business travelTechnology has certainly done its share to make the world a smaller place, with communication over long distances, not only possible, but also done quickly, easily and cheaply. Today it is nothing special to hold video or phone conferences with people from other countries, or employees to work for a company that is in an entirely different state.

But while communication is now a lot easier, there are still things that need to be done in person. When that happens, a video conference won’t cut it, and people will have to pack up their bags and travel a bit. But technology comes to the rescue again as on the road does not mean dropping everything back at the office. On the contrary, if you need to take your work with you when you are on the road you certainly can, and do something productive on those on layovers at the airport.

If you to take your work with you, you will have to address four basic needs. There are others, but you can do without them in a pinch. Order to be able to work away from the office you will need:

  1. Internet Access –Staying connected in the internet is relatively easy if you are just staying in a hotel, since most hotels provide Wi-Fi. The problem is when you are actually mobile, such as riding in a train, or writing at the airport, or if the rate for the Wi-Fi at your hotel is too expensive. You will need a reliable connection so going to the park or coffee shop to find free Wi-Fi hotspots will not do. For a reliable connection you will need to get yourself a mobile hotspot, letting you stay connected anywhere and let you connect multiple devices at the same time.
  2. Access to your files –Keeping a copy of your files on external hard disks or flash drives is a good idea, but this means added things to bring along, and these devices may very well get lost or damaged during the trip. The simplest way to access files from the office would be by using a cloud storage system. This way you can access your files from any device as long as it is connected.
  3. Safety – As this is not a need that is immediately apparent, it is taken for granted most of the time, but you will need to keep your files and information private and safe from other people, especially during the times when you can’t avoid using public Wi-Fi. Configuring your devices security and firewall settings is the first step in ensuring your data remains private, but the best solution would be to get a VPN or virtual private network. That way all the information that enters and leaves your device is encrypted and remains private.
  4. Power – The need to stay charged is more acute when you are on the road as you can’t simply plug your device in whenever you want. Without power, you won’t be able to use your device, which means no emails, or VoIP calls and you can forget about editing that PowerPoint presentation as well At the very least make sure your device is fully charged before you leave. For added power you can bring along an extra battery, or a powerbank and a travel charger kit and voltage adaptor will help with the different types of wall sockets.

There are many other things to help you work comfortably on the road, such as lightweight equipment designed for to be portable and frugal with its battery life, or the dozens of apps out there, but once you have taken care of the four basic requirements, you should be able to conduct business wherever you are.