6 TIPS TO MAXIMIZE TECHNOLOGY PRODUCTIVITY ON THE ROAD
Traveling for business isn’t always easy. Between increased security and reduced airline services, there isn’t much thrill left in business travel. But you can reduce the agony if you plan appropriately. Here are things you can do to maximize your technology productivity on a business trip.
1. Keep essential data and files secure and accessible
Sensitive data on a laptop, smartphone or tablet could cause major problems if your device is stolen or lost on your trip. If necessary to travel with data locally, make sure that you encrypt your hard drive and password protect your devices. Also make sure any needed local data is backed up to the cloud. It is best to remove unnecessary files from your laptop, tablet and smartphone to prevent security breaches.
Cloud storage and collaboration tools such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive and Office 365 let you and your team securely access business data from anywhere.
2. Technology Checklist
Create a checklist of essential technology for mobile productivity, such as your laptop, tablet and smartphone, plus any accessories or peripherals needed (i.e., cables, chargers, batteries and the other extras your devices rely on). If you travel frequently, it’s worth getting a spare of critical accessories item to keep in your luggage.
Charge all your electronics fully the night before you travel, and put these items next to your keys and purse or wallet so that you’ll make sure to pack them. When you are at the airport, take advantage of charging stations to charge up your devices so that you won’t get caught short at a big meeting with a dead laptop. For an added level of protection, carry a portable charger with you (just make sure to charge it before you head out in the morning).
4. Choose the Right Hotel
Make sure your hotel has all the business amenities you’ll need. For instance, is there free wi-fi? Sufficient workspace in guestrooms? A business center you can use for printing, and airline check in to get a boarding pass? Staying at the same hotel chain whenever possible not only helps you accumulate rewards points, but also simplifies your life since you’ll always know what to expect. You’ll typically get checked in faster and enjoy other perks that help you be more productive.
5. Use Flight Time Wisely
Most flights now provide in-flight wi-fi, but can be pricey and very slow. Even if you have the option to go online, is that the best use of those hours of uninterrupted time? You may get more done by working on focused, off-line tasks such as reading business books or writing a proposal. Given the times we live in, there is also the future threat of “laptop” bans, where laptops, and other large electronic devices can be banned from cabins on flights bound for certain destinations.
6. Beware of Public Wi-Fi
Public wi-fi “hotspots” are so widespread and common that people frequently connect to them without thinking twice. Although it sounds harmless to log on and check your social media account or browse some news articles, reading e-mail, checking your bank account — performing any activity that requires a login is risky business on public wi-fi. To stay safe, set up a virtual private network (VPN) to make sure your public wi-fi connections are private. If you don’t have a VPN:
- Don’t log onto a network that isn’t password protected
- Don’t log into any account via an app that requires sensitive information — only visit sites using HTTPS
- Don’t access websites that hold your sensitive information, such as financial or healthcare accounts
- Disable file sharing
- Log out of accounts when done using them
- Don’t leave your wi-fi on if you are not using it