Connecting From Anywhere: Tips for the Modern Road Warrior

This post originally appeared on June 20, 2013 in ShoreTelSky’s blog here.

Simon Dudley, Video Evangelist, LifeSize

It’s often said that good communication is the key to success in business, but keeping up the lines of said communication can be tough when your job takes you out on the road for long stretches at a time.  After all, you often don’t appreciate how useful it is to be in touch with the home office until you’re out on your own.

Fortunately for all you road warriors out there, there’s an ever-growing market of great gadgets and tools that can keep you in touch with HQ, whether you’re in Auburn, Alabama or Walla Walla, Washington.  Consider adding the following items to your repertoire, if you haven’t already:

Mobile hotspot. There’s nothing more annoying than sitting down to do some work and finding you haven’t got a web connection.  These days, without reliable internet, your laptop is basically a futuristic-looking brick.  The good news is that with a mobile hotspot, you can connect to the internet from anywhere.  If you’ve got an Android device, you can simply download an app to turn your phone into a hotspot, but there are also prepaid hotspots like this one from Virgin Mobile available at reasonable prices.

Backup phone battery. Make sure your phone is charged when you need it by bringing along a rechargeable backup battery.  Brookstone offers this Swiss army knife of a model, while for the more fashion-conscious business traveler, there’s this iPhone-specific number from J Crew. Speaking of batteries, it’s always a good idea to bring along another one for your laptop.  Better safe than sorry.

Video conferencing on your phone or laptop. Probably the single best tool for keeping in touch with the home office, mobile video conferencing turns your smartphone, laptop, or tablet into a go-anywhere conferencing endpoint.  Put in some face time with your colleagues, share data, attend and record meetings, and a whole lot more with solutions like this one from LifeSize.

A talk-to-text app. In addition to the fact that texting while driving is unsafe, in many areas,  it’s also illegal – so business travelers who spend a lot of time behind the wheel should get in the habit of leaving the device alone while driving.  Instead, find a talk-to-text app that converts your speech into text.  You’ll be able to send text messages and emails without having to fiddle with a bunch of buttons – or get hit with an expensive ticket.

Staying connected while on the road has never been easier. With new communication tools like these, you can be in touch with your office and your family no matter where you are – keeping you sane and productive in the process.

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