Traveling for work is nothing new. The archetypes of the “traveling salesman” or “traveling businessman” have been fixtures in western society for ages.
Growing up in the late 80’s and early 90’s, I remember my dad, a management consultant at the time, traveling more than he was home. In fact, he was gone so often that we kept track of him by sticking push pins into a globe. After all, this was 25 years ago, pre-internet and pre-cell phones.
Similarly, working from home, while more common as of late, is not an entirely new concept.
When I was 10 years old my mother walked away from her corner office never to return. Yet, she worked full-time as vice president and co-owner for another five or six years.
Recently remote teams and fully distributed companies have become more common, more and more people identify as entrepreneurs, and the freelancer’s gig economy is exploding. These realities paired with the advancements in technology are drastically altering the professional landscape of the future.
A landscape that will be dominated by the digital nomad (owners, contractors, and employees), a new breed of professionals who work while they travel recreationally.
This lifestyle, which is still evolving, is gaining increasing amounts of public attention.
Now it seems, becoming a digital nomad is a common goal of many young people.
Social media feeds are saturated with images of millennials living the laptop lifestyle atop mountains, camped out in national parks, and lounging pool side.
Facebook groups like Digital Nomad Accelerator connect aspiring nomads with seasoned nomads who serve as informal business and lifestyle mentors.
More than ever before, young professionals are using technology to rebel against the status quo and connect with their ideal lifestyles.
Despite all this change, one thing stays the same. When it comes to business, connections to your teammates, target market, and client base are vital.
Assuming you already have a laptop and a smartphone, these are the eight types of hardware we recommend for a connected mobile office.
When traveling many nomads find themselves working from their phones. More cell usage means your battery dies faster. Protect yourself from a loss of power!
Juice Pack Reserve by Mophie is the most convenient way to increase your phone’s lifespan. You’re likely going to use a case anyway. Why not use one that has a back up battery built right in.
Why we love it...
Thanks to the built-in rechargeable 1,840mAh lithium-ion polymer battery, you get 60% extra battery life with the push of a button.
It’s built-in rubberized support pads protect your phone from drops and hard falls.
Easily the most compact battery case, weighing in at under 3 oz., it adds only 0.3 inches of thickness to your phone.
Best of all, unlike many other charging cases, you can leave your phone in the case while charging it and charge both together!
Even with this great charging case, you could still find yourself in a situation where your batteries die before you have access to an electrical outlet. For extra protection against a dead smartphone we recommend the Powercore 10000 by Anker.
Why we love it...
One of the smallest and lightest 10000mAh portable chargers on the market, this power pack isn’t going to weigh you down.
When fully charged it provides almost three-and-a-half iPhone charges or two-and-a-half Galaxy charges.
The exclusive PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technologies combine to deliver the fastest possible charge for any device, so it also won’t slow you down.
Finally, Anker's MultiProtect safety system ensures complete protection for you and your devices.
Reinforcing your phone’s battery with a charging case and a back up battery pack is a step in the right direction. However, a busted charging cord could still bring your work to a screeching halt. Investing in a high quality durable power cord, like the Powerline (lightening or micro-usb) by Anker, is a smart move.
Why we love it…
Far superior to any other cord on the market this cable has 25% less resistance, keeping voltage steady and maintaining speedy power transfer.
Generally, the weakest point on cables is the jack to sheath connection point - this vulnerability is removed from PowerLine cables with precision laser welding that holds up in all conditions.
Using engineering innovations like laser welding, aramid reinforcement and dual PVC fusion, the cable has reinforced stress points which give long lasting durability.
Finally, these cords are backed by the fan favorite 18-month warranty and friendly, easy-to-reach customer support.
When you finally find yourself with access to an on-grid power source, you are going to want to take full advantage. Incorporating a multi USB charging port into your mobile office, will save you time now and later. Anker continues to deliver quality with the Powerport 6 60W Wall Charger.
Why we love it...
