4 Essential Tools for Mobile Workers

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When it comes to working remotely, the right office products can go a long way, writes this startup veteran. By Ana Anders (Executive Vice President, Mobilegear) 

I used to think that things like office products really didn’t matter. Once I co-founded my own business though, I realized just how valuable – and uplifting – they can be for your work life and the life of your mobile workers.

Let’s back up. I worked at large corporations for 12 years, so when I ventured into the world of entrepreneurship, I was in for some big changes. No longer did I have my pleasant assistant doing all the research and buying my office products. I learned the hard way that going through the big box store websites can take years – really, do you have to carry over 200 mice?!

Some of the most impactful tools that I discovered are using the correct mouse, privacy screen, wrist rest, and pens (yes – even pens!). Here are some quick tips on cool products that are helpful for you and/or your teams:

Mobile Mouse

All mice are not created equally.  You can find a pretty inexpensive mouse these days, but many use different technologies for reading information and have different functions for scrolling that can make your life a lot easier. The mouse I use is lightweight, medium sized, and even works on glass tables.

Privacy Screen

I never used these because the one I tried was awful, cheap, and wouldn’t stay in place.  I’m working on strategy documents all the time and I definitely need to use one whether I’m at my local coffee shop, at airports or working on planes. Manufacturers have improved the product and the specs on the packaging are easier to understand. The one I use is a gold color and it even doubles-up as a mirror when not is use!

Wrist Rest

These, too, have improved in quality and function.  They used to be big and heavy so you couldn’t take them anywhere.  The one I use is very small (only for my wrist) and lightweight. Since my mouse tracks on any surface, I don’t need a mouse pad and I just use my lightweight mouse and small wrist rest.  This has prevented me from getting that awful contact-stress pain on my wrist and arm.

Pens

Well, this one is for all you travelers out there. When we launched the business, I was on a plane almost every week. Unfortunately, my lovely ink pens were exploding here and there – in my laptop bag and in my purse. I found airplane safe pens that are not affected by changes in pressure. They are also retractable which saves me from losing caps.

Great office products have been a fun and inexpensive way for me to treat myself and my team. My staff really appreciates that I’m looking out for their privacy, and their comfort while they work remotely. Definitely a win-win for all the mobile workers out there!

What tools do you find essential when working on the go?

AnaAndersHeadshotAbout the guest blogger: From helping her father run his start-up for seven years, to managing $300M for a Fortune 500 company, Ana Anders has always been a mobile worker. Following her passion for technology and growing businesses, she is currently managing the startup Mobilegear.com. Follow Ana on Twitter @MobileWorkGirl. Photo credit: Wayan Vota via Flickr