How Essential is WiFi at work?

We had some WiFi problems at work. It went on and then went off. On and off, back and forth. I think the problem is that we have added too many people in the room and the hardware is getting overloaded. It raised the question in my head, “How much do we need internet to work? Could I work without it?”

Meetings

I am often in meetings. Usually, I don’t even bring my laptop to sit in a meeting and contribute. I find the laptop distracting and always hate when people are typing during a meeting. The problem arrises when the meeting is boring. If I am in a boring meeting, I might as well get some work done. No WiFi makes that impossible.

Some meetings have people video conferenced from other locations. A good phone system can dial them in, but if you are screensharing, you are SOL. This is assuming you have internet for phones, but not WiFi. No internet and your phones likely won’t work. Welcome to the future.

Designing

Luckily, I still get to design as part of my job. (Sometimes) When I am designing, I USED to be fine without internet. I used PowerPoint on the desktop and could work in a vacuum. Figma isn’t so happy without internet access. In the collaborative model that Im working on with my team, I need access during the entire design period.

My only workable tool in these situations is the trusty pencil and paper. I actually can get alot done that way. I can mentor people and to whiteboard designs.

Communicating

Slack, Email, JIRA… Without WiFi, I am pretty screwed on these. There are no ethernet ports anymore. They make USB-C ethernet converters, but they are rare. My dock has an ethernet port, but none of the ethernet ports near by desk are active. Remember the days when EVERY computer was connected via wire? It wasn’t even that long ago!

Testing

Since our product is a web application, no WiFi means no testing. I can’t login or do anything useful. Sad trombone noise.

Managing

As long as the employee is in the office, I can manage. On a good day, I leave people feeling motivated and productive. On a bad day, I leave people feeling frustrated and confused. Hopefully, my good days will outnumber the bad.

In conclusion. I need WiFi at work for 75% of all of my tasks. It’s pretty important. Oh, and blogging…I can blog using a text editor, but can’t publish without WordPress.

Is this the most insightful blog post ever? No. But Im publishing anyway.

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