Many people, for whatever reason, now operate their business while on the move. Whether they are self-employed or work for a company where it is necessary to be on the road all day, there are many advantages to working outside of the office, fresh air included.
Whatever your situation, a mobile office situation may be something you are considering. Here are the advantages and disadvantages to help you decide.
There are advances in technology which enable you to work while on public transport or the comfort of your car. Buses, trains, and airplanes now offer wireless connectivity as you travel, as do airports and train stations.
When driving, it is possible to set up your smartphone as a wireless hotspot, enabling you to connect your laptop or tablet to the wi-fi connection. Alternatively, you could use a mobile router though be aware that it will need charging, occasionally.
When selling items to clients while on the move, cash may not be readily available, but you can take plastic payments using free credit card processing equipment. Alternatively, services such as Paypal enable you to receive and transfer money easily.
It can be frustrating when your phone cuts out during an important business call. By purchasing a signal booster, which attaches to the top of your car, you need never worry about losing contact, no matter how remote the location.
For most people, the car isn’t always very spacious to manage an office space, considering your laptop, mobile printer and cup of coffee needs to go somewhere. However, by pushing the seats back and attaching a special laptop desk to the steering wheel, this issue is partly alleviated.
Many libraries and cafes now provide free wi-fi to customers. In most cases, you don’t even need to sit inside the venue as being outside in the car park will do. However, considering you will need to plug your laptop into a power outlet occasionally, there is no harm in working inside the building. It is less cheeky, too.
Running a mobile office will keep costs down. Fuel or ticket prices shouldn’t be an issue if you needed to travel anyway. While it may be wise to invest in the technology already mentioned, you will be saving money elsewhere. There will be no need to pay rent on an office space. You won’t need to pay for an expensive phone line, and electricity bills won’t be an issue. The money you save can be spent on fuel, extra equipment or even giving you the option to hire a new employee.
With the advances in cloud technology, you don’t need to be in an office space to share important documents and files. By uploading your work on a cloud service such as Dropbox, you can collaborate with others in real-time.
Using Skype, or similar video conferencing software, you can communicate with multiple clients or colleagues at the same time.
By being on the road, especially in a car, working alone can be a lonely place to be. You might miss the friendly conversation and banter that comes from working in an office. On the flipside, you will also avoid those annoying office politics, so it isn’t all bad. There may be plenty of people to talk to while on public transport, but they could also be a distraction while you are trying to work.
It can be hard to stay motivated when managing your own time. If a deadline is a few days away, you may be tempted to procrastinate, and spend a day doing something you prefer, such as going shopping or seeing a movie. By doing this, you are only adding to your workload as it won’t magically disappear, so you need some willpower.
If you regularly use a library or cafe to work in, there may be times when they are closed. They may also be busy and very noisy. The cafe staff may also get wise to you accessing their wi-fi without actually buying anything, so they may call the authorities to remove you.
The safety of yourself and your equipment is important. By travelling publically, there is a greater risk of your property being stolen.
Finally, while it is good not to be tied down to office hours, this can also be a bad thing. Some people prefer a start and end time to their day, so while working on the move, you may end the day at unsociable hours, cutting down on family and leisure time.
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