Filed under: Working From Home
Working From Your RV
When I started fulltiming, Netscape, CompuServe, America Online, and Prodigy had yet to be launched, and geeks were trying to figure out how to use Internet connections. When I began writing articles for RV publications, cell phones were just emerging.
Imagine working from your RV and staying connected with work entirely through US Mail (without having a permanent address to receive mail) and public telephones (sometimes parking by a telephone booth for hours waiting for a return call from a publisher).
Today you can stay connected with work on the road with ease thanks to Wi-Fi and Cloud services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and iCloud, not to mention cell phone coverage nearly everywhere – even while rolling down the highway in your RV. You can use all of these magical devices right from your desk – whether it is in your office cubicle in a Manhattan high rise, in your RV on the beach at the Newport Dunes Waterfront Resort & Marina, or in RedRock RV & Camping Park at the entrance to Yellowstone National Park.
If you learn to use the following programs, services, apps, and devices, you can work in your RV wherever it is parked.
- Communications – Learn to use technology to your advantage. Email, chat, text, laptop computers, smartphones, tablets, and satellite internet systems can allow you to remain connected 24/7. You can also turn your devices off when you don’t want to be disturbed, like when the fish are biting out on the lake. If you use a lot of power for your communications and do not have an electrical hookup, you can get free electricity anywhere by utilizing solar panels – provided the sun is hitting your panels.
- Documents – Open a cloud storage account where your documents can live, enabling all those that require it to have instant access. Editing and changes can be viewed by everyone. That’s even faster than carrying a document down the hall and waiting for your colleague to edit and return it to you. Word processing and editing software – like Microsoft Word – are commonly familiar and enable all parties to work on documents wherever they are.
- Visual – When words alone won’t do, anyone can shoot a video with their smartphone and upload it to YouTube, where you can post it privately or publicly depending on who you want to share it with. Photos also help to explain visual concepts and can be sent or received in seconds over the Internet. Charting and graphing software can also help you to put concepts in easily understood formats.
The hardest part is getting your boss to agree to back you up – or if you are the boss, getting your employees to be productive every day, even when their office is at home. If you get home office support, and you can discipline yourself to remain productive, go for it!