Whether you are working from home full time, living life as a road warrior or simply working the occasional day away from the office, you will be more effective if you have the right digital infrastructure for remote work.
Here is a list of practical tools that can make your job a lot easier.
1. Your own hotspot: You cannot be dependent on the vagaries of coffee shop Wi-Fi, so make sure you have a way of producing your own internet connection anywhere, anytime. That could be as simple as tethering to your phone, and using it as your backup connection, or buying a USB stick from your wireless company so you can access cell data from your laptop.
2. A great headset: Make sure you have a reliable headset for both your home and mobile phone. Using a headset lets you type while you talk — but one of the benefits of remote work is that you do not have to sit at your desk. If you have got a call that does not require note-taking, your headset lets you go for an energising walk, or gives you the time to clean up your desk (or your kitchen).
3. A multi-adaptor: If you carry your own power strip, you will never find yourself in a café where all the power outlets are already spoken for. Just ask someone if you can unplug their computer so you can both use your multi-adaptor.
4. Extra cables: Buy an extra charging adapter for your computer and extra cables for all your devices, including phone and tablet. If you keep all your cables in your bag, rather than unplugging them at home every morning, you will never find yourself stuck and unable to charge your devices.
5. Battery and car adapter: Carry an external battery that can charge your phone, and make sure you can also charge in the car. Better yet, buy an inverter that will allow you to plug your laptop into your car, so you can always take that crucial sales call from the privacy of your vehicle, without worrying that you will lose power mid-presentation.
6. A lightweight laptop: The more mobile you are, the easier it is to work anywhere, anytime.
Adapted from Things to buy, download, or do when working remotely at HBR.org.
© 2015 Harvard Business School Publishing Corp.