Having a completely portable office can be a dream—or a nightmare. While you can work from any cafe or hotel lobby you choose, one forgotten item or a dropped internet connection can make your workday a lost cause.
That’s why it’s important to always have your essential remote-work toolbox on hand. When you have everything you need in a portable form, your workdays become that much easier. There are some items that can make your remote workdays go a bit smoother, no matter where you set up your “office.”
Ready to simplify your workday? Here are a few of our favorite tools to get you through a day of remote work, anywhere you happen to be.
If you always fall back on your phone when the local connection doesn’t cut it, you’ll burn through data and battery life at an alarming rate.
A mobile hotspot gives your phone a break and provides an internet connection when and where you need it. Plus, hotspots can support more devices than most phones. If you meet up with friends or colleagues for a coworking session, you’ll be the star who brought the reliable internet. These aren’t cheap, and you’ll likely have to pay for a dedicated data plan for the hotspot, but it beats putting the hurt on your phone and paying overage fees.
NETGEAR Nighthawk M1 4G LTE WiFi Mobile Router (MR1100-NAS) – Up to 1Gbps Speed | Works Best with AT&T and T-Mobile | Connects Up to 20 Devices | Secure Wireless Network Anywhere
You can buy a cheaper hotspot from your cell provider, or go the premium route and rock this high-power model.
Sure, you can always bring your portable charger with you (and you probably do). If you use multiple devices, though, you might want to take things up a notch with a travel-size power strip.
This way, you won’t have to hog an outlet for all of your devices. You’ll probably also get some networking opportunities when others inevitably ask if they can plug in, too.
Travel Power Strip, NTONPOWER Portable Charging Station 3 USB Without Surge Protector Short Extension Cord 15 inches Compact for Home, Office, Cruise Ships, Business Trip, Hotels, Black
The extra outlet and charging-port boost you need when you're working away from home.
Noise-canceling headphones are a classic necessity for remote workers. When you slip them over your ears, you can instantly banish nearly any distracting sound, anywhere in the world.
Not a fan of hefty, old-school headphones? Try some sleek noise-canceling earbuds instead. If you often make work calls, you might also want to check out a noise-canceling microphone headset. The noise-canceling works for the other party on the call to ensure your voice carries clearly.
Bose QuietComfort 35 II Wireless Bluetooth Headphones, Noise-Cancelling, with Alexa Voice Control - Black
These Bose over-the-ears are best sellers for good reason---they're the Cadillac of noise-canceling headphones.
Portable White Noise Machine
If you’re easily distracted, but don’t want to wear headphones all day, a portable white noise machine might be your saving grace.
Of course, if you’re in a public place, you can’t subject everyone around you to the sound. However, if you’re working in a hotel room, or anywhere else private, where you have loud neighbors or street noise, this device might be just what you need. You can also use it to help you fall asleep.
HoMedics White Noise Sound Machine | Portable Sleep Therapy for Home, Office, Baby & Travel | 6 Relaxing & Soothing Nature Sounds, Battery or Adapter Charging Options, Auto-Off Timer Sound Spa
Plug it in, run it off the batteries, wherever you go you can drown out distracting noises with it.
If you often have to search desperately for the nearest library or print-and-ship center to scan documents, why not save yourself the effort with a mobile scanner?
You can easily tuck these small devices in your work bag and scan all the documents your heart desires from anywhere in the world.
Fujitsu ScanSnap iX100 Wireless Mobile Portable Scanner for Mac or PC, Black
If your job requires you to scan on the go, you can't beat this powerful, compact device.
Blue Light Blocking Glasses
No matter where you are, a long workday in front of a screen takes a toll on your eyes. The blue light from tech devices is known to disrupt sleep, cause eyestrain, and other issues.
Blue light blocking glasses seem to help some people. If you often experience eyestrain, fatigue, irritation, or other symptoms that could possibly be caused by blue light, pick up a pair of these glasses and see if they don’t reduce the issues.
ANRRI Blue Light Blocking Glasses Lightweight Frame Blue Light Filter Lens Tortoise
Whether you pick up these or another pair of blue light blocking glasses, your eyes will thank you!
Sometimes, you might not have access to a desk or table in your remote workspace. Luckily, a lap desk can turn any old couch or chair into a mini-desk for the day.
Lap desks are designed to comfortably hold your laptop and a few other essentials on your lap while you work. They’re far more comfortable than balancing your hot laptop on your knees. Plus, some include handy extras, like mousepads, phone holders, and more.
LapGear Home Office Lap Desk with Device Ledge, Mouse Pad, and Phone Holder - Silver Carbon - Fits Up to 15.6 Inch Laptops - Style No. 91585
If you use a mouse with your laptop, a spacious lap desk is a must-have!
Portable Desk Lamp
If you find yourself in a poorly-lit workspace, don’t suffer in the dark! A portable, cordless desk lamp can provide you all the light you need, even if there’s nowhere to plug in.
Trust us—these are much better than trying to aim your phone’s flashlight where you need it.
Cordless Lamp Battery Operated Gladle LED Desk Lamp, Rechargeable Table Light for Office, Dimmable Eye-Caring Reading Lamp with Timer, Adjustable Gooseneck Touch Lamp, USB Charging Port, 2700-6500K
If you need better lighting in a public space, bring your own!
Sometimes, the best solution is to keep it simple. While tech accessories are great for remote workers, don’t forget about good old-fashioned analog tools.
A chic, travel-size planner is one of our favorite non-tech accessories for work. It allows you to jot things down quickly. Plus, your notes won’t get buried in the depths of an app on your phone.
We like a planner with pockets, so you can keep track of any loose papers while you’re in transit.
Midori Traveler's Notebook / Regular Size - Brown - VALUE SET / Connection Rubber Band + Clear Zipper Case + Craft File + Original Sticky Notes
Digital notes have their place, but it's tough to beat the speed and ease of jotting down some notes.
Of course, the best remote work tools for you are any that make your job easier! These are just some that we use regularly or have on our wish lists.
Interested in some more remote work tips? Be sure to check out our favorite remote workspaces!