Because I travel so often, having a mobile office is essential for me and my business. While it has taken me time to find what works and what doesn't, it has helped that more businesses are catering to a remote worker's needs. It's no secret that the workplace has changed to include people of all ages and backgrounds working remotely - and the travel industry has noticed.
Hotels are being upgraded and converted to include strong internet connections, dedicated workspaces, and limited-distractions to help with productivity. Many also have coffee shops in the vicinity, basic kitchen appliances, and plenty of electrical outlets. Whether you'd like to convince the boss to let you travel for business more often or are a digital employee who is looking to establish themselves, these are some ways you can set up a mobile office.
1. A laptop or tablet that works for you.
For most workers, a computer is a necessity. However, the type of computer needed varies, depending on your line of work.
Graphic artists need laptops that are user-friendly with plenty of storage space to keep their work secure. Bookkeepers might prefer a laptop with more features and a numerical keyboard to help them work quickly. Some workers may even be able to get away with only using a tablet.
When deciding which device best serves you, consider the weight of the items. Though most devices are pretty light, walking around a new city with a couple of bags can get old fast. You'll appreciate not having so much weight to carry. Additionally, consider the battery life and whether or not you'll have access to an outlet.
2. A stable and secure internet connection.
I cannot stress this enough - ensure that you will have a solid internet connection and access to another connection should your first connection go out. I've stayed at hotels and Airbnb's that have had excellent reviews regarding their internet access. However, as my luck had it, there were problems with accessibility during my stay.
Aside from having a solid connection in your lodging, having a solid connection while you travel can help you access maps and apps more efficiently. Depending on how much internet access you need, a pocket WiFi can be a valuable tool to invest in. You can also get a MiFi router that serves as a personal hotspot.
3. Productivity tools on hand.
Some people like to write tasks down while others like to keep notes on their device. Try to keep the extras you'll need to a minimum, otherwise, it may put a damper on your motivation to work. Invest in apps and cloud services to stay connected and keep your work accessible without having to lug and find space for a bunch of extra items like folders, external hard drives, printouts, etc.
4. An established routine that lets you stick to your hours.
One of the perks of working remotely is the ability to work from anywhere. However, some people see that as an opportunity to take advantage of. Since I sometimes work from home, I've had friends and family members ask me to run errands for them or meet them for a few hours for lunch, not fully understanding that I'm working and have a schedule that I work by.
The same goes for your coworkers and colleagues. I've had people call me during dinner, asking to go over projects. Stick to your schedule and ask people to respect your hours, otherwise, you may find yourself burning out.
5. A good bag and a few supplies that will get you motivated for work and keep you organized.
While working remotely has many perks, one of the struggles that many people (including myself) have is getting motivated. Sometimes it is hard to get on track and focus. This can be especially true when you have family and friends near or are having to work while everyone is on holiday.
I've found that having my "work bag" with all my essentials helps me with productivity. I carry my laptop, chargers, USB stick, alcohol wipes, headphones, a small notepad, and a pen in my bag. Those items keep me organized and aren't too heavy to travel with.