Lessons learned from the mobile workspace
I worked out of my van for over a year before I settled in Utah. With the evolution of technology, working anywhere is easier than ever before - but there's some important details to keep in mind before you set out on your next big adventure.
My experience coupled with the many people I met along the way taught me a lot about the do's and don'ts of the mobile workspace.
Do - Consolidate Your Tech
When I first started using my mobile workspace, I had a huge compartment filled with random cords, hard drives, and devices. This was not ideal. Space is one thing you never take for granted when living in a van.
The clunkiness and weight of laptops is frustrating when you're trying to work outside or in compact locations. Not to mention the times when you simply want a screen to read a book or FaceTime your family.
My friend has been living in her van for over three years and has a Brydge Pro for her 12.9-inch iPad Pro that she uses as her primary work device while traveling. With tablet's becoming more advanced, the versatility of a 2-in-1 device is ideal for working on the road.
Don't - Get too Close to that Deadline
I learned this lesson the hard way. Assuming that you will have service or that nothing unexpected will come up a couple hours before a deadline is a dangerous move.
I recommend aiming to have your work complete a day before the deadline (especially if you're in a remote location). This will allow for plenty of time to change locations or sort out any unexpected roadblocks.
Do - Get a Mobile Hotspot
If you don't get a portable hotspot, I would at least make sure you have an unlimited data plan. Flexibility is essential when working on the road. If a co-worker needs something sent over ASAP, you'll want to connect your tablet or laptop to a hotspot and send that email immediately.
Don't - Forget About Service
Depending on where you're going, you'll want to check if the location has service, and if it doesn't, plan ahead. When I traveled to Baja, Mexico, I assumed many places had service until I arrived and realized the service was extremely slow or non-existent.
Learning from my mistakes, I made sure to take full-advantage of when I had good reception. If I knew I would be in a questionable area, I would download documents I needed to work on and even screenshot web pages I needed for research.
Do - Protect Your Gear
Whether your gear is tech, mountain bikes, or both, protecting it is critical when traveling. Not only from theft, but also from it bouncing around and the overall wear-and-tear that comes from constant movement.
If it's tech you need to keep safe, I recommend looking into some quality protective case options. Brydge has a great leather collection that I love. It's functional, simple, and is made of quality leather.
Brydge Leather Organizer
If you're designing or building your rig out from scratch, keep in mind what you need to store. If you've got a lot of tech equipment, create a space for it to sit snug while you drive. For my surfboards, I built a compartment long enough to slide them in and out, but with minimal space on the sides to avoid any dings.
Working on the road allows you to experience new and beautiful places without sacrificing productivity. As rewarding as it is, it's also challenging. Prepping before-hand and having a strategy for your tech is the best way to guarantee success and avoid last-minute stress.