Another month has gone by and the deadline for another blog post for the Durham Business Group approaches. At this precise moment in time I am sitting in a room in the Wallawwa Hotel, just outside Colombo in Sri Lanka.
It gave me the idea for this edition of ramblings. Just how far has technology moved in the last few years?
When I started at college in 1974, I proudly went on my way with a pocket calculator which managed a few basic functions. Following college, I worked for a firm of agricultural merchants who used telex machines to communicate between offices and their feed mills. Today, I can sit 6,000 miles away with a netbook on my lap and write the blog, then post it back to Durham via the free Wi-Fi that the hotel offers.
It does mean however that for anyone running their own business, and for many who are employed, nowhere is really free from the intrusion of modern communication methods. My brother in law works for an international company, works with 2 mobile phones. Even when we are in exotic locations, there is always that temptation to have a quick look at emails just to keep up to date with what’s happening back home.
Is this really the way to get away from it all? I know that, when you have the ultimate responsibility for your business, you don’t want to come back after 2 weeks away and find the place in absolute chaos, neither do you have to be consulted on every minutiae of the day to day running. If you have recruited the right people, put your trust in them and let them get on with it, leaving only end of the world scenarios to be worthwhile contacting you about. For the more routine holding actions that may be needed, a growing range of virtual office services, including holiday cover are available to offer a real person to take messages whilst you are recharging your batteries, ready to take on the challenges of your business again, when you are back in the UK.
Although I did start with the best intentions of getting this blog finished before I got too far into my holiday, I now find myself by the pool in a hotel near Yalla, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka. We have also just watched a party of 6 people all sitting studying a range of electronic readers whilst they soak up the sun. Your holiday luggage isn’t complete without an array of chargers for phones, Ipods, Ipads, Kindles, cameras and videos. Plus, don’t forget the suntan cream!