Once upon a time, not too long ago, the “out of office” message was a novelty. It signaled that you likely wouldn’t be hearing back from the person you were contacting that day, and if no alternative contact was provided in the message, you’d have to wait until their return. Today, though, being “out of office” – literally – is the norm. We don’t have to be fixed in any one place to get work done, and there are many workers that spend their entire work live unchained to a desk.
Indeed, all signs point to the fact that this is not a short-term trend, and that the future of work will not be in an office. Not only do workers enjoy the freedom of being able to work from wherever they please, but it appears to be more profitable for companies, too. According to a report in Forbes magazine, “Aetna (where some 14,500 of 35,000 employees don’t have an “in-office” desk) shed 2.7 million square feet of office space, saving $78 million. American Express reported annual savings of $10 million to $15 million thanks to its remote work options.” In addition, the future of the workforce is more keen than ever to work remotely. A survey by AfterCollege, a career network for recent grads, “Policies that cultivate a flexible, fun, and casual work environment have a positive impact on young people’s interest in specific employers,” and 68 percent of this demographic would be more keen to work with an employer if remote work were an option.
With the rise of remote-based companies, digital nomads, and freelancers—all of whom are different examples of “out of office” employment—it’s clear the world of work requires a new suite of tools and hardware to meet the needs of a 21st century worker.
Charge on the go: The remote worker who needs to get things done can’t rely on the fact that the coffee shop, hotel, or airport lounge they are working from that day will have a power plug for them to charge at. Therefore it’s essential to carry your power needs on the go. The Mophie Juice Pack Powerstation Duo is a favorite, as it allows workers to charge two devices at once, such as a laptop and a phone. It offers the fastest output possible and is designed to power two USB devices at the same time. Alternatively, if you’re looking for new luggage and want a bag that can do the work of charging as well, check out The Horizn Studios Cabin Trolley Model M, which is a TSA approved carry-on bag that boasts two USB ports and a decent battery capacity.
Avoid cable tangle: One of the drawbacks of carrying all your gear with you is all those cables. Tangled cables are annoying, easy to leave behind when you’re moving from place to place, and not at all aligned with a minimalist lifestyle. However, the STK Binary 3 cable will sort you out by offering three connectors on one end end (USB-C, microUSB and Lightning), and a USB on the other. If you’re usually only using one cable at a time, there is no reason to carry around multiples.
Cancel out the noise: If you’re working on the go, noise can be a perpetual issue that gets in the way of focus, as non-office environments aren’t always at a noise level that’s conducive to work. However, if you’re travelling constantly, it can be unrealistic to carry around studio-quality, noise cancelling headphones. That’s why many remote workers are fans of the Bose QuietComfort 20i Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones, which are an earbud format rather than an over-ear model, making them lightweight and small enough to take just about anywhere.