Remote work on the go – what to bring with you?
Admit it, who would rather work in a coastal tavern or on a terrace with a beautiful view of the mountains instead of in an office or on a home balcony? The year 2020, like no other, made this even more possible for us!
You can? You can! In 2020, I think most of us found out that you don't necessarily have to work in an office, to which we often drive all the way across town in traffic jams or squeeze on public transportation. Not only employees, but also (and perhaps especially) employers, who have been almost forced to send employees to the so-called home office. And here it is worth noting that the wording is definitely better remote work Than home office, Because, after all, you do not need to work from home at all! In fact, remote work can be working from anywhere in the world, because what does it matter if you connect from your home in Lodz or from your veranda in the Canary Islands? This is probably the best of the few pluses of the passing year.
Looking for a complete list of things to take with you on a trip? We recommend our post What to take on vacation? Where you can find more details on how and what to pack. In addition, you can download there free letter template To pack for yourself and/or for the whole family.
In this post, we want to focus on what to take with you on a trip that is less of a tourist trip and more of a "work" trip. Because, while we practically treated each of our trips more businesslike and took with us a ton of equipment including even 3 laptops (!), to the extent that we have now noticed a trend that more and more people are starting to work in "home office" somewhere on the go (of course, more closer than further away, these days). And this is great! 🙂
List of things for remote work away from home
So here's a list of things and equipment to take with us on the road to make it easier for us to work remotely.
We base here on our several years of experience 🙂 We've been through quite a few laptops, tablets, smartphones and we already have our favorites when it comes to working in different, sometimes quite difficult, conditions
If you have any additional suggestions, feel free to add them in the comments!
Laptop for remote work in the field
Probably many of you have no choice but to work on company equipment. Perhaps you don't even have the option to switch to a private laptop because that's company policy and accessing various internal applications wouldn't be possible from other equipment.
However, if you do not have such a limitation, it is of course a good idea to invest in a decent piece of equipment that will serve you for both business work and private affairs.
What we think should characterize a good laptop for remote work in the field?
- First of all, low weight, no more than 1.5 kg. Of course, the less the better. We would never expect to pay so much attention to weight. We already know what professional cyclists feel when they buy super hyper-light saddles 😉
- Battery life. Well, a corporate laptop that holds max 2 hours without a charger is a bad idea 🙂 Optimum is 8 hours of battery life. Of course, you need to take into account the times declared by manufacturers.
- Size also matters. This time the less the better 😉 In general, we are proponents of working on large screens, but when traveling you have to compromise. Such 14 inches is probably a good compromise here. It is also important to remember that, for example. 14 inches does not equal another 14-inch screen. The casing and the frame around the screen are also important here, for example.
- USB-C connector. In general, for us it is now a standard for compatibility of many devices (which we will also write about below) and very fast data transfer, so the laptop must have such an input. Of course, other ports are also needed, but here already very much depends on individual preferences and needs.
- Full HD resolution is the bare minimum, but at the same time the bare minimum is enough. Both in terms of ergonomics of work, but also satisfaction with a good quality display.
- SSD is also essential for the equipment to work quickly and efficiently. Nowadays it's already a standard in such equipment, so great. The disk space itself is also a very individual parameter. For us, they do not need to be super-capacious, because we reinforce external drives anyway.
- Touch screen? We had on the previous hardware and strongly praised, except for the constantly dirty screen. Currently we no longer have it and somehow we live 🙂
Of course, laptops have thousands of other parameters. However, we don't touch them anymore, because often to a large extent these are either no longer significant sub-points for most of you, or, conversely, the most essential elements that prevail over the purchase of a particular model.
Our proven choice: Currently, we take the Huawei MateBook D 14 (53010ECR) and Apple Macbook Pro 13 (2018) on our travels. Both devices are handy and lightweight. Huawei is a great piece of lower-end equipment (we bought it in a promo for less than £2,000), which is perfect for everyday work, but also for photo processing. Macbook Pro 13 is already definitely a more powerful machine, but very powerful, suitable for video editing in addition to graphics.
Definitely our discovery of the year!
Seemingly a simple matter, but not everyone thinks about it. We personally can't work on a laptop without a mouse, and during trips (especially the more mobile ones) we often had a dilemma whether to take a mouse with the laptop, because it's another piece of equipment, on top of that one that can easily break… However, according to us, it makes work very easy and nowadays we don't move without a mouse.
However, what such a mouse should have and what to pay attention to?
- It should be wireless – preferably without any micro USB (as long as your equipment allows it), because this, on the one hand, blocks the USB ports, and on the other hand, such an accessory can be easily lost, forgotten about.
- It should be not too big, but not too small 😉 Well, because we are not talking about gaming mice with tons of buttons, but we also do not want some miniature mouse for kindergarteners 😉
- On top of that, it's worth it if it's lightweight, although here it's rather difficult to get heavy equipment.
- It must be durable! Carrying in a backpack, constantly on the go… well, and kids on the horizon who love to "click" and drop… 🙂
- Ideally, so that it works without problems on any table, without a pad.
- And, of course, it must work efficiently, have no lag, etc. Which is also in large part due precisely to the surface on which we work.
And here the fanfare! Thanks to our cooperation with Logitech, we discovered the MX Anywhere 3 mouse. We tested it in many conditions (even on the beach!) and we ourselves are surprised, because we did not expect that seemingly only a mouse, and so much can improve the comfort of work 🙂
It's solidly built and on top of that it literally works on any surface! Literally! Working on the knee, blanket, etc. is not a problem at all. Even on small surfaces, like a coffee table, there is no problem with stable and comfortable operation. The big advantage of this model is the ability to connect to multiple devices and easily switch between already paired computers.
