With technology becoming increasingly powerful, portable, and interconnected, we’re finding ourselves with more ways to work on the go. Smartphones, tablets, high-speed wireless data connections, and cloud computing are all driving a revolution in how, when, and where we work.
Whether in a coffee shop, an airport terminal, or on the train during a long commute, it seems there’s almost no place left where we can’t review a document, send an email, or sync up our calendars. While it’s hardly headline news that we can work outside the office more easily now than ever before, what may be surprising is that, according to a growing body of research, working flexibly can lead to some unexpected benefits.
It’s clear that flexible work arrangements are more than just a nice perk. By fostering employee wellbeing and productivity, they can improve a company’s bottom line.
So mobile working can be a good thing, but what’s the best way to go about it? What tools do you need to work from anywhere? As it happens, your entire mobile office can fit into a briefcase. The key is choosing the right technology and accessories to make sure you’re making the most of that precious space.
Your office-in-a-briefcase must start with a few indispensable items:
The right laptop computer
Your laptop is going to be the center of your mobile office, so it’s important to get the right one.
You’ll want something light yet powerful. Using computers with advanced Intel® processors, available on a range of HP laptops, will help ensure smooth operation even whilst performing demanding tasks like video conferencing and multitasking (e.g., running a presentation and a video conference simultaneously). HP ProBooks are built for business.
Versatile power adaptors
Although the newest 2nd generation Intel® Core™ processor family is designed to sip power, it’s a good idea to be prepared for a recharge. Invest in the right power adaptor for your charging needs, whether you might be travelling in a car, flying on a plane, or sitting down at a café in a foreign country.
A spare laptop battery
You never know when you might find yourself low on power at a critical moment without a plug nearby, so play it safe and toss an extra battery in your briefcase. Or, try out an HP Folio with nine full hours of battery life.
Quality headphones or headset
It’s not just about listening to your favorite tunes, although that’s always fun. A good pair of headphones is essential for drowning out background noise when working in a public space. If you plan on doing a lot of voice or video chatting, a headset with a built in microphone is a sensible option too.
The brains of your mobile office (besides you) are the software and applications you use to power your work. Make sure you have these essentials:
An easy wireless networking solution
You need to be able to discover, sign in and connect to your wireless networks quickly and easily while on the go. Windows 7 comes with a streamlined networking solution that lets you connect in just a couple of clicks.
Office Web Apps
All you need is a web browser and an Internet connection to use Microsoft Office Web Apps and access Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and OneNote. The free service offers basic Microsoft Office functionality online and the ability to transfer files seamlessly back and forth from the full desktop versions.
With Microsoft’s online services you get web-enabled tools that let you access your email, documents, contacts, and calendars from virtually anywhere, on almost any device. The service brings together online versions of the best communications and collaboration tools from Microsoft.
To fill the rest of your briefcase, there are plenty of accessories available to make working remotely easier:
A wireless mouse. Make navigating your laptop’s screen more efficient and comfortable.
A mobile printer. If you find it helpful to work with paper documents, then a battery-powered portable printer may be just what you need.
Every day, the line between the office and the outside world is further dissolving, along with the distinction between business and consumer technology. It’s a shift that has the potential to profoundly benefit both employers and employees – provided we all recognize that with the right tools, great work can happen anywhere.