10 Reasons Why You Need a Mobile Office




Did you know that a small, purposeful workflow change can make your life significantly better? Yep, that change is having a mobile office, and there are 10 reasons why a mobile office can improve your design work and life. So what’s a mobile office? It’s what it sounds like – your design-work office on the go. All of your essential tools in a bag, ready to take with you.

Whether on a commute, a flight to somewhere far, sitting outside and overlooking gorgeous nature, or simply popping into your local library or cafe, a mobile office is a trimmed down, simplified version of only the most important tools to get your design, web, and any other creative work done.

Usually, a mobile office involves:

  1. A laptop
  2. A mobile phone
  3. Chargers
  4. Music player and headphones
  5. Any needed accessories

And for mobile working, you have:

  1. Mobile internet – via a wi-fi hub or tethering
  2. File syncing – via Dropbox or something similar
  3. Location-independent business/freelancing documents – like online invoicing via Freshbooks
  4. Other tech goodies that let you untether yourself from a stationary office

And now, here are 10 reasons why you need a mobile office:

1. Have Easier Mobility

This is the forehead-slapping obvious reason: the smaller and lighter stuff you have, the more mobile you can be.

For those moments when you had to commute, take stuff with you to a client or on a flight, move to a new place, and so forth – you know just how beneficial having easier mobility is. You don’t dread packing all your stuff up and having to move with it – you simply throw the few things you need into a bag and head out.

So for those situations where mobility can be really helpful, a mobile office will obviously benefit you.

2. Be Less Distracted

This is two benefits wrapped up in one.

The first is that you’ll have less stuff around you because of your mobile office. Only the essential tools will be at your disposal. After all, you’re not lugging around your entire office. So no throwing darts at the dart board, flipping through magazines, playing with widgets on your desk, or any other distractions to get in the way of your design, web, and other creative work.

The second is how you can avoid distraction with your mobile office. And that is: go to a place with less distractions. That’s what your mobile office is for. Too many distractions at your work office, or your home office, or at the cafe? Pack up and go to your local library or shared workspace. A private booth at the library will provide you with a distraction-free environment with which to finish up that latest task or project.

3. Increase Focus

Really, this is an extension of #2. By being less distracted, you’ll naturally increase your focus on the important task or project at hand.

This is actually why being less distracted is so important: you increase focus. And having a mobile office is one of the easiest ways to do this. As mentioned in #2 just a bit ago, you can pack up and leave a distracting environment for a more distraction-free one. Less distractions = increased focus.

And increased focus lets you…

4. Get More Done

A big reason why you need a mobile office. Who doesn’t want to get more done?

Now, before the simplicity-focused side of you says, “it’s about quality, not quantity”, here’s the preface: this article assumes that you’re already focusing on quality work. In other words, being effective–getting results that matter–rather than just productive.

So, assuming that you’re getting mostly important stuff done, then very few people will want to purposefully get less of it done. And a mobile office allows you to get more done. How? You get more opportunities to do work. Instead of killing time during a train commute, or reading magazines while waiting for your appointments, or whatever else, you can pull out your laptop and have a laser-focused work session. Having mobile internet means you can even take care of emails or internet-specific tasks.

Sure, it could only be for a half-hour or so, but that’s a half-hour more work you’ve done that you don’t need to do later.

5. Improve Your Work-Life Balance

When you have an office, your work and non-work life are separated. While that might be good for those who don’t like their jobs, if you’re actually passionate about what you do to pay the bills, your work is part of your life. And a mobile office lets you better balance your work and non-work time.

With a mobile office, you can work on the couch in the morning, or during downtime (as detailed in #5 just before), or while traveling. Instead of having an all-or-nothing approach with your work, you have the option to integrate work time into your daily schedule. You don’t have to sacrifice going to your office to work if there were other things you wanted to do that day. Or vice versa, you don’t have to go to your office and sacrifice any other activities that day. Your office can always be there with you.

Again, assuming you’re passionate about your design, web, and other creative work you do, it’s a desirable activity to have integrated in your life.

