I was recently on one my frequent trips to the Democratic Republic of Congo, known for its vast natural mineral resources and the world famous Rumba music, less known for its different forms of culture including sculptures, paintings, textiles and woven art.
I was on a quest to find a reliable source for copper jewellery (including bracelets used for medical reasons such as arthritis) and through my knowledge of this vast African country (the size of Eastern Europe) I knew the best place to be was in the province of Katanga, rich in copper ore reserves.
While in the city of Lubumbashi where the only source of internet is via 3G or satellite, I was able to log-in from most any hotel, restaurant, friend’s home or office and continue doing my work with the odd interruptions of power cuts. For those that absolutely need to remain connected there are options of using large UPS units, generators and even power interpreters through the use of large truck batteries, in order to overcome long periods of power cuts.
I thought to myself that in the 21st century it is important to remain connected and be able to work from anywhere, no matter where you are … I was further impressed when I was invited to visit an old friend Alykhan at a site where he had been camping for the last 2 and half months working for a major Namibian power company, installing power lines and infrastructure for the mines.
Alykhan worked in areas where power was yet to be implemented as he surveyed the land and made preparations for installations. Alykhan enjoys his work, in the past, when he got back to civilisation every couple of months for a break, this is when he caught up with the world and a lot of his emails/bills etc.
Today he loves his work even more as he does not even have to go anywhere to be connected and be up to date with the world. He is now always connected via satellite using solar powered battery chargers as well as generators when back at the main camp.
While we try to convert the working culture in our concrete jungle cities to agile working, through the use of right technologies and devices, even the most rugged jungles, mountain regions and deserts are already embracing New Ways of Working.