Whether you’re on a business trip or taking a family vacation, working on the go can present a few challenges. But with a bit of planning and ingenuity, most can be overcome. Here are some top tips for making the most out of working remotely while you're on the road.
1. Plan for Down Time
Scheduling downtime can be an effective way to reduce stress and boost productivity when you’re traveling. Before you pack your bags, plan how you’ll relax and rejuvenate, and schedule those activities into your day just as you would a meeting. To find interesting, off-the-beaten path activities in your destination city, try an app like LikeaLocal.
2. Invest in a Mobile Hotspot
Using the Free Wi-Fi Finder app you can locate an Internet connection almost anywhere you journey. But free Wi-Fi isn’t always the best way to access the Web. If too many people are using the signal, your connection may be painstakingly slow. Wi-Fi can also be testy, so you may not always receive a strong, reliable signal. Most importantly, Wi-Fi connections typically aren’t secure, which makes your personal and professional information vulnerable to snooping and hacking. As an alternative to Wi-Fi, consider using a mobile hotspot. A hotspot protected by a robust password can help ensure you have Internet access whenever you need it while minimizing your risk of being hacked.
3. Activate Your Phone’s Hotspot
Another option for getting connected to the Web is tethering. Tethering turns your smartphone into a portable hotspot. To activate tethering, go to your phone’s settings and enable your personal hotspot. Once you do, your phone will appear on your device as an available Wi-Fi connection. Tethering uses your phone's data, so check your plan’s allowance first to avoid overage charges.
4. Downsize Your Devices
Laptops are portable, but switching to a notebook, tablet, or phablet can making working on the go much more convenient. You can toss one of these small and lightweight devices in your carry-on and knock out emails in flight, or drop one in your backpack and video conference from a park. Get familiar with your new device before taking it on your first trip to ensure it performs as you need it to.
5. Take Advantage of Cloud-Based Storage
The Cloud is ideal for working on the road because it gives you the freedom to store, access, and share files from anywhere. Google Drive, Dropbox, and JustCloud are a few of the popular Cloud storage applications that can help you stay productive on the road.
6. Make Backup Plans
You can’t prepare for every travel glitch, but planning for those “what ifs” can go a long way toward helping you overcome potential setbacks. Before your trip, think through scenarios like what you’ll do if your luggage is lost, your glasses break, or your phone is stolen.
7. Track Your Time
It’s easy to lose track of time when you’re on the go. To be sure you get the right mix of work and relaxation, consider downloading a free time-tracking app like Toggle. In addition to helping you manage your day, Toggle’s advanced features allow you to bill clients, collaborate with colleagues, and print detailed time reports (for a fee).
8. Review Your Insurance
Not all insurance providers cover travelers for things like lost or stolen property or healthcare in a foreign county, but many offer special coverage that does. Before you book your trip, check with your insurance company to learn the details of your policy. You’ll also want to be sure you understand the process of filing a claim, so you’re prepared to do so if necessary.
Use these tips and remain flexible while traveling on the go. Before you know it you’ll be working from the road like a pro.