And here we have to admit that once the choice of a mouse was a strongly secondary issue for us. Admittedly, we also chose Logitech, but more basic versions. However, after trying the aforementioned model, already those others are not so cool 😉 So, we have our wonder, which is definitely worth the price! Thanks to Logitech!
Power bank – for difficult moments
No, we're not talking about powering up the phone when we're sitting in a coffee shop here. Although yes, also in such situations, of course, power bank can be used (but why when you can charge from a laptop?).
However, we wanted to mention the power bank as a piece of equipment that can save our remote work. Because it happened to us more than once that just thanks to the power bank we were able to work a little longer on the laptop. Yes yes yes! You can charge your laptop this way too.
We've gone through a lot of equipment of this kind, from Chinese gadgets that can't stay charged for 24 hours to more expensive equipment, and at the moment we are most satisfied (and continue to use) a power bank from Huawei, the Super Charge CP12S. Thanks to the fact that it has a USB-C port, it can power faster not only our phones, but precisely our laptops, using this socket.
Our proven type: Power Bank HUAWEI SuperCharge CP12S 12000 mAh
Personally, we don't take wireless headphones with us when we travel. Only somewhere on the bottom of the backpack we have standard headphones attached to phones, just in case they are needed. Sometimes we take a small bluetooth speaker with us. However, we know that for many people headphones are essential equipment.
On our trips not combined with remote work, we work at laptops only when the children are asleep, and if you also happen to sit during the day then you still need to keep your ears open 🙂 In addition, such things as. Video editing (where headphones and good quality ones are rather necessary already ;)) we have not dealt with so far on trips, because there is simply not enough time for that.
However, if in your work you often have tele- or videoconferencing, then without headphones you will not move. And in such cases we waste space to carry business large headphones with microphone, and just use standard headphones with microphone for the phone. The only thing worth doing here is to make sure that your laptop has a proper input for headphones, or you will be left with using a smartphone (which is not at all a worse option – it's just worth making sure to place the smartphone, not hold it in your hands, and to have constant power, because video in particular eats up the battery at an alarming rate).
Your proven type: If you have any types for good quality wireless headphones (preferable in-ear) that work well for travel and home office then we will be grateful for the bearings 🙂
Smartphone – a non-obvious type!
This is such obvious equipment that no one thinks about it.
Due to the fact that the phone on the go is always our main equipment (from holding travel plans, as a payment card or, of course, the main camera and video camera) we definitely bet on top-of-the-line equipment. This way, we are sure that it will serve us longer and will not fail on the go.
But why are we writing about a smartphone as a tool for remote work in the field? No, we don't mean answering phone calls here 😛 But the aforementioned video conferencing as much as possible.
The first reason is that once we have a video conference of some kind, even if we are sitting at a laptop, it is often much easier and more convenient for us to call in from a phone than from a laptop (where we also have a camera, of course). Do not ask why 🙂 We don't know, it just worked out that way for us. Maybe it is simply the possibility of moving more flexibly during the? Or separating work from talk? Or something a'la second screen…?
Well. The other thing is that the smartphone can quietly serve as a second screen in the field. We mostly use to view some tables/documents or even emails.
But the phone can also replace a laptop if someone is not very demanding, plus works anyway, for example. in a Googled environment and does not need advanced applications. Blog entries can be written this way too 🙂 Add to it only a wireless keyboard or mouse and we have a mini workstation (the biggest drawback remains the small screen.).
As for phones, we currently use a Samsung S10 and Huawei P30 Pro. The set is no longer the most recent, but it still works perfectly. Samsung has a great camera and video recording (stabilization!), Huawei for this sweeps in night photography and is almost an armored phone (we will not count how many falls it has already survived).
As for the keyboard for the phone, on the other hand, we no longer use it nowadays (because laptops won), but we used to take such a small one with twice the size of the phone (or more like half of a tablet) on every trip. But looking at the solutions currently available on the market, there are now a lot of cooler options.
Our proven type: If we were to buy phones now we would probably go for the top Samsungs and Huaweie, if in the latter case there were no problems with Google apps. Apple as a phone, however, does not convince us strongly, we once used a few years, but still in this issue Android won (although for Kamila ease of use and security still in favor of apple) 🙂
And, at the very end, a very important gadget to think about well in advance.
It's still hard to get all the equipment you use to have the same standard of cabling, but even so, it's much better now than it was just a few years ago. It's important to simply pay attention to this when buying your next hardware, so that you carry fewer cables with you later on.
All the equipment we mentioned above that we use have USB-C ports so we can reduce the number of cables, and the various gadgets are compatible between all the equipment.
You already have everything? Remember the most important thing!
So about security! Because working remotely only makes sense if we are able to work from a secure location, using a secured network, with the addition of a VPN 😉
Especially if you work on sensitive data or have access to internal or confidential company data, it is extremely important that no unauthorized person has access to it.
So make sure that someone from the table next to you can not peep or eavesdrop on what you are doing, and even more so, you should use secure internet so that no one can prank you, after all, it can end up with serious consequences in the workplace.
The topic of security is a river topic, definitely for a separate entry (let's add back'ups or working in the cloud, for example). If you would like to read about it, let us know in the comments 🙂
We hope you will find our list useful. Even if you don't really want or can travel much now, even for the future. Because we also strongly hope that remote work will stay with us for much longer nothing the whole current situation and we will be given the opportunity to work from a paradise beach somewhere in the Maldives 🙂
Just remember that hardware is not everything. Your commitment, flexibility, as well as safety and ergonomics of your work also counts.