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Tired of hunching over kitchen tables or your laptop running out of battery in coffee shops? These portable remote office essentials have the potential to change the way you work remotely.
While working remotely gives you flexibility, without the right knowledge and equipment, the cons can quickly outweigh the pros.
Fortunately, today’s market is rife with innovative gadgets, accessories, and gear to enhance the way you work remotely, no matter where your work takes you.
So let’s dive in, and take a closer look at 19 portable remote office essentials that will pack snuggly into your backpack, travel bag, or carry-on.
Portable Remote Office Essentials
1 – LaptopCheck Price on Amazon
Today, laptops are lighter and more portable than they have ever been before, while still having the necessary specs for work, video calls, and streaming.
Finding a balance between portability and tech specs should always be your top priority. If you don’t need to edit big video files, for example, you do not need a laptop with an expensive graphics card.
Ask yourself what you need your lightweight laptop to do before you make a purchase. Our guide to ultraportable laptops can help you.
A laptop sleeve is also a sound investment. It will give your laptop a welcome padded layer of protection when stowed in backpacks or travel bags.
2 – Roost Laptop StandCheck Price on Amazon
While working from bed or coffee shops sounds fun at first, the reality can often be unproductive and unhealthy.
You can only work hunched over your laptop from a bed or kitchen table for so long before it leads to posture problems and neck and shoulder pain.
Laptop stands are an excellent accompaniment for your portable laptop and work setup.
The Roost laptop stand is very much the pioneer product in this area. The stand elevates your laptop to eye level, keeping you in an upright and less painful position.
While the Roost comes highly recommended, there are also other portable laptop stands out there. Our guide to laptop stands is a great place to learn more about this remote work essential.
3 – KeyboardCheck Price on Amazon
Once you start expanding your portable remote office essentials, you quickly realize a laptop and a laptop stand alone cannot cut it.
A wireless keyboard is an essential addition, which pairs perfectly with an ultraportable laptop and laptop stand combination.
Wireless keyboards are ideal for a flexible remote work setup. You can position the keyboard at a distance that best suits your posture.
While the battery life on most keyboards is plentiful, it is a good idea to also travel with rechargeable batteries for your keyboard.
4 – MouseCheck Price on Amazon
If you’re going to invest in a portable keyboard, it only makes sense to add a wireless mouse to your remote setup.
The Apple magic mouse, with its sleek design and versatility, is a great go-to mouse for a range of needs.
The key to an effective mouse is how it accommodates your wrist. Too much of an angle will quickly cause wrist pain and RSI.
If you don’t travel with Apple products, the MX Master 3 is an alternative more than worth looking into.
5 – Travel Adapter & Power StripCheck Price on Amazon
Whether you’re working from a local coffee shop or a sun-kissed coworking space by the beach, you will always need power.
Relying on your laptop’s natural battery life can lead to a lot of problems, especially if you’re using your laptop for high-energy tasks, such as design or video calls.
A power strip gives you flexibility for your remote work setup. You can use the chord length to seamlessly change location throughout a room.
Pair this with a universal travel adapter, allowing you to source power from nearly every type of socket in the world, and you’ll rarely have to worry about your laptop running out of juice.
6 – Noise-Canceling EarbudsCheck Price on Amazon
Noise-canceling earbuds are a true life-saver when it comes to working from a variety of different places.
From coffee shops to your home office, there are often several factors out of your control. One of those is definitely noise.
For those times the coffee shop is busy or there is drilling work outside, plug in with noise-canceling earbuds to stay focused and on track.
Such earbuds are easily carried in your backpack or travel bag and are ideal for listening to deep, crisp-sounding music, or simply for silence.
7 – Smartphone with a Good Camera
A smartphone is a given, of course. But try to pick one with a really good camera! It will allow you to take amazing pictures while traveling without carrying a bulky DSLR camera.
This allows for a lighter, diverse remote office setup. Apple’s new iPhone has a camera with staggering specs.
