This week saw our IT Survivor winner Mark Monfort commence his gruelling series of remote working challenges on Magnetic Island. Sounds like a super-tough gig, but Mark’s been holding up okay so far. We caught up with Mark to get his thoughts on the whole experience so far.
What’s your opinion of having to work from Magnetic Island so far?
It's definitely a different experience to what I'm used to. Magnetic Island's much warmer than Melbourne, which is a plus, and it's far nicer working outside than being cooped up in an office. So far I've used Horizon to check into my email, run a video conference using my work account, and log into my corporate network to create a virtual server. I also hired a very small car.
How are you finding the whole IT Survivor gig? Any different to your everyday routine?
So far it's showed off some of the extremes of remote working — taking it to the next level, if you like. I'm finding that the challenges, like doing a video conference or accessing the corporate network for technical stuff, are pretty similar to what I'd do on an everyday basis remotely — but the distance and lower connectivity here make them that bit more tricky.
I reckon this whole exercise will be a great proving ground for organisations looking to dabble in flexible and remote working for their people. Horizon 6 has had great performance so far — speed and robustness are holding up despite some drops in connection — so that's been helpful too.
Have you been surprised by anything so far?
That we’ve got internet on the island! Sometimes barely, though. And we think we’ve figured why it's called Magnetic Island. At the first challenge, our wireless router and my camera both said they were out of battery, then showed up with full charge only a few minutes later. Mysterious...
Another unexpected challenge included Mark's 'very small' hire car, a well-aged manual Daihatsu. Since Mark can't drive manual, it's fallen to our video director Matt to literally take the wheel.
Any hurdles that you’ve faced so far?
Finding a gym proved impossible. The only independent one closed down a month ago. But you can't have everything I guess.
Honest answer: what do you think of Horizon 6?
Horizon 6 is proving pretty decent. It's very durable, and it gives you the ability to work like you're actually on your corporate network and servers — which is a bit of a change from RDP and other older fixes. But we'll see how it handles the other challenges to come.
The IT Survivor challenges run for the rest of the week. Follow #itsurvivor on Twitter for the latest updates live from the island.