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What kind of office do you use?

The Office Becoming Mobile

An in-depth explanation into the procedure required to make an office, mobile.

Episode #4-19 released on January 26, 2014

This sounds like a ridiculous question to many people. This is because we presume that an office is statically located. We are used to calling a phone and reaching the person of interest, whether a sales representative, manager, employee, etc... We expect to be able to send an email or fax, and that person will receive it at the office, naturally expecting the workplace to be a fixed place. We, also, presume that faxes are still a physical manifestation, a cumbersome device, when it can also be purely digital.

This, of course, dates back to what we expect to being normal due to our own history, but it is not a perfect representation of today, and nor should we have full time statically located offices anymore.

Welcome to the age of mobile, and the mobile office. Having a good and functional mobile office is important, and the way everything works together, even more important, as well. You can have a static office, but a mobile office allows you to see the clients and projects first hand. It allows you to be where you need to be and work where you need to work.

Now to have a mobile office means you need to compensate for the amenities you are used to having in your normal office. Much of what can be done in the office can, also, be duplicate in the mobile environment.

Let's start off with communication. Telephones are great, but we have access to quality cellphones, and while battery life can be an issue, we, also, have access to mobile charging solutions. If you have a dedicated line at work, and you don't want people to use your mobile phone as the primary contact number, you may forward your static line to your mobile phone.

Now, getting your work done. Most of us can still write, but many of us have tablets, notebooks, net books, etc... Your work will dedicate which device is best for you. Accessing your files in the case is the issue. You can sync your files using a service like Dropbox, Google Docs, etc. If you want more control over your files, you can, also, use a NAS drive in your office and link your computer to it, as well your portable devices. The interesting part of using a NAS drive is that you have the latest version of the files you need always accessible. If your business is relatively big, you can also use a server instead of a NAS, and including a VPN service to access the server makes the file access more secure.

If you work with faxes, you might be wondering about a portable solution for that. While most of us will automatically say e-mail, some businesses still use faxes, despite it being so insecure. There are plenty of ways of receiving faxes digitally. You can have the line interface directly with a server and have the files available over VPN. Such a system could be setup to, also, email you faxes you are waiting to have. By the same length, you could use the server to fax digitally the files which will, also, be printed in any primitive fax machine.

Mobility, now it is all fine that I say this is all possible, but how do you connect to the servers and internet when mobile. Cellphones, especially smart phones can act as a personal WiFi hotspot, but using your mobile phone in this way can be expensive, and the battery will deplete faster, as a result. Most other notebooks, laptops, tablets, etc... can, also, have their own dedicated network connections. Some newer devices can, also, take advantage of 4G or LTE services. If paying multiple data plans is not your style, you can, also, purchase a mobile Wifi hotspot. These can allow a set amount of devices to connect over the same data plan, and can also be charged by any device with a USB port like your laptop.

Now that you are all set, the benefits can outweigh the costs. Many people prefer the personal touch. Going to see your clients in person can yield better business results, and more importantly, will more likely generate repeat customers. Being able to work from anywhere, also, means that you will be more proactive in dealing with customers needs and requests.

As a final detail, for those wondering about legitimate longevity of battery life of your various devices. If you are traveling in a car, you may opt to use a DC to AC adapter to power and charge your various devices. Some cellphones have the option for a backup battery in a cellphone case, and some notebooks, and other devices can have user interchangeable battery packs, or have upgradeable battery packs.

Host : Steve Smith | Music : Jonny Lee Hart | Editor : Steve Smith | Producer : Zed Axis Productions