The sun was out briefly last week, but long enough to make you think that really, with current technology, you should be able to work just about anywhere. Emma Jones gives some tips for mobile workers everywhere.
New technology means it’s possible to work wherever you want. If you work from home you have already decided that you either want to work for yourself or away from the traditional office, but now – with a few simple tips and tricks - you can enjoy unprecedented flexibility, and work almost anywhere, from the local coffee shop to the public park.
With your computer
If you already have a fairly up-to-date laptop computer, you have all you really need to work away from home. Most can pick up wireless Internet access from receivers already built-in. But if you have a slightly older laptop, buy a small adaptor which you plug into a spare USB port. Affordable options are available from a company called Belkin who provide pretty clear instructions to help you get started.
If WiFi hotspots are few and far between, you can now get on the Internet practically anywhere, with a USB dongle. It looks like a flash thumbdrive and allows your laptop to connect to broadband speed Internet from a mobile phone provider.
Wi-Fi hotspots are usually free of charge in places like public libraries and independent coffee shops, where owners encourage you to use their hotspots to boost sales. If you’re looking for out of home working locations in your area, check out myHotspots.
With your mobile or smart phone
A Blackberry is a smart phone and one of the most popular devices for working away from the home office. It allows you to surf the web, check your e-mail and edit office documents.
Most mobile phones allow you to check email on the move, but it’s best to check with your service provider before giving it a go. Unless included in your contract, checking email or surfing the web on your mobile phone can be quite expensive.
If you use web mail, from Google for example, or Yahoo!, it’s easy to check your email as there are mobile ready versions of their websites, which you can view on your mobile phone’s web browser.
Mobile broadband is great if you’re often on the move or use your laptop in a variety of locations, but it can be pricey. Look around for unlimited packages and those that provide the hardware for free.
A forwarding number
Skype offers a call forwarding feature, which allows you to direct incoming calls to your Skype account or Skype phone number to your mobile phone. Depending on your package you can forward calls at no extra cost and it’s easy to set up.
Taking these steps will free you up to work from anywhere and, with the sun starting to shine, why not head into the garden to take on the inbox!
Emma Jones is the founder of online home business company Enterprise Nation and author of Spare Room Start Up – how to start a business from home.