If you’re a telecommuter or freelancer, you’ll appreciate the freedom that not being tied down to one particular office affords you – the trouble is, if you don’t have the right kit, you won’t be able to do your job effectively.
There are certain items every telecommuter and freelancer should have as standard – here’s our assessment of what you’ll need.
What essential equipment does a telecommuter need?
It might sound obvious, but if you don’t have a laptop, it’s all but impossible for you to work on the move – you may be able to get away with doing certain tasks on your tablet or smartphone, but you’ll need something more powerful and practical to perform as efficiently as you do in the office.
When deciding on a laptop, your two main considerations should be battery life and RAM, as these will have the biggest impact on productivity, but you’ll also need to consider things like the size of the laptop, the number of and different types of port available – if you have monitors that use serial or parallel ports, it’s not worth buying a laptop that relies solely on HMDI. It’s also worth noting that not all laptops now have Ethernet ports, meaning you’ll need to ensure you have a good WIFI connection.
You’ll also need to consider the operating system – if your company or clients work mainly on Windows, it’s best avoiding a Mac. And work out whether you’ll be able to get by with cloud storage, or will need a laptop with a lot of storage space.
2. External hard drive
Regardless of whether or not you choose a laptop that relies on cloud storage or one with enough memory to store all of your files, it worth investing in an external hard drive. As a freelancer or remote worker, backups are essential as there are any number of ways you could lose your work – backing up on an external hard drive can save a lot of trouble.
When deciding on the best one to suit your needs, look for storage space and the life-expectancy of the device, as this can vary greatly.
When working remotely, you’ll need to keep in touch with colleagues or clients via conference call or video conference, so you’ll need to kit yourself out with a good quality headset to make sure you don’t miss a single minute of a vital meeting. So it’s worth investing in a good quality USB headset, preferably with an external microphone and HD capabilities if budget allows. It’s also worth investing in noise-cancelling headphones to drown out the sounds from noisy coffee shops.
As a freelancer, you don’t have to go to the same office every day and are free to work from anywhere with an internet connection. Some people even take it a step further and go, full-on digital nomad, which The Guardian defines as someone who uses the internet to work remotely without having a fixed home address. So, whether you’re working in your local coffee shop or halfway across the other side of the world, you’ll need a reliable backpack to keep all your things in. You’ll also need something theft-proof and water-resistant at the very least. This way, you won’t always be worrying about your backpack when you’re moving about. Some backpacks even come with a USB charging function, which will come in handy when your reliable gadgets are being pushed to their limits.
5. Laptop power bank
Do you ever feel like you don’t have enough time? Well, think about all the idle time you waste while you’re in transit. With a laptop power bank, you can now work on the go without the fear of your devices dying on you. When buying a power bank, it’s important to focus on safety and power. Luckily, the Mophie Powerstation PD XL comes with both, as it has USB-C PD & USB-C power delivery, which is by far the safest and fastest way to charge your devices.