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10 Ways to Stay Connected on the Road

Working VacationSprint recently released 10 ways to help business people keep connected while away from the office. That is if you want to keep connected while on vacation, which I strongly discourage. Here is the advice, provided from Tom Shaughnessy, director of business marketing for Sprint:

1. Download that big file – from the beach: Municipal wireless networks that can handle large data loads are being built worldwide, but are not yet available everywhere, and Wi-Fi hot spots can be tough to find. So what to do in the meantime when you need to download that large file and you’re away from the office? Mobile broadband is your best bet. A mobile broadband connection card can allow you to access the Internet anywhere on your carrier’s mobile broadband network. Make sure you find a carrier that has an extensive mobile broadband network, such as Sprint, so you can access files on vacation.

2. Automatically forward office calls to your cell: Vacations are hardly vacations if work beckons at inconvenient times. Fortunately, providers are sensitive to the needs of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and anyone else who must stay connected to their business while enjoying time away during the summer months. Services are available that automatically forward office calls and voicemail to your mobile phone, essentially integrating your mobile phone and office phone system and allowing you to stay in touch with the office while you are away.

3. Take a rugged phone on your vacation: Whether hiking, rafting, mountain climbing or biking, your phone most likely can’t handle Mother Nature like you can. Consider a ruggedized phone – originally designed for the military, but now commercialized – which can handle extreme environmental conditions including, dust, shock, vibration, and/or extreme temperatures – and some that can even withstand rain. If you are braving the outdoors and have to stay connected, this is definitely the way to go.

4. Getting lost on the road is so passé…especially now, since GPS-enabled smart phones give you step-by-step driving directions, trip planning and much more on the open road. If you are on your way back to the office after a long weekend away, stopping at the gas station to figure out where you are wastes precious time and is no longer necessary with wireless GPS.

Laptop on the Beach5. Coordinate the troops even when you’re away: Making multiple calls throughout the day trying to coordinate your team can be cumbersome. Consider a walkie-talkie phone with a carrier that has a large push-to-talk network. Sprint is known for its Nextel Walkie-Talkie technology, which makes it much easier to stay in contact on-the-go, especially for projects that require real-time attention and collaboration with others.

6. Keep up with industry news from just about anywhere: It’s important to know what’s happening in your industry in real-time – even when you’re away. Many new smart phones offer On-Demand web content access with a push of a button allowing you to retrieve customized, up-to-date information regarding industry news, money, and other headlines to let you stay up on the latest in your industry. Make sure you find a carrier with an extensive mobile broadband network so that you can have the full range of smart phone features available.

7. Access important contacts on the go: If you need to reach a company colleague or a member of the family, many smart phones now allow you to access Microsoft Outlook or other email programs, which store all of your contacts. Whether you want to check in on the new business meeting or the dogs, it’s important to have your contacts at your fingertips.

8. Create and store a file with all of your credit card information: If you’re traveling out of the country, first call your credit card company and tell them you will be using your card in specific countries and cities. Secondly, create a file storing all of your credit information and keep it in your e-mail inbox. Should your card get stolen, you can wirelessly access this information and freeze your card to minimize any losses.

9. Have an emergency plan: Think about making a Plan B should you get lost or something unexpected occurs and consider adding the feature to your phone plan that offers E911 services, which quickly and easily connect you to first responders, and even give them your location through GPS technologies.

10. Hit the road with a camera phone: There are countless uses for an integrated camera or video phone beyond capturing a snapshot with Mickey or filming fireworks. While on the road, this feature is especially handy if you witness an accident or need to provide proof to your insurance company to document property damage.

If you HAVE to keep up with the office, it sounds good to me…