Smartphones are lightweight and portable and allow you both functional and fun features with such good cameras.
If, however, you still want to carry a DSLR camera, go with mirrorless. We still have the Sony A6000 we bought several years ago, and it takes high-quality photos.
8 – Battery Pack for Phone
Whether you are taking calls or listening to music, the age-old problem of a phone with a dead battery is even more prolific when you work remotely.
A pack such as the Anker Powerbank is a simple and effective way to assure you have plenty of additional hours of battery life should your phone run out of juice
Phone battery backs are lightweight and easy to travel with, slipping seamlessly into various pockets in your backpack. For such a small investment, this remote office essential can be a true lifesaver in many situations.
9 – Battery Pack for LaptopCheck Price on Amazon
The more you work from new and exciting places, the more you will quickly realize access to electricity or a charging port is not always a given.
A laptop battery back is a simple piece of essential remote gear that can be an absolute lifesaver, particularly when you’re working to a deadline or on an important call.
While larger than phone and device chargers, laptop battery packs are still lightweight and portable. While you should not need to use one all the time, knowing you have a backup plan in case you run low on battery can make all the difference.
10 – Laptop BackpackCheck Price on Amazon
When traveling and working remotely, your backpack is one of your most important pieces of gear.
You should look to travel with a laptop backpack that is spacious enough to hold your laptop and the rest of your portable setup, while also keeping everything safe, dry, and protected.
Our guides to both waterproof backpacks and anti-theft backpacks will help you understand the key features to look for when choosing a backpack that protects against thieves and the elements.
When it comes specifically to laptop backpacks, the key is to find a backpack that accommodates your trusted laptop. There is no point choosing a compact, lightweight backpack if you travel with a large, 17″ laptop.
Both the Fjallraven Kanken backpack and the Huckberry Fit Pack 2 are sound choices if you’re just starting out and want a backpack designed specifically to carry a laptop and other equipment.
11 – Charger Organizer BagCheck Price on Amazon
As you add more electronic devices to your remote setup, inevitably you will have to travel with more cables.
The stress that comes with opening your bag and finding a clump of tangled cables should not have to be a constant part of your workday.
A charger organizer bag helps you keep all your chargers accounted for and easy to find, and helps prevent damage.
Easy to travel with, cable organizers are an essential piece of gear you’ll wonder how you managed without for all those years.
12 – MultichargerCheck Price on Amazon
If you’re simply tired of having so many cables, a multi-charger is a great way to save space and time, allowing you to find the chargers you need with ease.
With a laptop, phone, and various other devices all running at the same time, you are inevitably going to need to charge more than one device simultaneously.
Once cable streamlines the need for multiple ports and goes a long way to making your life easier. That way, you can remain focused and productive.
13 – Wireless Hotspot / MiFi
Carrying a wireless hotspot or MiFi with you at all times ensures you have a quick and simple way to connect to the internet when things out of your control happen.
AirBnBs, coffee shops, and sometimes even coworking spaces can often have issues with connectivity or speed when it comes to their wifi. If you are relying on their wifi for uploading documents or important calls, your workday can quickly become the stuff of nightmares.
Personally, we have used Google Fi and local sim cards when traveling. However, Google Fi can quickly become expensive if you rely on it constantly. And local sim cards don’t make as much sense if you’re in a location for only a few days or a week. In cases like that, you might benefit from a wireless hotspot or MiFi.
14 – Portable Monitor
Most people generally don’t need a second monitor when working on the road.
But, if you plan to stay in locations longer and you’re a coder or work in another profession that requires you to focus on the screen for hours on end, a portable monitor is a wise addition to your portable remote office.
Portable monitors can drastically increase productivity and save you time and your eyesight by not constantly switching between screens and programs.
Slim, lightweight, and designed to operate on minimal power, the portable monitor market continues to grow, year after year.
Our guide to portable monitors will help you find a monitor that suits your needs, depending on your profession and what you need to use your monitor for.