Safety comes first - Anker's MultiProtect safety system and UL certification ensure complete protection for you and your devices.
The small device has 6 ports that pump out 60 watts of power, enabling simultaneous multi-device charging.
PowerIQ and VoltageBoost combine to provide the fastest possible charge up to 2.4 amps per port or 12 amps overall.
Anker also backs up this powerhouse with an 18-month warranty with friendly customer service so you can rest easy.
It comes with a detachable cable so you can just slip the tiny unit into your pocket and fearlessly venture into the world.
So you’re all powered up and ready to work. Then you get that annoying message from your phone or computer “Disk Full” nooooooo…
Your time is to valuable to be spent sorting through files, deciding what to keep and what to trash. More important still, your files contain vital content and data. The risk of deleting something important increases exponentially when slimming down storage in a hurry.
Why we love it…
This drive is only 12.1 millimeters and packs up to 4TB of capacity, making it extremely portable and packable.
Using the Seagate Dashboard software you can create easy customized backup plans.
Run a one-click backup or schedule an automatic backup plan to protect your files.
The High-speed USB 3.0 and 2.0 connectivity offers plug-and-play functionality on your PC without the need of an external power supply.
You can use your Backup Plus Portable Drive interchangeably on PC and Mac computers, without needing to reformat. Simply install NTFS drivers on your Mac and you're good to go.
With power and disk space you can finally get down to business. Whether you work with music or prefer silence the Quiet Comfort 25 Noise Canceling Headphones by Bose will help you stay focused.
Why we love it…
They are engineered to sound better without compromising comfort!
You have total control over what you want to hear and more importantly what you don’t want to hear.
The sound is deep, powerful and balanced and without the background noise music is crystal clear.
The headband and ear cushions are lightweight & soft.
They are wireless!
They are engineered to work optimally with most Apple devices.
The inline mic/remote lets you control various music functions and talk on your phone.
The headphones fold into a compact case that’s lightweight yet rugged.
Headphones are great for creating silence and enjoying music. They also get the job done when calls come in spontaneously. However, for scheduled calls and video conferences you might prefer a more more discreet headset like the Voyager Edge by Plantronics.
Why we love it…
This headset has Signature Plantronics Audio Technology providing enhanced voice clarity through Bluetooth 4.0 and wideband audio support.
The headset sensor automatically directs calls when on your ear or redirects audio to your phone when you take it off.
Through Plantronics voice recognition technology, you can manage calls hands-free.
Voyager Edge syncs to your contacts, telling you who's calling before you answer.
Voice commands make call management easy—simply say "Answer" to take the call, or "Ignore" to send it to voicemail.
The Find My Headset app will locate your headset through your iPhone, iPad, or Android.
It comes with three optional ear tips -- small, medium, and large -- for the most comfortable fit in either ear.
The Plantronics InstantMeeting app automatically identifies conference calls and dialing details from your calendar, and it reminds you just before the meeting is scheduled to begin.
Last but not least, when traveling and working remotely, you need to be mindful of shoulder surfers. These pests peep your laptop screen to steal valuable information. To protect proprietary information and password data try this PrivaScreen Privacy Filters by Fellowers.
Why we love it…
This filter blacks out the screen image when viewed from side angles.
Additionally, the filter protects screen from fingerprints and scratches, while still easily removable.
Reversible, the filter has a matte side that helps reduce glare.
It’s compatible with touchscreen laptops and monitors.
Comes in many sizes including mobile.
Our team does the best we can to track down and vet the best products on the market and… we are only human. If you know of a superior product, share your wisdom in the comments below. We will gladly check it out and consider adding it to the article and the Remote Work Marketplace.
Rebel + Connect creates custom retreats for remote teams. A Colorado based company owned and operated by Charlie Birch, Rachel McGehee, and Summer Weirich, we operate remotely and service clients from all over the globe. Join us as we create cultures of meaning and celebrate human connections in a digital world!
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