On the Job

The mobile worker’s 7 daily habits

Where are you right now as you read this article?  Are you in your office, a waiting room, a coffee shop?

Technology and internet access have made working away from the office a reality.  It has become a goal for many professionals to be 100% mobile workers.

How easy is it to be mobile?  It starts with having the right tools.

You need basic equipment and may already have the following:

  • Laptop with webcam
  • Smartphone/PDA
  • Power cords, adapters, earbuds with microphone
  • Thumb drives (if your company allows them)
  • Minimal number of paper files
  • Portable scanner or mobile scanning app

You will also need browser-based or installed software that allows you to:

  • Conduct your company’s business just as if you were at an office onsite
  • Store your electronic files in the cloud in a secure location
  • Share screens
  • Participate in videoconferences

But, that’s the easy part.  The biggest challenge for the mobile worker is to behave every day like a mobile worker.  And, these behaviors may go against your nature.

Animals instinctively nest.  They set up a warm and cozy place to live and raise young.  Some animals will defend their dens to the death.  So, being totally nomadic may not come naturally to the human animal.  Don’t be surprised if you feel a little resistance, especially at first.

It doesn’t mean that it is impossible to develop these new skills; it just takes a little practice.

Here are 7 daily habits of the mobile worker:

  1. They don’t save things to do for when “I am back at my desk.” The world is their office.
  2. They embrace available technologies and constantly look for new ways to be productive.
  3. They use tools, like dictation, to “capture” their thoughts and action items while they are on the go.
  4. They have tried and true methods to prevent distraction.
  5. They find opportunities to collaborate with others daily.
  6. They treat paper as if it has a very short lifespan. Paper is scanned and discarded shortly after it is created.
  7. They set boundaries between work and life. Just because they are mobile doesn’t mean they work 24/7.

Once you become a nomadic animal, take special care to avoid becoming solitary.  You are a part of a larger team or network of people.

Mobile work isn’t meant to isolate you, it is meant to make you nimble and more productive.

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