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August Productivity and the Network

August 13, 2007
at 12:00 pm PST

Productivity is a key measurement for any company, country or individual. August, however, has to rank at the bottom of productive months, but my bet is that it is improving. Let’s review: The U.S. Congress is out of session for the month; much of Europe takes “holiday” during the month; many families take the last vacation before school starts at the end of the month; much of Wall Street (I’m told) is in the Hamptons or on the Cape; Cisco’s annual sales meeting is this week, so many colleagues and executives are there launching our FY08 plans…so, in a word, if people are away from the office or on holiday, you would think that less work is being done.However, (CISCO PLUG ALERT!!!) as the network allows you nearly anytime, anywhere connectivity to all your data, voice and video applications, you can seamlessly work from, say, St. John’s, Virgin Island (where I would like to be currently) and never miss a beat. But, wait, you say, I’M ON VACATION!!! Yes, I say, anytime, anwhere connectivity has its detractions. However, I honestly prefer to stay on top of e-mail and voicemail while away, so that when I get back I’m not more buried than I was when I left. Sure, other philosophies may differ, but it works for me.Speaking from experience and from viewing the work habits of colleagues and friends, I can tell you that anytime, anywhere, always-on, high-speed, always reachable connectivity is actually a good thing -- after all, if your company doesn’t fall apart when you are gone, how important can you be. : ) However, if you aren’t disciplined, it can be a bad thing as well. You have to set limits — as well as your “out of the office” alert. And, it has to be stated, unplugging from the ‘net from time to time is just as important as the ability to stay connected at all times.So, please enjoy the last days of vacation as you are contemplating the new school year, the new fiscal year (for Cisco), and the last third of the year. Seems like yesterday was Y2K, doesn’t it? Where does the time go?Photo of Cinnamon Bay, St. John, VI120-2011_IMG.JPG

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