We’ve established that working from home doesn’t mean that you’re stuck there. But can you really work anywhere?
With presentations to lead, client meetings to run, conference calls to participate in, and the occasional performance review to give, sometimes you have very specific needs. Your work space must be fairly private and quiet. And the presence of your voice can’t annoy those around you, either.
This might be why some folks have only worked remotely from the comfort of their home office. It’s incredibly convenient and you’re fully in control. But they’re missing out, in my opinion. Yes, moving around can be a hassle—and finding the right spot can be a challenge—but it’s not overly difficult if you’re well prepared.
Ready to get out and explore working from anywhere? Here’s a list of work anywhere pro tips from remote workers who know:
If you can’t work comfortably and healthfully, you’re doing it wrong. Try to avoid lounge seating as it encourages hunching. When you need to take a break from sitting, countertops and bar tables are ideal as temporary standing desks. If a change of scenery is needed, take a walking meeting en route to your next stop.
Portable batteries are getting smaller and save you from sweating when outlets aren’t in sight. Carry relevant dongles to charge your phone directly from your laptop, or be the hit of the party with outlet surge protectors that turn one available outlet into a charging-palooza. Sharing is caring!
WiFi is at the bottom of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs for Remote Workers—of this I am convinced. But not all hot spots are made equal. Use a service like Workfrom to view work spaces’ connectivity speeds in advance, so you’ll know they gel with your line of work, whether you’re primarily building spreadsheets or have an afternoon of hardcore coding ahead.
4. Battery Conservation
One of the few times when sunlight is actually a drawback? When trying to conserve your laptop battery. The dimmer the venue, the better, and here’s why: you can decrease your display brightness and conserve power while working. Also, consider closing out of applications like Skype whenever you’re not actively using them, as they tend to eat up more battery.
Bothering to get dressed at all is such a chore for us remote workers; to do so and then get drenched in a downpour just adds insult to injury. Make it a point to check the forecast before you head out, adding an umbrella, sunglasses, and sunblock before you go. Consider wearing layers or bringing a scarf along; jacked-up A/C in the summertime can turn a moment of flow into a miserable shiver-fest.
It’s not a game, people. Trust me: great work isn’t done while your stomach growls. My colleague mentioned this in a recent post on working outdoors. The fact is, plummeting blood sugar levels can derail your project quickly. So stash a Clif bar or piece of fruit in your bag if you’re not up for spending money on a quick bite. Be sure to have adequate fuel in your system so that you stay focused and productive.
Despite the existence of PayPal, Square, and pay-by-smartphone technology, money still talks. Don’t assume all establishments take credit cards; some places still have minimum purchase amounts. Also, if you’re driving, carry change just in case the parking meters are old school. (Depending on where you are in the world, there may be an app for this, like BestParking, SpotHero, or my personal favorite, Pango.)
8. Furry Friends
Maybe you don’t want your English bulldog Chomp to be home alone while you type away. Understood. Some coworking spaces are pet-friendly, and a growing number of cat cafes are cropping up across the U.S., if you’re more a fan of the feline variety. (Note: these are not BYOC—think kitty visiting hours.) If you’re at a loss as to what’s available nearby, simply look up pet-friendly spaces online.
Sure, napkin jotting can work in a pinch; when you need to brainstorm in a group, though, you need a better canvas, and likely a more appropriate writing utensil. If you’re hitting up a coworking space, grab a fresh whiteboard marker AND a Sharpie before you leave home so that you’re prepared for any writing medium.
Always, always, always have a quality hands-free headset (or two) on hand for those scheduled meetings and in case of unexpected calls. Not only does this afford you more privacy when chatting in public, it allows you to be heard, as you can mute yourself while listening to others. (Note: this is not an excuse to multitask on your phone!)
Looking for a work from anywhere job? Check out our remote job listings.