Admit it, who would rather work in a coastal tavern or on a terrace with a beautiful view of the mountains instead of in an office or on a home balcony? The year 2020, like no other, has made this even more possible!
Can you? You can! In 2020, I think most of us have learned that you don’t necessarily have to work in an office to which you drive frequently across town in traffic jams or squeezed by public transportation. Not only employees, but also (and perhaps especially) employers who have been almost forced to send employees to the so-called home office have found out. And here it is worth emphasizing that the phrase remote work is definitely better than home office, because you don’t have to work from home at all! In fact, remote work can be working from anywhere in the world, because what does it matter if you connect from your home in Lodz or from your veranda in the Canary Islands? This is probably the best of the few pluses of the past year.
Looking for a complete list of things to take with you on your trip? We recommend our post
What to take on vacation?
where you’ll find more details on how and what to pack. In addition, you can download there a free packing list template for yourself and/or the whole family.
In this post, we want to focus on what to bring with you on a trip that is less of a tourist trip and more of a “work” trip. Because, while we used to treat practically every trip we took more like a business trip and took a ton of equipment with us including up to 3 laptops (!), we have now noticed a trend that more and more people are starting to work in a“home office” somewhere while away (obviously more closer than further away, these days). And it’s great! :)
Table of contents
List of things to do when working remotely from home
That’s why below is a list of things and equipment to bring with you when you travel to make it easier for you to work remotely.
We are basing here on our several years of experience :) We’ve been through quite a few laptops, tablets, smartphones and we already have our favorites when it comes to working in different, sometimes quite difficult, conditions
If you have any additional suggestions, go ahead and add them in the comments!
Laptop for remote work in the field
Probably many of you have no choice but to work on company equipment. Perhaps you don’t even have the option to switch to a private laptop because that’s company policy and accessing various internal applications would not be possible from other hardware.
However, if you don’t have such a limitation, it’s obviously a good idea to invest in a decent piece of equipment that will serve you for both business and personal matters.
What, in our opinion, should characterize a good laptop for remote work in the field?
- First of all, low weight, no more than 1.5 kg. Of course, the less the better. We would never have expected to pay so much attention to weight. We already know what professional cyclists feel when they buy super hyper lightweight saddles ;-)
- Battery life. Well, a corporate laptop that keeps max 2 hours without a charger is a bad idea :-) The optimum is 8 hours of battery life. Of course, one has to take into account the manufacturers’ declared times.
- Size matters, too. This time the less the better ;) In general, we are in favor of working on large screens, but when traveling you have to compromise. Such 14 inches is probably not a bad compromise here. It is also important to remember that, for example, 14 inches does not equal another 14-inch screen. At least the casing and the bezel around the screen are also important here.
- USB-C connector. In general, for us it is now the standard for compatibility of many devices (which we will also write about below) and very fast data transfer, so the laptop must have such an input. Of course, other ports are also needed, but here it very much depends on individual preferences and needs.
- Full HD resolution is the bare minimum, but at the same time sufficient. Both in terms of ergonomics, but also in terms of satisfaction with a good quality display.
- An SSD is also essential for the hardware to run quickly and efficiently. These days it’s already standard in such equipment, so great. The disk area itself is also a very individual parameter. For us, they don’t need to be super-capacious, because we rely on external drives anyway.
- A touchscreen? We had on our previous equipment and strongly praised it, except for the constantly dirty screen. Currently we don’t have any more and somehow we live :)
Of course, laptops have thousands of other parameters. However, we don’t touch on them anymore, because they are often largely either sub-points that are no longer significant to most of you, or, conversely, the most essential elements that prevail over the purchase of a particular model.
Our Proven Choice: We currently take the Huawei MateBook D 14 (53010ECR) and the Apple Macbook Pro 13 (2018) on trips. Both pieces of equipment are handy and lightweight. Huawei is a great piece of lower-end equipment (we bought it for less than £2,000 in a promo), which is perfect for everyday use, but also for photo processing. Macbook Pro 13 is already a much more powerful machine, but very powerful, suitable for video editing in addition to graphics.
Definitely our discovery of the year!
Seemingly a simple matter, but not everyone thinks about it. We personally can’t work on a laptop without a mouse, and during trips (especially the more mobile ones) we often had the dilemma of whether to take a mouse for the laptop, because it’s another piece of equipment, plus one that can easily break down…. However, according to us, it makes work very easy and nowadays we don’t move without a mouse.
But what should such a mouse have and what to pay attention to?
- It should be wireless – preferably without any micro USB (as long as your equipment allows it), because this, on the one hand, blocks the USB ports, and on the other hand, such an accessory can be easily lost, forgotten.
- It should be not too big, but not too small ;) Well, because we’re not talking about gaming mice with tons of buttons, but we also don’t want some kind of miniature mouse for preschoolers ;)
- On top of that, it is advisable for it to be lightweight, although here it is rather difficult to get heavy equipment.
- It must be durable! Carrying around in a backpack, constantly on the go…. Well, and kids on the horizon who love to “click” and drop…. :)
- Ideally, it should work without problems on any table, without a pad.
- And, of course, it must work efficiently, have no delays, etc. Which is also in large part due precisely to the ground on which we work.
And here the fanfare! Thanks to our partnership with Logitech, we discovered the MX Anywhere 3 mouse. We tested it in many conditions (even on the beach!) and we ourselves are surprised, because we did not expect that seemingly only a mouse, and so much can improve the comfort of work :)
It is solidly built and to top it off, it literally works on any surface! Literally! Working on a knee, blanket, etc. is no problem. Even on small surfaces, like a coffee table, there is no problem with stable and comfortable operation. The big advantage of this model is the ability to connect to multiple devices and easily switch between already paired computers.
