The business world is different than it used to be. No longer are we lugging our heavy imitation leather briefcase to the stuffy office with fluorescent lights flickering about. We can now be independent of the tyranny of the the office. We are free to work from home, the coffee shop or the beach, but is it really ideal? For one week I took the challenge to ditch the office and I attempted to run my office completely out of my messenger bag. This means no hub to plug into, no desk, no printers, just me and my messenger bag. How did I fare? read on to find out.
What to bring for your mobile messenger bag office
The first key, of course, is to find the right messenger bag for business
. This means finding a bag that will fit your laptop or tablet, all your plugs, wireless mouse/keyboard and whatever other business related items you have. For me, my messenger bag held everything comfortably because it had many separate pockets, but in truth, I found I just left a lot of stuff at home. You would be amazed at how little you really need to take with you when weight is an issue.
Where to Work
Pretty much 90% of my work can be handled via email and/or phone, so I wasn’t really that worried about not having a centralized place to settle down, but what I did find is that not having a printer and WIFI became a real nuisance. First thing I needed to do was to identify the best place for WIFI. Of course, the first place I went was to the local Starbucks. I showed up around 9 in the morning an quickly realized that there was not place to sit down and plug in. I went to various other eating establishments, from the local small coffee shop to McDonalds, but none of them really felt comfortable for sitting down and focusing on work. The place I ended up going to that worked out the best was my local library. It was quiet, had free WIFI and ample space to spread out. It had some activity, mostly from seniors, but this was much better than the hordes of screaming kids at McDonalds.
I quickly learned to live without printing things out, and at the end, felt much better about not having to waste so much paper. I stored things digitally on the cloud using Dropbox and Evernote, and got pretty efficient at reading pdf’s. On the rare occasion that I found I needed to print something, I would head over to the local office supply store (it was just one block away from the library), and use their self service kiosk. They have everything in there from printing, copying to office supplies like staples and paper clips. They even have faxes there, but really, who uses those still?
Where to Meet
One issue I had is that some of my clients wanted to “swing by” and see me, but I wasn’t always at a place that would be good for meeting. So instead of them coming to meet me, I would pack my office up into my messenger bag and meet them at their place, or another predetermined location. This worked out well so long as I was fairly close to them and I got real skilled at quickly grabbing my items and throwing them into the messenger bag on my way out.
In todays world it is totally possible to do your work out of a good messenger bag for business, you just need to be smart about what really needs to go and what can stay at home. You need to identify the workspace that works best for you, whether you want to get up early to sit in a coffee shop, or you want to sleep in and hang out with the seniors (like me). You can be a digital nomad with cloud based software and reduce the need for printing with digital tools. Everything you need to run your business can be handled virtually and digitally now, and all of that will fit into the right messenger bag for business purposes.