Work Remotely in Your RV or Trailer This Spring
How to Take Your Job on the Road and the Six Items You’ll Need to Do It.
Warmer weather, longer days, less clouds. Spring is definitely on its way. And with the season planning its arrival, you should consider planning your departure. Spring is a great time to venture out and reacquaint yourself with nature while everything is fresh and blooming again.
And, if you work remote, either as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, from freelancing or for whatever reason, now is a great time to take advantage of being unchained from a physical desk and workspace, and work remote wherever you want. But, before you break out on your “work anywhere” adventure, there are some must-pack items you’ll want to check off before you consider your work remote adventure a go.
Item 1: Laptop
A laptop is a bit of a no-brainer when it comes to a must-have item to work remote. But, it’s important because regardless of what you do or what role you’re in, you’ll need a way to actually “connect” with your co-workers, boss, client, or anyone else. A phone definitely won’t do, and a tablet can be tricky without the right equipment. Even then, you’ll be stuck starring at a screen that’s just too small.
Keep it simple with a lightweight laptop. And, if you want to give your back a break, consider a foldable stand with wireless keyboard and mouse for an experience that feels just like working on a desktop—even if you’re overlooking a mountain top.
Item 2: Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi and a laptop go together like peanut butter and jelly. You really can’t have one without the other, especially when you work remote. What good is a laptop, after all, if you can’t connect to the company Zoom meeting or fire off an email with your edits to a spreadsheet? Reliable Wi-Fi is a must with reliable being the operative word. For that reason, consider getting a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot. You can easily add one to your current mobile plan.
You can also change your mobile plan so you can use your smartphone as a hotspot. Just keep in mind, it will drastically drain your phone’s battery. You can also rely on campground Wi-Fi if you always plan to be at campground. Just consider using a VPN if your company doesn’t provide one. A VPN is a Virtual Private Network, and it provides secure access to a remote computer over the internet.
Item 3: Signal Booster
Depending on how ‘remote’ you plan to be, you might need to invest in a signal booster. A signal booster does just what you expect, it boosts the signal on your smartphone or mobile device in places where your signal will really need it think Yellowstone National Park or the Badlands of North Dakota.
A signal booster is relatively inexpensive, easy to install and use, and will help ensure that all-important call with a potential client doesn’t drop (and your hopes along with it).
Item 4: Cloud Storage
The last thing you’ll likely want to see on your work remote spring excursion is a cloud, but it’s one of the first things you’ll want—a digital one that is. Cloud storage is a great way to protect and store all your working files and documents without having to add or buy physical storage to your laptop. Most companies provide a cloud storage account for employees to use, but if not, or if you’re freelancing, consider signing up for a plan.
Dropbox and other major cloud services even offer some free plans with limited storage if you don’t have large files. Sign up and upload your files and you’ll ensure you never have a rainy day trying to replicate files if you’re laptop crashes or fails.
Item 5: Workspace
Just because you’re working remote doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still have a workspace. It’s nice to have a desk or a table or some place—be it in your trailer or RV or even at a campground picnic table—that you can define as “the place where I get work done.” It helps you focus and is better for you physically. The name laptop is almost a misnomer today because placing one on your lap for an extended period of time gets uncomfortable quickly.
If you’re using your own personal RV, consider making a DIY desk space, either in a bedroom or from the dinette space. Get an ergonomic chair and, as mentioned above, a stand for your laptop so you won’t be stooping your back or bending your neck. You’ll still be logging in a workday’s worth of hours, so invest in some comfort.
Item 6: Accountability and Flexibility
Hiking trails and canyons, rivers and lakes—they’re all great but they can be a distraction when you have work to do. That’s where accountability comes in. No, it isn’t a tangible item, but you’ll definitely need it if you plan to work remote this spring. You won’t have a boss checking to see if you’re “in your seat” or a time card to punch.
When you work remote, you have to make sure you get up every day and do what you need to do to consider your job needs met, otherwise you might have to call your spring getaway early. Also, make sure to keep in mind time zones. It might only be 5 am in Yosemite but that’s 9 am on the east coast. Communicate with your boss and team before heading out, so they’re aware of this. The workplace is more flexible as a result of COVID, so your team is likely to understand if a 4 pm meeting Pacific time isn’t great when you’re camping in Maine, where it will be 7 pm.
With these six items you’ll be all-packed for your spring RV excursion, at least from a work perspective. Now, get out there and do some exploring up in the mountains and rivers while holding down your job—while being rest assured that everything will go off without a hitch.