Whether you are a constantly traveling business owner or one of those valued specialists often called in to solve on-site issues, it's important to be a part of the mobile workforce.
Even with a traditional cell phone plan, being able to make and receive calls simply isn't sufficient and the capacity limit on data plans does not account for downloading and uploading documents as part of your daily occupational duties. Finally, most professionals prefer to work on a laptop or high-powered tablet, which do not always have access to the 'phone' style data plan. With a clever combination of services, you can get a very high-capacity 3-5G wifi connection for your favorite work device and (almost) never have to be disconnected again.
Step 1: Get On The Cloud
The first step to becoming free of any stationary tethers is the cloud. By storing your information in your company or personal cloud data hosting service, you can access it from anywhere you have an internet connection. You don't even have to leave your VoIP and Video Conferencing behind, because signal is good enough in most places to communicate with the high quality you're accustomed to in the office. In preparation for becoming completely mobile, try to move as many of your business processes into a network-accessible configuration.
Step 2: A Powerful Hotspot
This is the key component. Several cell phone companies who have deeply invested in the *G high-speed data network are offering non-phone plans along with devices called hotspots. These use the cell phone data network and emit a wifi signal that your laptop, phone, and tablet can connect to. Some phones and tablets can act as hotspots as well, so you'll want to do research on the right plan/device combination for your purposes. Hotspot data limits tend to be much higher and more reasonable than plans intended for phones, but expect to pay business prices for business-sized services.
Step 3: Your Favorite Device
With your hotspot getting signal and charging, you are prepared to travel with a powerful wifi signal wherever you go. Now all you need is your favorite mobile working device. Depending on the kind of work you do and processing requirements for your normal software use, this could range from a light-weight tablet to a 10lbs gaming laptop. In fact, since most hotspots can support more than one device, you could be working with multiple devices, or sharing the hotspot with other professionals who are traveling with you. You may even want to invest in custom device mounts for maximum efficiency and the ability to aim the camera correctly for video calls.
Step 4: Hire a Chauffeur
While we're mostly kidding, don't let this new ability to work on the road interfere with driving safety. These methods are great for connecting from any hotel room, in restaurants and picnic areas, and when you are a passenger in a vehicle or on a ferry. Due to airplane device policies, this method will work at either end of your flight, but not while you are actually in the air. Perhaps eventually self-driving cars will make it completely safe to work while commuting, but for now, remember to use hands-free systems and not to focus on anything inside the car for too long if you are the driver.
Your next business trip could be completely connected. Free of the long periods between towns where there no wifi, you can now check your email, manage files, stay in touch through VoIP and video conferencing AND connect to your cloud-based music collection to fill the empty hours with your favorite tunes.
Curious about more ways to stay connected?