Remote Working- 5 months in

By John Condron, Senior Sharepoint Developer

Hybrid working has become the norm for many in the past 18 months, with the added flexibility and reduction in commuting time providing a better balance through the working week. The Cloud Cover IT team are no different, with many moving to a hybrid work pattern. However, John decided to take hybrid working a step further- upping sticks from Glasgow and settling in the North of Skye. He’s now 5 months in, has acquired some four-legged friends and is loving it. Here’s his 5 month update.

According to Google Maps, I now live 239.9 miles from the Cloud Cover IT office in Glasgow.  If I decided to leave the car and walk to work, they reckon it would take me 69 hours.  If I were to join the company “Cycle to Work Scheme” it would apparently take me 18 hours and 52 minutes- not taking in to account the 20 years since I’ve been on a bike.

Anyway, I think it’s fair to say that’s pretty far.

I’m also far from most things now.  The nearest shop is 6 miles away.  The nearest pub 8 miles.  And the nearest pub worth going to around 25 miles.

I’ve been a “city boy” all my life, from Glasgow to London to Oxford and back to Glasgow. I had never imagined myself breaking up fighting chickens or nursing sick animals back to full health. That was never anywhere in my plan.

And yet, here I am. 5 months in and loving it.

There have been some flaky Teams calls, but we’ve all had those right?  The Internet connection here is (considering I’m essentially in the middle of a field) pretty good. 

I have had a laptop die on me which would usually be considered a complete disaster, though upon realising that I’m finally practicing what I preach- keeping all my files in OneDrive and SharePoint; making sure my DevOps was up to date; and any PowerApps stuff is in the PowerApps Studio- it ended up being a relatively painless hurdle. Luckily, I had another laptop that I could use until my dead one was sorted, but had I needed one shipped it would have arrived the next day. 

And so essentially all I lost was my Football Manager save.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d only spent 6 years as Hellas Verona Manager and guided them to the Serie A title and Champions League final 2 years in a row, so it was a hard one to take.  But at least in real life, I genuinely lost nothing.

I’ve been around long enough to have accumulated boxes of external hard drives with backups of everything, and the gut wrench when one is dropped somewhere and everything stops working is a feeling you don’t forget easily.

I’m still pretty astounded at how, without really thinking about it, I’ve switched from having everything saved on my machine to automatically having it in OneDrive. Anything that has had to be shared with the rest of the team, hundreds or thousands of miles away, has found it’s place in the relevant Teams Channel or SharePoint site without any real effort on my part.

I know a lot of people have a reluctance towards new technology.  But I genuinely don’t think that there has to be any fear.  There maybe has to be a little change in mentality, but once you start it all just happens without having to think about it. For me it is as seamless as it’s possible to be, whether it’s having the OneDrive client on your machine or syncing Document Libraries in SharePoint for easier access.

Being out of the city and so far from everything definitely has its challenges, I’m not going to deny that.  If you forget that pint of milk at the shop, you can’t just wander down and get it and if it’s a Sunday you’ll be having black coffee.  But in terms of keeping in touch with the Team at work, and being able to keep in touch with family, I’ve said it before, Microsoft have absolutely smashed it.

And while M365 wasn’t able to save my Football Manager career, I certainly wouldn’t have been able to make the move somewhere so remote without it.

If you fancy making a big relocation like John but just don’t know where to start when it comes to IT, or you would just like to improve your system productivity and make your data more accessible and secure, get in touch with the team!