At one point, the model for work was that an employee left his or her home, went to a specific location at a certain time, and then returned home at the end of his or her designated shift. Now, the work environment is much more fluid, with some people still following the traditional model in the way they perform their tasks, while others are working from home or other locations. Technological advances have made it easier for mobile workers to work from virtually any location, and as tech devices become more sophisticated, the number of people who can take advantage of this type of flexible work arrangement is likely to increase.
Motorola Elite Silver Headset
This headset connects to your existing handset and features HD-audio and dual microphones to block out distracting background noise. Other attractive features on this $129.00 unit which will specifically appeal to mobile workers include the MotoSpeak Android app which can read SMS messages aloud and allow the user to reply or initiate a text by speaking. This device’s case can be used as a charger, which keeps it safe and secure when not in use.
Plantronics Calisto 835 Speakerphone
The Plantronics Calisto 835 allows you to route all of your phone calls to a single unit. This desktop unit allows a user to connect a cellphone (using Bluetooth), computer (through USB) and phone line (with a wall socket) to the device. A clip-on microphone allows the remote worker to take calls no matter what he or she is doing.
Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13
Rather than carrying a tablet and a laptop, mobile workers will soon be able to combine features of both devices by choosing the Lenovo IdeaPad Yoga 13. This 13-inch device’s battery will run for about eight hours before needing to be charged. At about $1,000.00, this two-in-one device definitely won’t be on the low end of the price scale.
When workers who are on the same team are scattered in different locations, it can be challenging to keep track of assignments. Highrise, a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) subscription service, can be used to assign tasks to different users and track history of correspondence. It is free to use for one person, and multiple users can be added at a reasonable cost.
Tungle Scheduling App
The Tungle app makes scheduling meetings a quick and easy process for people on the go, even across multiple time zones. Mobile employees and entrepreneurs can share their availability (without disclosing any client or personal information) on their public profile when the app is synced with their calendar. Tungle looks after keeping their schedule up to date, and others can request a time to meet without having to register for an account.
There are a number of hardware and software options available to help make the lives mobile workers easier and more efficient. As this way of earning a living becomes even more mainstream, expect the type and variety of options available to virtual office workers to increase over time.