Nowadays there’s no excuse for not being able to work while you are traveling. Yes, I know, we all love to use travel as an excuse to kickback and have a little “me time,” however with all the complicated employee travel laws requiring you to be paid while traveling, your employer is likely expecting you to maximize this time to use on work.
Gone are the days of “I will answer your email once I get to my hotel.” We now have the option to work on the plane, of course that’s if your airline has wifi available onboard. If not, it’s time to consider flying the friendly skies with a more connected airline! With in-flight wifi you’re enabled to answer email, answer calls on your soft phone, do a skype call (make sure to use your earbuds or the background noise is an issue), or even prepare for that all important meeting you are en-route to.
Most airports will provide you with free wifi, however this can sometimes be extremely slow, so also look at options with your cell phone carrier. Keep an eye out for plans that include a hotspot, as this will enable you to turn your cell into a wifi connection for your laptop. I often do carpool trips with my partner and I have found this a great option, as we can do a full business meeting while driving and pull documents as we need them from our office.
Word of warning, when traveling, double-check with your IT department that your laptop is encrypted and has a tracking option enabled in the event it gets stolen or misplaced. Also, check that your email is encrypted. If, for example you are sending confidential information like the kinds of records protected under HIPAA requirements, you need to be using encrypted email in order to stay compliant. Otherwise you’ve breached HIPAA requirements just by sending a single email over public wifi!
Lastly if you find yourself constantly looking for a power outlet for your laptop, consider some newer models, many can last 10+ hours on battery power. While newer aircraft do provide you a power outlet at your seat, be extremely careful about using the public USB charging stations at airports as this is a well-known point of contact for hackers intent on compromising your mobile devices.
With just a few precautions you can be a real road warrior, saving the day from your airplane seat!
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