President & CEO, HNI
Since my last post on going office-less, I’ve heard a lot of comments along the lines of "Mike, you’re such a techie." In reality, that couldn't be further from the truth.
It was about 6 months ago that I pushed the technology reset button. Frustrated beyond belief, trying to keep my stuff organized and share it with others seemed impossible. Rather than trying to go back and reorganize, upgrade my hardware and parse through my files, I started over. I bought a Macbook Pro and from that point forward [key point here being looking forward only] and starting using new hardware and cloud tools.
Looking back just 6 months ago, I feel like I’ve leap frogged into the future. It is a liberating feeling knowing you don’t have to rely on everybody else to get things done. "Resetting" how I thought about technology wasn’t all smooth sailing, and there was a lot to learn and experience.
If you’re interested in pressing the reset button yourself, these are the tools I rely on while being office-less that allow me to be fully functional anywhere I can get internet access, any time.
The captioned picture shows all the tools I need to carry with me. They fit neatly in the booq bag that's equipped with all the needed compartments for chargers ear buds, etc. I might look like an Apple geek with all the Mac products, but you don’t have to use Mac products to reach your goal. [Although if you’re starting over, go Mac, you’ll never go back.]
In place of the software I used to depend on, I've substituted Cloud or web tools. Most of the applications I’m using are accessible anywhere I can get my hands on a web browser.
Here’s an overview of the primary tools I'm using at HNI. To hear what’s going on and to check the heartbeat of our company, we use Yammer.com. When I need to save or share files I like dropbox.com [no longer use thumb drives]. I do a lot of presenting and sharing ideas. I used to be a PowerPoint fanatic, but now I use Prezi.com, which gives me a whole new set of tools to communicate with.
Our company website can be changed on a dime using Hubspot.com, and our sales team manages their client and prospect relationships at Salesforce.com. To work “on” the business and manage projects we’re using Open Atrium.
I wouldn't do this post justice without touching on the iPad. It seems the touch technology is here to stay, and I’m not missing keyboards and mouses. I rely on several apps when working office-less. Adobe Ideas is great for drawing out meeting notes on the fly. Flipboard is a great tool to catch up on the social media buzz. Finally, Googlevoice coordinates all my phone numbers into one place and actually transcribes voicemails into text.
Don’t fret: Reset. Remember, the tools aren’t as important as the mindset. The tools and apps will continue to change, and by being flexible and open minded, you can use them to your advantage. If you're waiting for the next new tool or device, you'll get left behind.