Working Smarter While on the Road
Thanks to highly functional personal computers, tablets, and cell phones, along with unified communications solutions like Fuze, today’s worker is no longer limited by their location. With research showing that 20-25% of U.S. workers work remotely at least some of the time, it’s inevitable that employees in today’s workforce will often find themselves working on the road, traveling across countries, and even continents to meet the demands of a 21st century job.
But simultaneously managing the demands of work combined with the strains of travel can be difficult. How can you stay on top of the ball while working remote?
Plan around WiFi
Virtually every business in today’s world relies on the internet for both its internal and external operations. Ensuring you are able to stay connected while traveling is one of the most important things you can do to stay connected to your teams and on top of deadlines. This could mean booking travel options that have reliable WiFi services (even being prepared to pay for an upgrade to get it), scouting out free WiFi in locations such as coffee shops or libraries, investing in a mobile hotspot of your own to guarantee that you can remain online, or any combination of the these methods. However you achieve access to WiFi when you need it, prioritizing connectivity while planning your travels will leave you prepared and ready to work, saving you the stress and hassle of dropping offline when your colleagues are expecting you to be available.
Be Prepared for Disconnection
Any seasoned remote worker knows that our best laid plans can often go wrong. Even if you take every precaution to ensure that you are able to stay connected throughout the entirety of your time on the road, things can still fail, leaving you disconnected uncertain of how to proceed. When preparing for remote work, take a moment to consider those projects that you are able to work on offline. Once you’ve identified them, download the file so that you can access it whenever you’re away from a WiFi signal. This way, when the inevitable network failure or travel delay hits, you’ll still be able to keep working and remain productive, maximizing the use of your time and still maintaining efficiency on the road.
Schedule and Book Thoughtfully
The average work day, remote or otherwise, is usually a combination of calls, meetings, presentations, and solo working. Plan your travel around what you will be doing at different times of day. When scheduling your time for driving or booking plane or train tickets, try to think about what you will be expected to do during the given time frames you are looking to book your travel. For example, you’ll want to be settled in and stationary with full access to your computer for something like a presentation, and you’re not going to want or be able to lead a call from an airplane seat (unless you want to sit next to some very angry passengers). For every leg of your journey, you should build your schedule such that you are always in the right setting to carry out the timely responsibilities you have on your plate.
The greatest tool and asset you have for doing your best work on the road is planning ahead. Simply put: preparation makes a world of difference. Still, it’s important to to remain adaptive, as unplanned events will take place. With this in mind, your productivity on the road will match, and maybe even bring your efficiency and work product to new heights.