How To Set Up A Work Station Anywhere

Thanksgiving is a day away, which means lots of food, family and traveling. While Thanksgiving eve is one of the busiest travel days of the year, its not a holiday. Its the day before the holiday. This means you might be expected to get some work done this Wednesday, but how? With all the traveling you’ll be doing, it may seem impossible to get any work done, right? Wrong. There are ways to be productive wherever you are stuck this Thanksgiving.  Here is a how-to guide on setting up a work station anywhere from grandma’s, to the airport and everywhere in between.

Photo: Shutterstock


The Car

If your travel plans include a long car ride, learning how to get work done on the rode is essential. Assuming you are traveling with another driving, its important to designate shifts that will allow you to take turns behind the wheel so you can get some work done. Sitting in the back seat while you are working will give you more room, and will make you less likely to become distracted by whats going on on the road. You may want to invest in a lap desk to use in the car. Its a better option than working from your lap, or using the center console. It will be more comfortable for your neck and back to have the computer at a higher level than it would be on your lap, and its better than working at a weird angle on the center console. Also try find a car charger for your computer, and invest in a portable Wi-Fi hotspot to ensure you have internet wherever you go. These tips also work if you decide to make your car your mobile office while you are at your destination this Thanksgiving. Photo: Shutterstock

The Airport

Most airports have some sort of lounge that offers free Wi-Fi. If you plan on working while you wait for your plane though, call and find out for sure if they provide it. It might be a good idea to get to the airport a little earlier than you planned too as well so you are able to stake out a good spot to work. Getting a seat at a table near an outlet would be the best and most comfortable option. Also it's a good idea to bring snacks. If you decide to take a break to grab some food, you may lose that prime seat. Also, while most of these lounges are quiet, it may be a good idea to invest in earplugs to drown out any unwanted airport noise. Again, if you don't happen to get a seat at a table, a lap desk would definitely come in handy. Photo: Shutterstock

The Plane

More airlines are providing Wi-Fi in-flight. For example Delta offers Wi-Fi on most of their flights, and their planes have USB and standard outlets to charge your devices. If you know you will have to get work done on the plane, its a good idea to call the airline when buying your ticket to find out about their Wi-Fi options, and also to request that you are near an outlet. It is also a good idea to request a window seat. Getting hit in the arm by flight attendant carts may be annoying while you're trying to work. As far as setting up a station, use the drop down table as a desk. Make sure you put your carry-on in the overhead compartment, even if it fits below your seat. The more room the better. Also make sure your seat is upright and straight. The posture will make staring at your computer more comfortable and prevent you from hunching. Photo: Shutterstock

The Train

If you are traveling long distance on a train line like Amtrak, the same rules apply for working on a plane. Working on a train is probably more comfortable. These trains tend to be roomier than planes, and the seats are definitely cushier. Again, make sure you are near an outlet, try to get a window seat and put your bags in the compartment or on the rack above your seat. Again, also invest in a lap desk. Not all trains have some form of table. Also, find out about their Wi-Fi options and plan accordingly. Photo: Shutterstock

At Grandma's House

So, a lot of people will be traveling to a family member's home for Thanksgiving. Whether its a grandparent's, an aunt's or a parent's, most houses have a spare or guest room. Use this as your impromptu office. Let your family member know that you will need to do work during your visit and ask to use the room. Find out if there is a desk or a table. If not, plan accordingly. Also, it might be smart to bring some type of folder to keep your documents in, if you have any, and put it away in a drawer or desk when you aren't working. If there are kids around, you wouldn't want them to get their grubby little hands on anything. Also, earplugs might be a good idea in this situation as well. I don't about your family, but mine is loud. Also, make sure the house has internet access. If your grandma is like mine, the internet just confuses her. Photo: Shutterstock

The Hotel

A hotel may be the easiest place to set up a work station. Most hotel rooms come equipped with a desk, and obviously outlets. Almost all hotels also have Wi-Fi, but it's not always free. Find out ahead of time, and if you have to pay for it, do it in advance so you can start working immediately if that's what you chose to do. The advantage of a desk will allow you set up a work station most like the one in your office. You can even bring stuff from your office or desk at work to make it more homey. This may make you feel like you are at work, which might make you more productive. Photo: Shutterstock
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    • Katherine

      Don’t forget to bring a power strip with USB sockets to connect and charge devices. Hotel rooms and homes often have only one outlet to spare.