If you’re travelling for work; whether it be directly tied to your work, or simply because you want to see other parts of the world without compromising your job; there are certain provisions you should make sure that you have. With the right technology you can work from home in the same country as your work, or you can live in an entirely different country and still work just as a efficiently. You can even work whilst you are travelling.
So, what solutions do you need to have in place if you’re going to be travelling for work? For starters, you will need a device, or devices, with which you can access the internet, and perform whichever productivity tasks are required to do your work. For most people, a laptop will serve this purpose, but there are plenty of options. For example, there are lots of tablets that are more that capable of performing tasks such as document writing, emails, and spreadsheets, and even tasks that require more powerful processing, such as graphic design or photo editing. Some people may get away with working with a high-end smartphone, if their job primarily requires communication, or involves them on the move for a lot of the day. Overall, however, laptops are likely to be the best tool. The options on the market are very versatile – you can buy a notebook for everyday office-style work for under $500, or you can invest a bit more in a powerful laptop that serves as a fully portable workstation.
Next, you will need to make sure you can access your apps and files no matter where you are; and if you’re working from a laptop, you shouldn’t rely on the internal storage. Using a solution such as Microsoft 365 Applications is ideal for this. You can get limited versions of Microsoft 365 apps for free – this includes the Office online apps and 5GB of storage on OneDrive. However, pricing for Microsoft 365 licenses is very manageable, and for all the features it gets you, the subscription is definitely worth it. If you are a sole proprietor, small or medium sized business, then Microsoft 365 Business licenses are recommended. These are aimed at organisations between 1 and 300 users. With Office, you have access to all the essential productivity apps, like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and OneNote, all from the cloud. With the paid subscriptions, you also have access to 1TB of cloud-based storage with OneDrive – this will save space on your laptop’s hard-drive while giving you access to all your files.
If you have team members you need to communicate with regularly, you should also utilize communication platform – a highly regarded app is Microsoft Teams. Teams includes chat, calling, and video calling. You can even turn the app into a Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephony system if you purchase the Business Voice license from Microsoft. Microsoft Teams has great integration with the other common Microsoft 365 application. You can create, edit, and share Word documents all from within Teams (and do the same with Excel spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations). You can view and access your cloud storage from within Teams – it support both OneDrive and SharePoint storage, but you can also integrate services like Google Drive and Dropbox. Microsoft Teams is designed to be a full digital workspace – it is possible to perform all of your daily work tasks from within the app, which makes it highly efficient for remote or on the go working.
One of the less obvious things to consider is making sure all the technology you need for work is supported. If you’re taking your business to a new city, or if you’re freelance in a new city, one of the first things you should do is make sure you have IT support. For example, if you’ve moved to London, UK, look for a highly regarded IT provider, such as TechQuarters – Click here for more info. If you’re working independently and you run into technical difficulties, you want to know you can contact a helpdesk and receive help. It is true that as much as 80% IT issues can be solved remotely using modern technology, but in case there is a time when you have a technical issue that requires in-person support, you’ll want to know someone local who can help.
Another consideration is what if your company has several employees who are all from the same place in another country. These days it is very common for businesses – especially small to medium sized businesses – to outsource jobs to other countries. In that case it is your responsibility to make sure they have the software and support available to do their jobs sufficiently. If you have several employees based in the same town or city, who all need specific software and technical support, you’ll want to make sure they’ve got it; so you might utilize a managed IT services contract with a local provider. This way, the provider can provision your users with the right software licensing, and provide ongoing support for them. This may be preferable to fully remote support, because although 80% of IT issues can be fixed remotely using modern technology, there will always be certain situations that may require in-person support. In this scenario, you wouldn’t want your remote employees to be sitting around, wondering what to do. With a local IT or managed services provider, they will be able to take the initiative and contact the helpdesk to receive support as quickly as possible.
So, if you or someone from your company is thinking of travelling while working, make sure the right software and tech solutions are in place to enable flexible working. Location and travel should not prevent you from working. There are a lot of options out there; wherever you are going, you should be able to have access to the technology, and the support to keep your work going.