Alternatively, traveling with a tablet, such as an iPad, can give you options and a more efficient remote office setup.
15 – BackupCheck Price on Amazon
No doubt you’ve read various horror stories online of remote workers that neglected backing up their machines, only to lose months, even years of work, to accidents or theft.
Getting into the habit of frequently backing up your work should be a top priority both when working from home, and working in remote places.
You should look to store your work both in a cloud service, such as Dropbox or Google Drive, and back up regularly with an external drive that you travel with.
If the unthinkable were to ever happen, having more than one backup will allow you, once your laptop is repaired or replaced, to get back to work in no time at all.
16 – Remote Nomad Insurance
The needs of the digital nomad or remote worker are very different from those of a traveler.
SafetyWing was founded specifically for the travel medical insurance and global health insurance needs of digital nomads, remote workers, and even remote companies.
Their packages include:
- Nomad Insurance: travel medical insurance for digital nomads who have medical insurance in their home country but want to have travel medical insurance abroad,
- Remote Health (for nomads and remote workers): global comprehensive health insurance plans for digital nomads, expats, and remote workers, and
- Remote Health (for remote companies): global comprehensive health insurance plans for remote companies.
You can get a free quote for the plan you need and read more on SafetyWing’s website.
17 – Lap DeskCheck Price on Amazon
For some people, rigid coffee shop tables and upright chairs will never be comfortable, no matter how many gadgets and gizmos you buy.
Or maybe you work from AirBnBs frequently, but struggle to find properties with dedicated desks and office equipment.
If you often don’t have a dedicated workspace and have to work from sofas, couches, or beds, you should seriously consider investing in a lap desk.
While a lap desk does take up a little more space, it both gives you a desk-like setup and keeps your laptop from overheating.
Lap desks are the perfect backup plan, allowing you to work productively when you don’t have a desk or a designated office area.
It makes sense to have one if you’re road-tripping and have the room to pack it in your car or suitcase.
18 – VPN
A VPN subscription is an often overlooked essential piece of software, but one that is critical to working remotely.
ExpressVPN is the VPN service that we’ve been using for over 4 years while traveling and working remotely.
As soon as you connect to any public wifi, you become a target for scammers and hackers online.
A VPN allows you to browse anonymously, away from prying eyes online. Particularly if you work from coffee shops, you should be using a VPN.
If sensitive, work-related data becomes compromised, it could spell disaster for your online business, your employer, and both your personal and work-related data.
19 – Online Payment Software
As soon as you start sending payments abroad, or dealing with international clients, payment can become a big issue.
Using a service like Wise, formerly TransferWise, for international payments and transfers can help save a lot of headaches further down the line.
Plus, you can save yourself hundreds, even thousands of dollars, in the long run. The send and receive fees for international payments to domestic bank accounts can often be eye-watering.
Portable Remote Office Essentials Summary
With a little creativity, know-how, and some great tech, you can ensure you slip seamlessly into a state of productivity, no matter where you work from.
Like anything in life, working remotely is a skill that can be honed over time. And like any master craftsman, without the right tools, you are setting yourself up to fail.
Your remote office setup can be carefully curated and enhanced over time, to best suit your needs and the types of places you work from.
Our list of remote office essentials will give you a strong foundation to build upon. All of these accessories provide an essential service and are ideal to travel with.
In no time at all, you’ll be able to build the companies of tomorrow from the places you love to work from best. All it takes is a little investment, creativity, and time.
You Might Also Like to Read
- Work From Home Office Essentials for the Perfect Home Setup
- Best Portable Laptop Stand – Reviews & Guide
- Best Portable Printers: Guide & Reviews
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Keen to add some of these remote office essentials to your ever-growing setup? Save this article to one of your remote work Pinterest boards for safekeeping.
Author: Dale Johnson is a content writer and strategist, who has worked from and traveled to 30 countries and counting. He is constantly adapting his remote work setup and regularly adds new and exciting tech to his portable office.
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