18 Dec The Ultimate Road Warrior’s Survival Guide
These days, with laptops, tablets, smart phones and virtual office options like Go-To Office, Webex and Skype, the traditional office has changed before our very eyes. And this transformation is paving the way for Work Anywhere programs, telecommuting and home offices. But the truth is, for entrepreneurs, executives, sales reps and many others, that traveling for work remains an indispensable part of work life. The true road warrior is a unique breed of worker with a unique set of challenges when it comes to ergonomics, productivity and well being. So, whether you find yourself working at a customer site, attending an off-site meeting, working in a cafe, plane, train, automobile, hotel or any other make-shift-office-on-the-go, listen up! These tips can help to make all the difference in the world!
Offsite Locations: Getting set up with good ergonomics can be particularly challenging since your environment is constantly changing. The one constant in the travel equation is you! So, here are some great accessories to help you create a comfy work set up no matter where you find yourself working!
- Laptop & Tablet Stands: Laptops and tablets are a dream when it comes to portability, but a disaster for your neck, back and shoulders. Try using a stand for your laptop or tablet and use an external keyboard and mouse. You’ll be amazed at what a difference this can make! Some of our favorites are the GoldTouch Go! Travel Notebook and Tablet Stand, the Fellowes Booklift Copyholder and the Cricket Laptop Stand
- Portable Keyboards & Mice: The trick to successfully using keyboards and mice with your laptop or tablet is choosing ones that are portable and easy to use. Here some great portable keyboard solutions to check out: Goldtouch Go! Travel Keyboard (which is PC, Android, iPad and iPhone compatible), Microsoft Arc Wireless Keyboard, and for anyone who wants their mouse built into their keyboard, check out the Adesso SlimTouch Mini Keyboard with Built-In Touchpad. Two great portable mice are: Microsoft Arc Wireless Mouse and the Belkin Wireless Travel Mouse
- LapDesks: If you want to ensure that you’ll always have a “desktop” – that is comfortable for you, look no further than your lap! Here are some good lapdesks that are portable and affordable: Kensington Xbrand Laptop Lapdesk and the Logitech Portable Lapdesk.
- Inflatable Lumbar Supports: When you don’t have control over what chair you are sitting in, try these inflatable lumbar supports: McKenzie Self Inflating Airback and the Relax the Back Self Inflating Back Cushion
- Carrying Bags: Of course carrying all of this stuff can be a back breaker! Roller bags can make all the difference in the world! For overnight travelers: Kensington Overnight Notebook Roller, for women, Kensington Balance Notebook Roller, and for easy airport travel, CODi CT3 Checkpoint-Tested Mobile Lite Laptop Case.
Ergo On The Go (Literally) For all of you frequent travelers out there, whether you take trains, planes or buses, the following tips will help you!
- Pack economically and only take what you really need. This will lighten your load.
- If your bags are heavy, why not check them!
- Choose luggage with wheels (preferably 360 degrees) and a height adjustable handle.
- Travel often involve a lot of walking, so remember to wear comfortable clothing and supportive shoes!
- Try bringing your own back and/or neck support (small inflatable back cushion or pillow).
- Maintain proper posture. This is especially important if you are going to use your laptop, iPad or smart phone on the airplane. Try using the food tray as your work surface and limit your typing time.
- Stand up and stretch as often as possible. You can also try doing light stretches in your seat.
Hotels: Whether you use your hotel’s business center or get work done in your hotel room, remember that the principals of sound ergonomic practices still apply.
- More and more hotels are paying attention to ergonomics! So don’t be bashful about asking the concierge for an adjustable chair.
- In your room, you can use the ironing board to create an adjustable sit/stand work surface!
- A good night’s sleep can be a challenge on the road. If you are feeling any back strain from your travels, try lying on your back with a pillow underneath your knees.
And remember, when you are on the road, It’s easier than you think to keep up with your exercise routine. Take advantage of your hotel’s amenities such as their exercise room, swimming pool and walking path. Arrange for a guest pass with a local gym. Yoga studios are everywhere and of course running and walking are available 24/7!
Safe Travels & Working Everyone!
If you are a road warrior, please leave us a comment and share what tips you have found to be helpful! Don’t be shy, we can benefit from your experiences!