The 5 essential tools of the 21st century road warrior
With today’s telecommuting technologies packing more smarts and speed than ever, it’s a good time to be a mobile SMB professional, writes Josh Jennings.
Chances are you’re already savvy to the benefits of facilitating remote and flexible work arrangements but it’s nevertheless essential to ensure your small business is armed with the best technology to maximise your employees’ productivity when they’re working on-the-go.
Here are five tools that a 21st-century road warrior needs to be the best possible asset for your business.
In many ways, it starts here. A laptop is the most essential gear your employees will rely on to stay connected when they’re out and about. But how do you choose a laptop that’s optimal for your employees’?
A long battery life will have a bigger impact on employees who spend long periods away from the desk. A laptop that harnesses the power of Intel’s 8th generation processors is important when multitasking is essential and you’re running heavy duty applications. Some employees will benefit significantly from the portability and comfort of a tablet or 2-in-1. And many creatives zooming in on design work will appreciate a screen with high resolution.
The Dell Latitude 3390 laptop is a great example of a modern lightweight device that can greatly assist in mobilising an SMB’s on-the-go workforce. The Latitude 3390 doubles as a tablet and offers great performance, long battery life, and the most secure and manageable features, all in a beautiful design you will be proud to carry.
Investing in the best laptops is a valuable way to get an edge on competitors whose digital transformations are still hamstrung by crusty tech.
Video conferencing platforms
Video conferencing lets your employees connect with customers, partners and their colleagues without having to overcome the logistical nightmare of doing so inside the same four walls.
Video conferencing technology allows your employees to do much more than face-to-face interactions too. Users can share their screens, remotely connect to one another’s desktops, text-chat, share files and broadcast conferences.
One SMB might be drawn to video conferencing to host a lot of product launches, make sales presentations or conduct lead-nurturing webinars. In your line of work, you might squarely want it for online meetings. Your needs will dictate the platform you choose.
Gartner forecasts spending on cloud services will hit $4.6 billion this year.
Cloud computing, which essentially involves businesses storing and accessing their data over an internet connection, allows employees near and far to use their cloud-connected devices to collaborate in real-time on shared documents, spreadsheets and presentations.
It’s an efficient way to work, so long as you verify your provider’s credentials, security strength customer service, should any sticky situations arise.
Mobile broadband in your pocket
With a mobile broadband device in your pocket, you can put an end to fraught searches for swampy Wi-Fi at hotels and other public places. Pocket Wi-Fi connects your employees’ Wi-Fi enabled smartphone, tablet or laptop to the Internet anywhere mobile phone coverage is available.
It’s a good idea to look for mobile broadband products with a long battery life, touchscreen interface, fast download speeds and plenty of accommodation for other devices you might need to share an Internet connection with.
That will put your employee ahead of the guy in the hotel who keeps calling reception to ask why the public connection keeps falling out.
If you’ve ever found yourself coworking next to a stranger with a head cold and an aversion to tissues, you’ll know what noise pollution is. Designated workplaces are stricken with toxic noise pollution and on-the-go workers navigate a minefield too.
A good quality set of headphones should cancel unwanted noise, fit comfortably for extended periods, deliver clear sound on conference calls and provide a wireless connection for freedom of movement.
Contact a DELL small business advisor today on 1800 33 55 06 or visit DELL.com.au/smallbusiness
Josh Jennings is a freelance journalist and copywriter who enjoys writing for a range of publications and clients about subjects including careers, employment, small business and tech/IT.