6. Get Constant Fresh Inspiration

When you have a mobile office, you can work from anywhere. Well, not literally anywhere (underwater, while snowboarding, at the top of a weather tower – all not very feasible). But you have many options as to where you can plop down and get some creative work done. And with new surroundings comes fresh inspiration.

It’s a human thing: oftentimes lack of creativity and inspiration is due to boredom. And each of us inevitably gets bored with repetitiveness, including environments.

When you have a mobile office, you can take your design, web, and any other type of work with you anywhere you go. That means you can constantly find new places to work, or at the very least rotate between a handful of places. And since new surroundings will jolt you out of repetition and creatively inspire you, you can get a constant supply of fresh inspiration by having a mobile office.

7. Have More Fun

When you have a mobile office, you can take your work with you. Anywhere you go, the opportunity to do some great creative work is right there. And that opens up more opportunities to have more fun.

Finishing up a design while riding a train and looking out onto the mountains is more fun than sitting in an office. Or while sitting on a balcony and overlooking a sunset across the ocean. Or while sipping tea and sitting in your favorite cafe. The list goes on. Basically, a mobile office lets you have more fun with your work. It’s not like you need, or want, to always work in places like these. But the fact that you can means you’ll turn things like finishing that piece of code or final website tweak into lasting memories.

You only live once, so you might as well have as much fun as you can in what you do. If a mobile office lets you do that, than why not take advantage of that.

8. Collaborate Easier

If your work requires you to collaborate in a way that goes further than email, Basecamp, or whatnot, then a mobile office can make collaboration easier.

Assuming you can meet up in person with your partners, then having all of you in front of the same screen beats the phone or Skype any day. And all that’s needed is your mobile office and a quick trip to meet up. Simply pull out your laptop and get to work with the people you collaborate with.

In fact, you often see this at cafes and shared workspaces. Teams gather in places like these to work on projects. Why stay in their respective home offices and chat when they can easily meet up in person and get work done more effectively?

9. Simplify Your Life

By trimming your tools down to only the essentials ones that fit into your mobile office bag, you’re simplifying your life.

Instead of being surrounding by countless choices of which tools to play with or what computer to use, you’ve narrowed your options down to a select few. And each of your tools—a laptop, some accessory, headphones, and so forth—are indispensable. You have less possessions around you, yet every single item has some essential use. It’s similar to if you live in smaller house or room, it forces you to get rid of most the junk that doesn’t matter at the end of the day.

A mobile office can force you to trim down your possessions and, by extension, simplify your life.

10. Have More Enjoyable Days

All the previous 9 reasons lead up to this final one: a mobile office can help you to have more enjoyable days.

Your life is meant to be enjoyed. If you can improve your days, then you should do it. And a mobile office can ultimately help do that. The previous 9 reasons are the ways in which it can. Whether it’s having more fun, simplifying your workflow, getting more quality work done in less time, and then being able to do other desirable activities more – an effective mobile office can help you do all of that. To help you have more enjoyable days.

Sure, it probably seems too lofty and life-changing. We are only talking about a mobile office here, not some revolutionary idea. But it’s the small, purposeful things that create big life changes, and a mobile office is one of those small, purposeful things.

Why You Need a Mobile Office

Hopefully the above 10 reasons have shown you why you need a mobile office. It’s a combination of practical time-saving reasons, simplifying and distraction-crushing reasons, and life-improving reasons.

If you don’t have a mobile office already, consider arming yourself with a simple one and start enjoying the benefits that effective portable work allows you.

To recap, here are the 10 reasons why you need a mobile office:

  1. Have easier mobility
  2. Be less distracted
  3. Increase focus
  4. Get more done
  5. Improve your work-life balance
  6. Get constant fresh inspiration
  7. Have more fun
  8. Collaborate easier
  9. Simplify your life
  10. Have more enjoyable days

How about you: if you have a mobile office, how have you been using it, and in what ways has it benefited you? Share in the comments section below.


Oleg Mokhov

About the author:

Oleg Mokhov is an electronic music artist and design enthusiast. He makes electronic music that's a cross between Four Tet and Boards of Canada.

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