How to Work Anywhere you Want
Why tie yourself down to an office and a desk? With the right technology, you can be more productive working anywhere you want: at home, in the office, with clients or even in a local coffee shop.
Mobile working can make you more productive and responsive to customers, as well as helping you achieve a better work/life balance. Indeed, this kind of personal freedom is the reason why many people decide to start their own business in the first place. It’s important to get the right notebook and to be able to get online using Wi-Fi or 3G mobile broadband. Mobile working also gives you access to your files and the latest forms of communication, such as instant messaging and blogs, whenever you need them.
Mobile working checklist
Understand the benefits.
One of the reasons you’re starting your own business is to have more flexibility and freedom. HP research in the UK found that 46 percent of respondents said they would be happier if they had the option of working from home. The good news is that IT can let you work wherever and whenever you want. You can reduce commuting, spend more time with clients, solve problems faster, use ‘downtime’ to get work done and be more responsive to business opportunities.
Choose the right equipment.
Look for a notebook PC that has plenty of battery life and which is light enough for you to carry around easily. It helps if your chosen notebook has the option of built-in 3G mobile broadband. (Broadband connections require separately purchased wireless data service contracts. Check with your local service provider for coverage and availability.) Look for robust, well-designed hardware.
Ensure data security.
Notebooks are portable, which means they are also easy to steal or to leave behind absent-mindedly. If you store confidential or personal information on your notebook, make sure it is encrypted. It’s also a good idea to use a well-padded, plain bag to transport your notebook to protect it from knocks and drops. Use a security cable to lock your notebook down if you leave it unattended, for example in hotel rooms or overnight in the office.
When you are away from your office, there are two main ways to get on the internet. One option is your notebook’s built-in Wi-Fi wireless network adaptor. It will let you connect to internet connection points. For example, many coffee shops, airports and hotels charge for wireless connection. The other option is 3G mobile broadband. This uses the mobile phone network to get online. Some notebooks have built-in adaptors and antennas – all you have to do is buy a SIM card and pay a phone provider for the connection. Alternatively, you can buy an add-on modem, which plugs into your notebook and connects to the internet, but an internal adaptor gives better reception and it’s one less thing to remember when you go out. The advantage of 3G mobile broadband over Wi-Fi is that you can connect virtually anywhere you can get a signal. The disadvantage is that you have to pay a phone company for the connection, just like a mobile phone, so it can be more expensive.
Use software to stay in touch.
Once you can work anywhere and connect anywhere, you can use communications tools such as email, Twitter, blogs, internet telephony (such as Skype) or instant messaging (such as Windows Live Messenger), social or business networking (such as Facebook or LinkedIn) to stay in touch with your customers, colleagues and suppliers.
Access files remotely.
If you need to take your work with you and synchronise it when you get back to the office, Microsoft Windows Vista and Windows 7 have a built-in Sync Centre to do this. Alternatively, you can use an internet-based extranet site (such as Basecamp), collaboration software (such as Microsoft Office Groove 2007) or an online file sharing service (such as Microsoft’s free Live Mesh). If you buy a server later on, you can use a virtual private network (VPN) to connect to your company network and files over the internet, just as if you were back in the office.
3G Mobile Broadband lets you get online at high speed with your notebook. Because it uses the 3G mobile phone network, you connect virtually anywhere – not just when you’re near a Wi-Fi connection point or in the office. The extra speed means that you can download files and emails much quicker.
Notebooks with 3G Mobile Broadband help keep your business on the go. All of HP’s p and w series notebooks are Mobile Broadband ready, meaning you can buy them with 3G or upgrade later, while all s and b series notebook PCs offer Mobile Broadband as an option, meaning you can buy with them with 3G or upgrade later.
For more information
This business advice article published in association with HP. Find out more about HP Laptops, Tablets, Desktops, Printers & Servers