We’ve all heard “Home Office” and “Mobile Professional,” two terms that
are increasingly common as we abandon our office-bound cubicles and get closer
to our customers and our families. Over the last few years, I have adjusted
to doing more of my work from home and on the road, and I spend very little
time in an office anymore. And by little, I mean maybe eight hours a month.
The rest of the time, I get things done at home, in the car, in airports,
in coffee shops, or while I’m taking a walk.
I find that the two most indispensable tools I have for being able to do
business anywhere is my cell phone and an internet connection. Without either
one of them, I would be as crippled as a last-generation worker would be
without a land line telephone. As long as I have my cell phone and an internet
connection, I have an effective “Roam Office.”
What makes this arrangement work is a suite of tools that I use that keep
me connected, collaborative, responsive, and within easy reach of critical
data—in other words, my Roam Office. The Roam Office tools listed below keep
me both productive and in the presence of my family more than I have ever
- Intranets.com keeps
my workgroup’s data within internet reach, including our group calendar,
sales forecasting data, contacts, and task lists
- Efax.com enables
me to create, store, send and receive faxes from anywhere I’m connected,
and I can use the same area code as my company’s physical office even though
I live several area codes away
- Freeconference.com helps
me to set up conference calls, send invitations, and broadcast
agendas from anywhere I’m connected, and I can join them from anywhere
I can get cell reception
- Xdrive.com enables
me to use the internet like both a hard drive and a tape backup
system, keeping my critical data within reach and my backups remote
- Vonage.com allows
me to use the internet as my phone line from my home office,
sends me an email notice when I have a message in my voice mail box, and
like efax, allows me to use an area code that is local to my company’s
These tools cost, collectively, under $150 a month—an absolute steal compared
to even just a hundred square feet of office space in an executive suite.
Offices, more and more, look like just anchors to me.
Look to future issues of TechTrax for in-depth reviews
of these and other Roam Office tools and tricks.