How to Get Set Up to Work From a Beach

Created: Monday, April 8, 2019, posted by Geetesh Bajaj at 10:00 am



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By Mike Ianiri, Equinox

If you want to get away from the city and start working from your dream location, here is what you need to think about to make the dream come true.

Getting Connected

You’ll need to connect to the internet. If your house is on the edge of the beach and the WiFi reaches the beach, then great. If not, you’ll need a 4G connection and be able to tether via your phone.

If you are heading for a Caribbean beach, expect to work with slow speeds. The Bahamas seems to have the fastest broadband speeds in the area, at about 9.95Mbps. On Florida coastline you can get 46.6Mbps. If you want to use 4G, here’s where you can choose your preferred beach.

If you are travelling for a short period, check the price of buying data locally. Sometimes it is cheaper to buy your data back home sometimes it’s cheaper locally.  If your mobile contract comes with a lot of data, check their roaming policies. For example, outside the EU, most UK operators charge £5 per day to use your contract data.  That may be enough for your needs.

Don’t forget to factor in backing up your data online when assessing your data needs.

Which Hardware?

You may want to change your old heavy laptop to something light, e.g. something like the or Apple Macbook Air or Microsoft Surface Pro. If you want more rugged equipment, look at the Dell Rugged Extreme range. Brace yourself as they aren’t cheap.

Take into account that you want something that is reliable, that can be repaired locally and can cope with the sort of work you are doing and the software you’ll need to run. Remote working is likely to mean you’ll be accessing the Cloud at lot, and you may also have several programs running at the same time – so choosing something with a decent amount of RAM is important. A good-sized hard drive, or one that connects to an extra external hard drive is important if you’ll work a lot offline.

You’ll need a powerbank. Here are some to choose from. To help make the right choice consider:

  • How many devices do you want to be able to charge from the powerbank? Charging your phone once or twice will be possible from most, but if you’re looking to keep your laptop charged as well, you’ll need a larger capacity device.
  • What devices are you charging? Powerbanks come with a variety of outlet sockets, but they’re not all the same.
  • Many airlines ban the really high capacity powerbanks.

How Will You Call?

Depending on where most of your colleagues or clients are, you need to think carefully about how you set up your phones. Your mobile phone is not your best option, even if it is one of the easiest devices to take to the beach. If you decide on the Bahamas because of the broadband speeds, mobile calls to the UK, for example can cost over £2 a minute.

A VoIP-based solution with a softphone on your laptop and/or your smartphone handset may be the best solution. SIP trunk connections to other countries where you do a lot of business will mean you’re only ever making local calls, rather than calling at international rates.

Video-conferencing can be an alternative to phoning, but the quality of your internet connection may determine whether this is something you use all the time, or just occasionally. Skype is probably the biggest name in this market, but there are plenty of others, such as Google’s Hangout and Zoom.

Keeping Secure

Working in remote locations, particularly if it is only for a short period of time, can increase security concerns. If devices are stolen, you have a nightmare to deal with. Data breaches on devices that contain Personally Identifiable Information (PII) for EU citizens need to be reported to the information Commissioners Office (ICO) within 72 hours. You also must tell the people affected!

Prepare by securing your devices and so you can remotely wipe them, if necessary. Discuss Mobile Device Management (MDM), biometrics or two-factor authentication (2FA) with your IT Manager or IT support company before you head off.

Project Management

Project management is a key requirement for remote teams. Thankfully there are a range of different tools available to you. Basecamp is one to consider if your projects aren’t particularly complex. Trello lets you manage a number of different projects using a ‘boards’ system.  If you need something that combines chat, meetings, collaborative working, file sharing and project management in one place, something like Microsoft Teams is worth looking at.

Teamwork

It won’t matter how good your telecoms or your productivity apps are, if your team aren’t working with you, you cannot work anywhere that isn’t where they are. Most of the apps listed above will track when, and sometimes where, entries are made, so you can see if your team are working. Some will also show when people are logged in or online – just in case you want/need to keep an eye on what is happening.

If the idea of moving away appeals to you technology can help you take the plunge.  I hope you get to enjoy more beach time alongside your work.


Mike Ianiri
    
Mike Ianiri is Director of independent telecoms brokerage Equinox.

Mike works with companies, charities and other organisations to help them choose the right telecoms packages for their needs and thereby reduce their costs. He is particularly knowledgeable on the integration of IT and telecoms in business.

 

 


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