One of the many requests I get from business owners is asking me for my advice on how they can work productively when they’re not in their office, i.e. work remotely. With so many technology choices available today it becomes overwhelming knowing which one(s) are the most effective.
I have the traditional solo service professional office set up – I have a dedicated office space in my home with a desktop PC and wireless all-in-one printer. But there are times when I don’t want to, or can’t be, in my office and still need to be able to work. Lately I have been doing a lot of travelling in my business but still want to stay connected to my clients and business. And sometimes I just need a change of scene, especially when the weather is starting to get so nice it’s lovely to be able to sit outdoors and work off my laptop.
So today I’d like to share with you my top five remote working tools that allow me to get out of my office but still have access to all my “stuff” as though I’m sat in my office.
1. Gmail – I’m a die-hard Outlook fan and really don’t like the Gmail setup; however for when I can’t be in my office but still need access to my emails and calendar, Gmail is a great way for me to access that information. When I go away I forward all my emails on to my Gmail account; and I have found this neat tool that syncs my Outlook calendar with my Gmail calendar so that I always have up-to-date access to my schedule. And I’m also able to access my Gmail email and calendar from my Droid smartphone too, which is another great way for me to stay connected and on top of my schedule MTK Droid Tools.
2. Dropbox – in case you haven’t come across this yet, this is a great service for sharing files between say your desktop PC and your laptop without having to copy from your PC to a flashdrive, and then from the flashdrive to your laptop. The Dropbox software adds an additional folder to your PC/laptop that you simply drop your files into and you can access from any PC that has the Dropbox software installed. You can also log in to your account online and access your files from there too.
I also use this service with my clients so that they have access to all of their files too.
3. TeamViewer – I have my husband to thank for this neat piece of software! This allows me to access my desktop PC from any other PC exactly as if I were sat at it. For example, if I decide I want to go and sit on the deck to work, I simply take my laptop with me and connect it to my desktop using TeamViewer – and I can access EVERYTHING as though I were sat at my desktop.
4. Skype – for years my ‘office’ number has been a SkypeIn number. This means that I can forward this number on to my cell phone, or install Skype’s software on my laptop, and I’m able to make/receive calls exactly as if I were sat in my office.
5. MiFi – if you’re travelling and you’re in an area that doesn’t have Internet access a MiFi is a mobile wireless router, provided through your cell phone carrier, which allows you to connect to the Internet from anywhere that has a cell phone signal.