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Working away from home

New technology means it’s possible to work wherever you want. You’ve already decided you want to work for yourself and away from the traditional office, but now – with a few simple tips and tricks – you can enjoy unprecedented flexibility, and work almost anywhere, from your local coffee shop to the public park.

With your computer

If you already have a fairly up-to-date laptop computer, you have all you really need to work away from home. Most can pick up wireless Internet access from receivers already built-in. But if you have a slightly older laptop, buy a small adaptor which you plug into a spare USB port. Affordable options are available from a company called Belkin [www.belkin.com/uk] who provide pretty clear instructions to help you get started.

If WiFi hotspots are few and far between, you can now get on the Internet practically anywhere, with a USB dongle. It looks like a flash thumbdrive and allows your laptop to connect to broadband speed-Internet from a mobile phone provider.

Wi-Fi hotspots are usually free of charge in places like public libraries and independent coffee shops, where owners encourage you to use their hotspots to boost sales. If you’re looking fro out of home working locations in your area, check out myHotspots myhotspots.co.uk

With your mobile or smart phone

A Blackberry is a smart phone and one of the most popular devices for working away from the home office. It allows you to surf the web, check your e-mail and edit office documents.

Most mobile phones allow you to check email on the move, but it’s best to check with your service provider before giving it a go. Unless included in your contract, checking email or surfing the web on your mobile phone can be quite expensive.

If you use web mail, from Google for example, or Yahoo!, it’s easy to check your email as there are mobile ready versions of their websites, which you can view on your mobile phone’s web browser.

Yahoo! Mobile
Google Mobile

Mobile broadband is great if you’re often on the move or use your laptop in a variety of locations, but it can be pricey. Look around for unlimited packages and those that provide the hardware for free.

A forwarding number

Skype , offers a call forwarding feature, which allows you to direct incoming calls to your Skype account or Skype phone number to your mobile phone. Depending on your package you can forward calls at no extra cost and it’s easy to set up.

Taking these steps will free you up to work from anywhere and, with the sun starting to shine, why not head into the garden to take on the inbox!

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About the Author:

About the Author: Emma Jones is Founder of founder of online home business company Enterprise Nation and author of Spare Room Start Up: How to Start a Business from Home

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About Emma Jones

Emma Jones is Founder and Editor of Enterprise Nation, the home business website. She has successfully started two businesses from home offices in London, Manchester and rural Shropshire. Following a career with an international accountancy firm, Emma started her first home based business at the age of 27 and successfully sold it just 15 months after launch. Redbrick Enterprises Ltd was founded in 2002 to advise the public sector on effective homeworking. Spotting a gap in the market to provide information and inspiration to homeworkers, Emma launched Enterprise Nation [www.enterprisenation.com], the home business website, in January 2006. The website is a free resource for people starting and growing a business at home and has a readership of more than 390,000 people. As well as site content, there is also a free fortnightly e-newsletter and podcast. Emma’s first book on how to start a business from home Spare Room Start Up: How to Start a Business from Home will be published by Harriman House in May 2008.

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