By this point, it’s safe to say we’re used to the notion of working from our home offices in sweatpants, with unlimited access to a personal café (the kitchen) that comes complete with ambient noise (the renovations next door). While many of us are limited to this environment due to COVID-19 restrictions, the beauty of Work From Anywhere (WFA), is that it truly can be, well, from anywhere. So, if you don’t want to listen to your neighbour’s drill anymore, you don’t have to — just pack up your things and take your work on the road.
Whether it’s working from a park bench or a cottage, maintain productivity, efficiency and motivation with the right tools on hand.
The benefits of Working From Anywhere
Dr. Renée El-Gabalawy, a clinical psychologist and associate professor at University of Manitoba, has been conducting extensive research on the impact that COVID-19 has had on mental health. While early data suggested that remote workers had elevated rates of stress, the most recent data found that WFA has actually been highly beneficial for an individual’s mental health.
“I perceive the early data as an adjustment period. Lives were turned upside down and there were a lot of changes to adapt to,” says El-Gabalawy. “But once WFA was normalized, remote workers saw major benefits, particularly those who were still able to receive social support through coworkers and connecting with friends and family.”
Benefits the participants listed included feeling relaxed at home and less stressed during work hours. When it comes to WFA, El-Gabalawy says having the flexibility to go to a place of little stress, like a cottage or a park, and being able to still continue your work is beneficial. “While the top priority should always be to follow the COVID-19 mandates that have been put in place, as a psychologist, I recommend that people get outside as much as they can,” she says.
What you need to Work From Anywhere on the go
Long before WFA hit the mainstream, the digital nomads of the world had already adapted this lifestyle, developing best practices around the tools you really need to succeed.
Danielle Thompson, a freelance designer and founder of agency Studio Moku, online community hub Design Club, and Freelance Travel Network, an online school that helps freelancers grow their business has been freelancing for close to a decade and has travelled to over 20 countries while doing it. Thompson knows a thing or two about being able to work from, literally, anywhere — cafes near a volcano, a bullet train, a camper van, parks, poolside and oceanside. Here are the products she says are a must:
1. Noise-cancelling headphones
When you’re WFA, the ability to shut out noise is invaluable. For clear audio and hands-free calling, try Bose QuietComfort 35 Wireless Headphones or the Apple AirPods Pro for an in-ear option. Pro tip from Thompson: download the Krisp app to remove the background noise on calls — the person on the other end will never know where you’re actually taking the call from.
A reliable laptop will give you the mobility you need. An option like the Microsoft Surface Laptop Go is great for those looking for a laptop with touchscreen capabilities, great battery life and a slim, lightweight profile.
“This one is so vital to me since I don’t carry around notebooks from country to country,” says Thompson. “I love using a tablet to jot down my ideas.” Thompson’s go-to is an iPad with the pencil.
4. Portable charger
Nothing’s worse than having your phone’s battery deplete when you don’t have access to an electrical outlet. Be ready for anything with a portable charger like this one from NXT Technologies that includes two USB ports and has the power to charge your phone up to four times.