Setting Up Your Mobile Office

If work and travel are closely related parts of your life, then setting up a mobile office is important so you can work from anywhere. Keeping a few key concepts in mind can have a dramatic effect on your work productivity, so put in the necessary preparation now for a smooth work experience when you’re mobile and on the road.

Set up Your Laptop for Maximum Efficiency

You’re going to have a hard time getting much work done without a computer. This is true whether or not you’re in the office or on the road. Fortunately, there are plenty of powerful laptops available that are perfect for a mobile workstation. Slim laptops and those with screens 15 inches or smaller are good choices because they take up less space. Add laptop accessories that enable you to work more efficiently. A wireless mouse is easier to use than a track pad, and allows you to move the cursor more precisely, which is important for many people especially anyone who uses design programs. If you have to listen to audio or make calls through your computer, make sure to bring headphones or a headset.

Bag Your Gear

Your time is valuable. Why waste any of it digging through your luggage for your laptop. A laptop bag is a great way to keep your device and all its accessories organized, so you can transport them easily and quickly find whatever it is you need. Bags and cases also provide a layer of protection, which can be the difference between a spill being a minor annoyance and a major problem that damages your laptop, leaving you unable to work remotely. If you prefer traveling with as few bags as possible, small luggage can also work; just make sure your luggage is organized so you don’t have to unpack everything to grab your laptop.

Stay Connected

You’ve arrived at your destination, only to find out that there’s no Wi-Fi, leaving you with no internet access. You can look for the nearest coffee shop, but not only is that inconvenient, it may also be full of distractions. That’s why it’s important that you always have a way to access the internet. This way you’re not at the mercy of whatever Wi-Fi networks are available. A mobile [router] is one way to keep your laptop connected. Use it in conjunction with a USB dongle from an internet service provider to set up your own wireless network anywhere. Also, most smartphones can be used as a mobile hotspot when you’re out of the office. This can be generally slower than getting a UBS dongle from an internet service provider but it’s definitely useful if you’re in a pinch and need to access your mobile office from anywhere.

Charge Up

It doesn’t get much worse than seeing that low battery indicator on your phone or laptop and having no way to charge it. Make sure you always have power cords available for all your mobile office devices. You may even want to get extra cords specifically for your mobile office devices. If you often find yourself away from any power outlets, keep extra batteries on hand for your most important devices. Another option for your phone is a battery phone case that extends its battery life. If you spend a lot of time at airports, you’ve probably noticed that it can be difficult to find an available power outlet. One simple solution is to pack a power strip when you travel.  Give yourself access to multiple outlets for your mobile office devices. Share your power strip with your fellow travelers and they will appreciate it as well. If space limitations are a concern, there are plenty of power strips with only two or three outlets.

Carefully consider the needs of your business when setting up your mobile office. If you print paperwork almost every day, a portable printer is a wise investment. If you need to handle transactions while on the road, get a credit card reader that you can plug in to your cell phone. Make sure your mobile office has all the items you need to stay productive no matter where you are.

This article originally appeared on Office Depot/OfficeMax


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