With so many people now working while they travel (and vice versa), it’s important to have the right tools and technology to work on the road. With these five technology hacks, you can create a virtual office that’s easy to take along with you while you travel!
1. A messenger service.
Using an online messenger or chat service will allow you to keep in touch with your colleagues and clients back home. When you’re travelling, you may often find yourself in different time zones to the people you need to speak to, so calling isn’t always an option. But using a messenger service (such as Skype) will ensure that your message is delivered, and that you’ll be notified immediately when you receive a response. This allows you to reply instantly and carry out a much-needed live conversation.
2. A safe browsing service.
We’ve all seen the message when accessing the internet while travelling: ‘This connection is unsecured. Others may be able to see the information you transmit or receive.’ When you’re working while travelling, this is the last thing you want to contend with. You may be dealing with sensitive information and confidential documents, and you don’t want to compromise their security while using a public network.
That’s where a safe browsing service comes in handy. Most often, such a service takes the form of a VPN (Virtual Private Network). This allows you, wherever you are, to use the internet with an encrypted (and therefore safer) connection. VPNs are easy to obtain, and it’s wise to sort one out before you depart on your travels so you know your internet access will be secure while you’re away.
3. Cloud storage.
This is a vital hack for those who need access to their documents while they travel. Transferring all your important files to cloud storage will get them all in the one place, and because the cloud is a web-based system, all you need is the internet to gain access to your files. Furthermore, cloud storage allows you to easily collaborate on documents with colleagues by distance. They’ll be able to access updated files in real time, rather than waiting for an email to come through.
Cloud storage also handy for ensuring any new work or documents don’t get lost while you’re in transit. You can always save your documents safely to the cloud, where you know you can access them again at any time.
4. A virtual number (with voice-to-email function).
You won’t always be accessible via your regular mobile phone while you’re travelling. So to ensure you can still be contacted by anyone, without either party incurring huge distance-call fees, you may want to consider obtaining a virtual number. Providers like Zintel allow you to re-route calls to a virtual number – that is, redirect them anywhere you choose: your phone, your voicemail or one of your colleagues, for example.
Through a virtual number service, you’re often able to have your voicemails converted to emails and sent directly to you as well. This comes in handy while travelling, as you’ll only have to check your emails rather than keeping up-to-date with voice messages too.
5. Electronic faxing.
Despite today’s digital age, sometimes there’s just no getting around the fact that you need access to physical documents, and that’s where faxing is still a relevant and useful service. But when you’re travelling while you work, you won’t always have access to a physical fax machine.
This is where electronic faxing comes in handy. Connecting with a provider such as eFax allows you to securely send and receive faxes wherever you are in the world. Incoming faxes can be directed to your email address, accessed online or within a handy app; outgoing faxes can be sent through all of these mediums, or even from a printer. You can even add an electronic signature to a fax, legitimising documents that might once have had to be physically signed.
With these five handy hacks, you’ll be well on your way to working as productively as possible while you travel. Your workload no longer has to suffer when all this technology is available to help you out!