5 Office Essentials to Have When Working From Anywhere
Are you working remotely and also a frequent traveler?If you are new to remote working or are a serious nomad, it’s no mystery that now is the perfect time to blend remote working with traveling.
Let’s face it – life’s much more different than it was 15 years ago. Many companies have opened arms toward working remotely. The internet has become more accessible and powerful even in remote areas, and work equipment like laptops and keyboards have become more lightweight. What does it all add up to? The perfect remote work & travel combination.
We’ve put together a list of office essentials to have when you’re working remotely. Whether from a nearby coffee shop or a private villa in the Bahamas, these objects will cover your work needs while keeping you lightweight!
Ok, so this might be the most obvious one while also the most important one.
The laptop is where your work will happen. All of it. If you’re budgeting your work travel equipment, we recommend putting the bulk of your budget into this one.
There are so many types of laptops and nowadays that it’s hard to choose the right one. If you’re not tech-savvy, here are a few guidelines:
- Choose laptops with SSDs. This will ensure that your laptop will load fast when compared to classic HDD ones. Bonus points if the SSD is M2 type, this being the newest and fastest type.
- Have at least 4GB of RAM. RAM is basically a dedicated memory for stuff going on right now on your laptop. The higher it is, the more your laptop can load and process. There is a diminishing return point for work laptops – we recommend a bare minimum of 4 GBs up to 16GBs.
- Battery time is important. You may not always be near a power outlet, so check reviews for the battery life of the chosen laptop. Look for “screen on time” when reading about the battery longevity.
- Bluetooth connectivity. This is a great addition if you’re looking to hook up wireless devices such as mice, keyboards, headphones, and mobile phones.
- Make sure it has a microphone and webcam incorporated. Calls are inevitable in the workplace, so you definitely need a way to connect to these and participate. Many laptops have this by default, but the quality of them varies. A 720p webcam will ensure you can be seen good enough, and on the microphone side, check reviews online – but most are ok for basic work needs.
Close your eyes. Imagine a Starbucks coffee shop in a busy place. What comes to mind besides the lounge music? No, not the coffee smell or the comfy chairs – the noise. People packed in the shop, some on their cell phones talking loudly to their friends and all that while the baristas are yelling out the names of the people that ordered.
Not an ideal place to concentrate or have a call is it? Well, it’s not ideal if you’re not equipped for the occasion.
Headphones are saving graces in situations like this one. They let you filter out background noise and let you do your thing. Here is what we look at for good headphones:
- Go wireless. It’s so much cleaner to not have cables being tangled up when working. Many headphone manufacturers have at least one wireless/Bluetooth model. Check the battery life when choosing the one.
- Noise-canceling is a blessing. Noise-canceling, or ANC as you will see noted in some sites, is the headphone’s ability to filter out the majority of outside noise. Many brands advertise noise-canceling, but from our experience, go for Bose or Sony – they have the best ANC technology that we’ve tested.
- Size matters. Traveling means being efficient, so we recommend looking at the headphones’ size as well when choosing it. It may even be a good idea to choose earphones instead, such as the Air Pods.
We will refrain from making the typical “no, no the cheese-eating rodent” joke and cut right to the chase. You need a mouse. Whatever type of work you do, that work directly benefits from you having a mouse. Trackpads are great but mice are greater.
- Go wireless here as well. It’s so much cleaner to not have dongles floating everywhere. Wireless mice are the norm nowadays for work, so look for one with long battery life, and, maybe more important, look for ones that are rechargeable with USB! It’s a pain to rely on batteries, both in logistical terms as well as ecological ones.
- Touch it before buying it (if you can). Mice come in various sizes and shapes. Some are specifically designed for left-handed people, while others have strange “ergonomic” designs that help your hand not be tired. Whatever your preference is, we highly recommend “squeezing” it in a store before buying it. It’s a special bond that needs to be tried before committing to it.
- Docking station
Docking stations are connectivity hubs for your laptop. Basically, they add extra USB, HDMI, ethernet, or whatever else ports you need. It’s super helpful when you have more than 2 devices and a modern laptop because modern laptops are dropping ports each generation.
Decide on the docking station you need based on price and the ports you require.
- A travel backpack
Serial travelers are mostly also backpackers. A backpack will hold everything you need to travel, as well as your equipment! Pick one that is resistant, has a lot of space, and has a dedicated laptop pouch. Just remember, laptop pouches are made after screen sizes, so choose one in which your laptop will fit.
These are the office essentials that we recommend to have a successful remote work travel adventure. While there are many other gadgets that can make work life easier, each adds weight to your luggage. These are the ones that we can’t live without.
Honorable mentions to wireless keyboards, portable monitors, mouse pads, and USB lamps.