The COVID-19 pandemic has created much controversy, with many polarizing opinions being exchanged across the internet. One thing that the pandemic did seem to prove unequivocally, however, was that most knowledge workers could do their jobs from home. Most reports confirm that office-workers, turned remote-workers are just as productive, if not more productive at home.Most office turned remote are just as productive like office.Here are Tips & Tricks for Making Your Motor Home a Mobile Office.
Whilst many employers are looking to get their workforce back to the office, other companies, including Spotify, Siemens and Shopify, have introduced a work from anywhere policy to many employees. This new approach has allowed many employees to consider whether they want to relocate or live on the road. While the UK may not be as vast as the United States, there are still many great locations to visit and work from across the country. From the Scottish Highlands to the beaches of Devon, there is plenty an adventure to be had. Europe is just a train ride or ferry crossing away as well.
Internet Connection & Setup
There are many ways you can go about establishing a reliable internet connection inside a motorhome. If you are with the network 3, you can get a Huawei 4G Plus MiFi router. The router lets you connect up to 10 devices, and it claims to have coverage over 97% of the UK.
The router has a glowing review on this YouTube video; with unlimited data, it’s great for streaming Netflix, and it’s small and perfect for a motorhome office. It can plug into the cigarette lighter/ 12VDC power outlets found on the dashboard of most campervans and motorhomes.
You can also buy custom-designed motorhome WiFi systems, such as the 5G Pro-Flex, which features a 5G router with a 5G antenna. This setup offers the best possible internet connection in areas where the signal is weak. Many digital nomads have put together their own systems; for example, on the John & Mandy YouTube channel, they explain that their setup includes:
– Netgear M1 Mobile Router
– Poynting 4G-XPOL-A0001 4G Antenna
– SMA to TS9 adaptors
Another option is to use an LTE router. This type of router takes a data signal from your mobile phone and converts it into a WiFi signal. If you go for the LTE router option, it can help add a mobile phone signal booster to your WiFi setup.
Mobile Phone Apps for Your Mobile Office
Technology has allowed most office employees to work remotely without any significant issues.
Maps.Me is an excellent addition to Google Maps to have on your phone. Maps.Me works when you don’t have an internet connection, which despite your best efforts and WiFi setup, is likely to happen at some point if you are traveling across the UK and Europe.
With Maps.Me you can search and discover tourist information, download maps and find travel guides for virtually everywhere you could visit in Europe.
A good productivity app to get is NewsFeed eradicator for Google Chrome. When you go onto your Facebook homepage, your newsfeed will be replaced with a motivational quote. You can still use Facebook to message people and post things, but you won’t be distracted by the newsfeed.
If you are self-employed, then the Moneypenny phone answering app may be an excellent investment. The phone answering service comes with a free landline number that you can use to receive and make calls from your mobile. You can set call-paths on the app too, so that for example, if someone calls the number on your website, it might go to your mobile-first, then after four rings, it goes to your dedicated Moneypenny receptionist. You can also opt for a 24/7 service so that your calls get answered, even when you are asleep.
If you are a nomad that loves the outdoors, then Wikiloc is worth a download. It has lots of walking and hiking routes, including many off the beaten track.
Mobile Office Workspace
Now that your internet connection and phone apps are taken care of, you’ll need a place that you can sit and get to work. If you have a big enough passenger area, then this can be converted into a workspace.
This can work incredibly well if you can fit a pull-out tray to the dashboard. The tray can provide a pull-out table of sorts that will house your keyboard or laptop whilst you are working.
In the larger, US-style RVs, many people remove the bunk-beds from the children’s sleeping area and convert it into an office. You may have to reinforce the floor or bottom-bunk area with a custom-made piece of wood, especially if you are using an office chair on wheels. You’ll also likely need a computer desk, ideally with a pull-out tray for your keyboard.
The dining area is the classic place to use your laptop and get on with the work scheduled for the day. If you have a desktop computer, rather than picking everything up and storing it away each time you’re on the move, you can look to use clamps to keep the monitors in place (see this YouTube video for an example). Hooks with bungee cords to keep any office chairs on wheels from sliding around too.
Make it Smart
Smart homes are becoming increasingly popular. They can make you more productive whilst working from home, and they can make your home more fun! SmartHome technology can be used in a motorhome as long as you have internet connectivity.
In addition to your internet hardware, you will need a device such as the Google Home mini or Nest mini to make your campervan a smart office. You will also need to invest in Google Home compatible devices such as doorbells, lights, speakers and projectors.
A mini smart home projector can provide a great way to watch movies and TV shows inside a motorhome. You just need to plug the projector in and point it at a flat surface. Projectors normally come with a tripod stand, however many motorhome owners choose to add a suction cup to the projector so that it can be placed on the interior campervan roof.
Managing all of the lights in the motorhome is a great way to set the mood and to hit the ground running in the mornings. With Google, you can set up “routines” so that at a specific time in the morning, you can set it so that the lights in the office area turn on, and you can create another routine for the evenings, that dims all the lights. You can also set up routines so that when you give your Google Home or Nest Mini a voice command such as “Okay Google, we’re going out” all the lights can be turned off and the security system can be automatically turned on.