This week in the Portland, Oregon area we’ve had some crummy weather and it’s been difficult to get out and about due to snow and ice. As a result, I’ve developed a new appreciation for things I can do remotely. Some examples:
- Get my bills: Most of my bills can be viewed or received online now. With mail delays, this is very good (and I don’t have to walk down the street to the mailbox when it’s crummy outside).
- Pay my bills: Through my bank’s online bill pay service, I can pay my bills without leaving the house. I also have a number of them set up for “autopay,” which is a big help.
- Work from home: The nature of my job is such that I can handle phone calls, web-based meetings, project collaboration, and so forth anyplace I can get a high-speed internet connection. Very useful (in fact, I think I’m sometimes *more* productive when I work from home).
- Do my Christmas shopping: Thanks to Amazon Prime, I have been able to do almost all of my Christmas gift shopping from the comfort of my own home – and I get free, 2-day shipping on most items. They’ll even gift wrap for you. Talk about a stress reliever.
Most of this wasn’t possible until relatively recently, and I’m sure glad we can do them now.
There are still some things that you can’t do remotely, of course, but these things have been amazingly helpful this week. The other things I’ve learned from my weather constraints this week include:
- Weather forecasting is an inexact science, even with all our cool technology.
- I really appreciate regular garbage pickup.
- I really enjoy having heat and high-speed internet.
- My newspaper carrier is awesome – hasn’t missed a day!
- Even though I can work from home, I enjoy seeing people face to face at the office.
What about you – any things you do remotely to make your life easier?