For those of us of a certain age, cartoons built around the space-age– or at least the 1960s and 1970s ideal of the “stratos-future” – held a certain appeal. For many of us at Blue Sentry, one particular cartoon – The Jetsons – was of particular interest.
To watch George Jetson zipping from cloud to cloud (albeit in a personal flying machine), conveniently transporting from work, to home, to myriad activities (often with loyal pup Astro in tow) – let’s just say the image continues to inspire us even today.
But neither Hanna nor Barbera could conceive, presumably, of the ways that cloud has transformed our daily lives today – jetting us beyond the Jetsons and into a new digital stratosphere, where cars are not necessarily required equipment (and dogs are strictly optional).
As a result, we at Blue Sentry are thoroughly embracing the idea of a virtual workplace – dubbing our approach “Cloud Commuting,” to appropriately capture the genesis of our passion.
More so than just practicing what we preach as cloud journey experts, we see the cloud commuting culture as a necessary evolution in today’s wired world – as normal to people like us as a glorious headquarters building was to the blue-chippers of a bygone era.
Statistics extolling the benefits of cloud commuting are as plentiful as Tic-Tacs across the interwebs: Cloud commuters are more productive and efficient; have less stress; don’t bounce from workplace to workplace – and have succeeded in actually fostering more fellowship among their ranks.
When you “visit” with us at Blue Sentry, you won’t find marble tiled floors, a stunning view of some skyline or rows of cubicles under a banner exhorting to us to “play like a champion today.”
Instead, you’ll have an in-person interaction on your turf, or through a suite of productivity and telepresence tools that we’ve adopted to provide efficient (read: lower-cost) service to our clients. All the while, we’ll be leveraging the best people for the job, regardless of some geographic constraint that might render them otherwise inaccessible.
So, our headquarters are in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (because this is where we receive our mail); we have a bit of an outpost in Greensboro, N.C.; but our culture allows for each and every Blue Senturian to report to work from wherever their heart desires (and connectivity is available).
Does this approach work? Does a horse have spots? Well, that’s besides the point. 2016 has been a record year for growth at Blue Sentry, and, not coincidentally, it is also the year that our cloud culture became in full effect.
Here are five ways why the cloud commuting culture works so well at Blue Sentry:
- There, without being there. Through the use of tools like Slack, Basecamp and Google Hangouts, we feel as close and connected to each other as if we were just over the cubicle wall. And based upon a recent Slack string in which personal marathon times were debated, the water cooler still has a place in the cloud.
- ESP-like communication powers. We, as a digital culture, seem more comfortable with jotting a quick text or IM than actually talking to each other. By using our laptop or tablet screens as our own custom dashboard, we can monitor and engage in conversations, receive mission-critical instructions and feedback, and yes, get our work done – all without really having to think about it.
- Reporting for duty. Though Big Brother has not really been invited to the party, we do have some basic rules of combat to ensure we are reporting for duty each day. We are required to share feedback during some incremental daily check-ins – but this is more to ensure that critical co-dependencies are addressed promptly, than to call out the slackers. We also suggest that work teams overlap their daily activities for at least half of their workday – but those same teams have broad flexibility to determine when those four hours actually happen.
- Human time. We still get together to service our robots and recharge their batteries. Just kidding. We recognize that human interaction is still healthy, and foster this by having team, leadership and all-company face-to-face gatherings at regular intervals. And you’ll find that Blue Sentry’s heralded AWS Learning Day events – which introduce the cloud journey to IT pros – are among the most well attended in-person events among our tier of cloud migration experts.
- We are always open to new ideas, suggestions and strategies to improve our cloud commuting culture. Each team member can suggest new tools, technologies or processes that can keep our culture rooted in today, rather than getting stale, or growing mold on the rind.
Have you embraced the cloud commuting culture at your workplace?