The new workplace isn’t really a place, it’s more a state of mind. You jump from meeting to meeting, talk over lunch, pitch over drinks, and create a “pop-up office” anywhere that has a place for your laptop or tablet, and of course Wi-Fi. For some who think smart logistically, you will manage to schedule full days to work solely at home, and other days where you move from meeting to meeting. Or, better yet, park yourself in a location, with coffee of course, and have your meetings come to you. We do suggest, however, that you purchase coffee or food, as those establishments have a business to run too.
If you want to succeed in this new frontier of business, being flexible in terms of time and space is vitally important. To follow are some key points that will help you steer in and around this territory:
Is there an outlet you can plug into? Even if you’re at seventy percent – do it! The worst time to not have a fully-powered laptop is during a client meeting. And you can’t have your phone die when that unplanned conference call dial-in number gets texted to you. Whenever you have the chance to charge your devices, don’t miss it. You should also keep a portable charger in your bag for emergencies.
Do You Know the Hot Spots?
If you’ve already been practicing the impromptu office, you know the importance of free Wi-Fi and a calm place to work in-between meetings. Keep yourself organized by making a list of your favorite coffee shops, restaurants and hotel lobbies where you can tuck away in a corner and get 20-60 minutes of work done during downtime. This really helps when your local gathering place is too packed to be productive.
Create a Functional Work Bag
This is your office. You will want your laptop (or tablet), laptop plug, cell phone plug, headphones, toothpaste, toothbrush, lipstick (if it applies), cardigan (some places can be quite chilly), safety pin, hand cream, stain stick, Shout Wipes, breath mints, toothpicks, notebook, pen, pencil, mini deodorant — and that’s on a light day. Don’t go crazy, but just know that the day you don’t pack something is the day you will desperately need it.
Be Ready to Tackle AM and PM
There may be meeting-packed days that will go from scrambled eggs to cocktails, so you need to find outfits that can work all day long. If you’re a male, a solid suit. For women, this task is a bit more difficult. Great advice is that you can “always bet on black”. A little black dress lets you look professional during the day, and glamorous at night if you dress it up with sparkly jewelry.
Be Prepared to Pilot
Map out your day in advance. The worst feeling is to be crisscrossing town from one meeting to another, never knowing if you’ll make it on time. Having a solid plan of attack allows you to not get unnerved by those unexpected challenges and hurdles that tend to get thrown in your way. There are great apps to help with that. If you’re really organized, you will use the app as you actually plan the meetings so that it makes, even more, sense logistically.
These are just a few tips to help you be more prepared and less frazzled. As always, we’re here to help you navigate even the murkiest of waters so that you can focus on your business.
So, go forth business warriors! This is the way business moves. Find your best way to move along with it.