The modern entrepreneur uses a robust suite of digital tools to work wherever they please. It's what makes doing business these days so much fun. As long as you have an internet connection, you can run a business, make connections, network, and support your company from anywhere in the world.
It's not quite as easy as it sounds, though. To be successful with working anywhere around the globe, you need to prepare for the issues you'll encounter. Here are six great tips to make sure you're working like a pro.
1. Invest in a VPN to Avoid Filters
Internet filters abound throughout the world, whether you're traveling to another state or another country. You never know what crucial websites are going to be filtered or what impact it may have on your workflow. A good VPN might not do you any favors as far as internet speed in your hotel, but it will allow you to bypass those pesky filters and get you the content access you want. It might not get you through the Great Firewall of China, but it will work perfectly well just about anywhere else.
2. Bring a Light, Sturdy Mouse to Drop the Trackpad
Tablets are nice, but if you want to seriously work from one, you end up needing additional input devices. Laptops are better, but after being limited to a trackpad for weeks, you'll find yourself longing for a mouse. Invest in a mouse that's lightweight, comfortable, and sturdy enough to resist the wear of traveling.
Personally, I like a wired mouse. Wireless mice are convenient for connections, but then you have to worry about battery life, plus they tend to be heavier. I'd rater temporarily deal with a cord than with batteries abroad. I also recommend avoiding those tiny travel mice; the first time your hand cramps up, you'll know why. Obviously, stay away from the gimmicks.
3. Make Sure You Have the Right Power Adapters
If you're traveling throughout the United States, you can expect the standard AC power supply you're using to work just fine. When you start leaving the country, you're going to start encountering different power standards. Americans use 120 volt lines, while the United Kingdom uses 230 volt lines with a different plug style. Many other countries have similar high voltage lines. Always look ahead to see what the standards are for the country you're visiting, and make sure you either have a dual voltage adapter or you've purchased the right kind of adapter to work in your destination. Don't forget the physical plug adapter!
4. Buy a Good Protective Carrying Case for Tech
Working abroad, your tech is your lifeblood. If your phone breaks, your tablet cracks, or your laptop is dropped one too many times, you're going to be stranded looking for repairs or an emergency replacement on the fly. It's not a good situation, but you can avoid it by investing in a sturdy, protective carrying case. I like some of the Cocoon offerings, but everyone has a different idea of what's attractive and what can hold the items they have. Take your time and shop around.
5. Make Heavy and Automatic Use of Cloud Backups
Just as important as protecting your physical hardware is protecting your digital information. You never know what might happen; a flood, a terrorist attack, a theft. Any number of events can render your hardware inaccessible, temporarily or permanently. If you've been working remotely and storing your data on the cloud, you'll be able to pick up where you left off with ease.
6. Take Time to See the Sights
At the end of the day, business travel is still travel. You're fully prepared to get plenty of work done, but don't closet yourself in your hotel and ignore the world around you. One of the biggest benefits to working abroad is being able to experience other locations, other cultures, other societies and learn along the way. Take the time to see the sights whenever you travel, and live a richer life for it.