When it’s time to head off for summer travel, it’s likely that work is the last thing on your mind. But let’s face it: many of us will still have to do some amount of work while we’re out of the office, even if it’s just answering emails. As such, it’s important to have your ergonomic travel plan all set up so that you can work comfortably from the road. This way, you’ll still return refreshed and relaxed, rather than in pain. Here’s how to hack a few common summer destinations into the perfect workspace.
1. The Beach
Ah, there’s nothing quite like relaxing on the beach with a good novel at your side and a 7-page report to write on your laptop. The first thing you’ll need to work ergonomically from the beach is a good beach chair. We suggest one that’s higher off the ground, more like one you would bring to a sporting event, rather than a typical low-down beach chair. This added height will do a better job of keeping your back straight, and it will also give you more of a workspace atop your legs. A beach umbrella is also key not only to keep your skin safe from the sun (your dermatologist would be so proud) but also to keep the sun from glaring off the screens of your devices.
For really heavy work sessions, stack two coolers together and place your laptop on top of it in order to raise the screen to such a level that your neck remains in a neutral position. Pair it with a Goldtouch Bluetooth Wireless Keyboard, which you can place in your lap; or, for better typing, place a flat barrier between your legs and the keyboard, like a cooler top, which can also be used for better navigation of your mobile mouse. Voila! Just like that, you’ll have your own beach-worthy workstation.
Still, working from the beach is no easy feat — that sand has a way of getting everywhere — so hopefully you’ll be able to keep your work here to a minimum.
2. The Mountains
With the sound of crickets and the howl of coyotes in the background, the first thing you’re probably thinking about while you’re on your camping vacation is making s’mores. But hey, when your boss needs you and there unfortunately is still cell service (why, oh why, did you have to sign up with such a good carrier) then it’s time to set up your camping ergonomic travel workstation.
Just like at the beach, bring a higher portable chair along for the ride rather than trying to position yourself comfortably on a stack of logs. If it’s night time, drag the chair into your tent so that you don’t get any glare from the camp fire and so that the light of your screen doesn’t attract bugs. Again, two coolers stacked together can make for a great mini-desk for your screen, and you can also work with an ergonomic mobile keyboard in your lap.
If it’s daytime, head to the campsite picnic area and set yourself up at a table. This way, you can easily lay out a mobile ergonomic keyboard and mobile mouse. For an additional bonus, bring a laptop and tablet stand along to position on the table. Just slide your laptop or tablet into it and you’ll have an easy way of adjusting the screen level so that your neck is in the perfect position — even more so than when you’ve simply stacked everything on a bunch of coolers. Don’t forget to keep your devices charged with an adapter for your car.
3. An Airport
For many people, working in the midst of travel is actually a time of great productivity. Once you’re out of the office you’ll be super motivated to get things done before you reach your destination, which makes those long waits in the airport the perfect opportunity to type the day away. Many airports now offer work areas where you can either sit or stand. If you can’t find one, head instead to a nearby food court and park yourself at a table that’s close enough to the window so that you can still see the planes take off but not so close that you get glare on your screen. From here, just set up a laptop and tablet stand, hook up your wired or wireless mobile keyboard and mouse, tether your device to your phone so you don’t have to pay for expensive airport internet, and get going!
Working from the airplane itself can be a little trickier as you simply have less space. However, though not exactly ideal, you can still place your laptop onto the back seat tray (when you’re not using it to consume the airline’s oh-so-generously portioned, overpriced snacks) and balance your mobile keyboard on your lap.
Working on vacation is far from ideal, but for many of us there are no other options. It’s good to have an ergonomic travel plan set up before hand. What are your favorite ergonomic working hacks from the road? Let us know in the blog comments.