And here we must admit that once upon a time the choice of a mouse was a strongly secondary issue for us. Admittedly, we also chose Logitech, but more basic versions. However, after trying the mentioned model, already those others are not so cool ;) So, we have our wonder, which is definitely worth the price! Thanks Logitech! <3
The perfect gift for a traveler for Santa or under the Christmas tree :)
Our tried-and-true pick: the Logitech MX Anywhere 3
Power bank – for hard times
No, we’re not talking about powering up your phone while sitting in a coffee shop here. Although yes, also in such situations, of course, a power bank can be used (but why how can you charge from a laptop?).
However, we wanted to mention the power bank as a piece of equipment that can save our remote work. Because it has happened to us more than once that it was thanks to the power bank that we were able to work a little longer on the laptop. Yes yes yes! The laptop can also be charged this way.
We’ve gone through a lot of equipment of this kind, from Chinese gadgets that can’t stay charged for 24 hours to more expensive equipment, and for the moment we’re most satisfied (and continue to use) a power bank from Huawei, the Super Charge CP12S. Thanks to the fact that it has a USB-C port, it can power not only our phones, but precisely our laptops faster, using this socket.
Our proven type: the HUAWEI SuperCharge CP12S 12000 mAh Power Bank.
Personally, we don’t take wireless headphones with us when we travel. Only somewhere on the bottom of the backpack we have standard headphones attached to phones, just in case they are needed. Sometimes we take a small bluetooth speaker with us. However, we know that for many people headphones are essential equipment.
On our trips not combined with remote work, we work at laptops only when the children are asleep, and if you also happen to sit down during the day then you need to keep your ears open anyway :) In addition, such things as, for example, editing videos (where headphones and good quality ones are rather necessary already ;)) we have not dealt with so far on trips, because there is simply not enough time for that.
However, if your work often involves tele- or video-conferencing, then without headphones you won’t move. And in such cases, we pity the space to carry business-sized headphones with microphones, and simply use standard headphones with a microphone for the phone. The only thing worth doing here is to make sure that your laptop has a suitable input for headphones, or you will be left with using a smartphone (which is not at all an inferior option – it’s just worth making sure to put the smartphone down, not hold it in your hands, and to keep it powered at all times, as video in particular eats up battery power at an alarming rate).
Your tried-and-true type: If you have any types of good-quality wireless headphones (in-ear preferred) that work well for travel and home office then we’d appreciate knowing :)
Smartphone – a non-obvious type!
This is such an obvious piece of equipment that no one thinks about it.
Since the phone on the go is always our main equipment (from holding travel plans, as a payment card or, of course, the main camera and video camera) we definitely bet on high-end equipment. This way, we are assured that it will serve us longer and will not fail us on the go.
But why are we writing about the smartphone as a tool for remote work in the field? No, we’re not talking about answering the phone here :-P But the aforementioned video conferencing as much as possible.
The first reason is that once we have a video conference of some sort, even when we’re sitting at a laptop, it’s often much easier and more convenient for us to dial in from a phone than a laptop (where we also have a camera, of course). Don’t ask why :) We don’t know, it just worked out that way for us. Perhaps it is simply the ability to move more flexibly during? Or separating the work from the conversation? Or something a’la second screen…?
That’s right. The second point is that the smartphone can quietly serve as a second screen in the field. We mostly use to preview some tables/documents or even emails.
But the phone can also replace a laptop if one is not very demanding, plus one works in a Googled environment anyway, for example, and does not need advanced applications. Blog entries can also be easily written this way :) Add to it only a wireless keyboard or mouse and we have a mini workstation (the biggest drawback remains the small screen).
As for phones, we currently use the Samsung S10 and Huawei P30 Pro. The set is no longer the newest, but it still performs perfectly. Samsung has a great camera and video recording (stabilization!), Huawei instead sweeps in night shots and is almost an armored phone (we won’t count how many falls it has already survived).
As for the phone keyboard, on the other hand, we don’t use it anymore these days (because laptops won out), but we used to take such a small one with twice the size of the phone (or more like half of a tablet) on every trip. But looking at the solutions currently available on the market, there are a lot of cooler options now.
Our tried-and-true type: If we were to buy phones now we would probably go for the top Samsungs and Huaweie, if in the latter case there were no problems with Google apps. Apple as a phone, however, does not convince us strongly, we once used a few years, but, however, in this edition Android won (although for Kamila ease of use and security still in favor of apple) :)
And at the very end, a very important gadget that you need to think about well in advance.
It’s still hard to get all the equipment you use to have the same standard of wiring, but even so, it’s a lot better these days than it was just a few years ago. It’s important to simply pay attention to this when buying your next equipment, so that you carry fewer cables with you later.
All the equipment we mentioned above that we use have USB-C ports so we can reduce the number of cables, and the various gadgets are compatible between all the equipment.
Do you already have everything? Remember the most important thing!
That is, about security! Because it only makes sense to work remotely if we are able to work from a secure location, using a secured network, with the addition of a VPN ;)
Especially if you work on sensitive data or have access to internal or confidential company data, it is extremely important that no unauthorized person has access to it.
So you should make sure that someone from the table next to you can’t peep or eavesdrop on what you are doing, and even more so, you should use secure Internet so that no one can prank you, after all, it could end up with serious consequences in the workplace.
The topic of security is a river topic, definitely for a separate entry (add to that back’ups, or cloud work, for example). If you would love to read about it then let us know in the comments :)
We hope you find our list useful. Even if you don’t really want or can travel much now, even for the future. Because we also strongly hope that remote work will stay with us for much longer nothing the whole current situation and we will be given the opportunity to work from a paradise beach somewhere in the Maldives :)
Just remember that equipment is not everything. Your commitment, flexibility, as well as safety and ergonomics at work also count.