
I still had the ability to work over the weekend whilst waiting to recover my laptop, by simply using Citrix Workspace on a borrowed Chromebook. I could still protect access to my data and apps and safely browse my Salesforce reports by using the enhanced security functionality within the secure browser hosted by Citrix. (And I did get my laptop back eventually!)
A New and Better Way to Work
This just goes to show that there are new and better ways to work, and Citrix technologies are enabling the experience. Going through this first-hand really showed me the impact Citrix Workspace can have. If this happened during the floppy disk era, I would have found myself scrambling to put together a new presentation on a borrowed laptop and writing off two days of work because I couldn’t access my Citrix files.
A key advantage of Citrix’s approach to events such as a facilities outage or lost or stolen devices is that it provides end-users with the ability to continue working on another device even if it’s a completely managed or unmanaged. This eliminates the headache users face with onboarding new devices, pulling down all their content onto a borrowed device, and then having to wipe their device before returning it to IT. With Citrix Workspace they can access their content on any device, anywhere at any time.
So, if you forget your laptop on a train or plane or if it suddenly bursts into flames, do NOT panic. Citrix solutions enable you to flex between devices whilst having a consistent and high-quality user experience, no matter the device you’re on! At Citrix, we believe that the future of work means being able to have it all — saying “YES” to choice, flexibility and a seamless experience that helps us stay productive, even when you’ve left your laptop on the train.