There’s a difference between being able to work from the road and being truly mobile.
True mobility means not skipping a beat, not being slowed down when outside of the office. It might be possible to get some work done from the road, and a little strategic scheduling can ensure that work doesn’t skip a beat when the worker is outside of the office.
But there’s a difference between taking some work with you when you are outside of the office and being able to fully perform your job from the road. If you are truly mobile, your office has to travel with you. Otherwise, you are slowed down.
Part of reaching true mobility is a mindset, and part is planning.
The mindset comes from reorienting how you conceptualize work. If work is being in the office, you won’t be as effective when outside that office because some part of your job still is within your work home at your desk.
It is important to think in terms of deliverables, not time spent on work. That shifts how the work is done, and that’s necessary for true mobility.
It also is important to clear non-work from your life when trying to be truly mobile, because in the office there are distractions—but outside of it there are even more. It is essential that “work time” is a time when everything else that could distract you stays at bay. You may be at home or in a coffee shop, but really you’re at work.
The other half is planning.
One key to true mobility is having all the needed information at your fingertips. If only half that information is available, mobility is not actually possible.
That means setting the table for mobility, which comes back to planning.
Reaching true, full mobility requires moving all data and processes to the cloud and mobile technology. For the professional who is looking to go mobile, this means putting all files in a digital form, and having them stored in the cloud for easy retrieval. Paper files will not do.
It also means having all communications in a flexible, portable form. Many of these forms of communication already are portable—mail has largely been moved to email, which itself has gone to the Web.
But others need to be moved to a more mobile form. Calls can happen through voice-over-IP (VoIP), which breaks them out of the office. Video chat and presence make face time a little less about actually being in the same room. Fax can be sent and arrive via email with a service such as FaxSIPit.
Being truly mobile means planning for mobility, which means having files and communications accessible wherever you are located.
Many people work from the road, but few people are truly mobile with their work. Thankfully, now it is easier than ever to make the jump from working from the road to being truly mobile with work.