Working from home while camping? Not a great idea!

Photo courtesy of Virgina State Parks staff and Wikimedia

Photo courtesy of Virgina State Parks staff and Wikimedia

Two weeks ago I found myself in a unique situation. I was staying in a Yurt on the Big Island of Hawaii, which served as a home base while exploring the beautiful lava-landscapes of the island. My original plan was to take some time off from work during our stay, but a few of my meetings got pushed a week forward due to schedules. So I scheduled two meetings during my time in the Yurt.

Before I share the result of these meetings, I should describe the setting a little more. A Yurt is a portable “tent” like structure, but much more substantial and closer to a permanent structure than a tent you would take camping.

Our Yurt was powered by solar, had “high speed” Internet and it even had a water supply. Seemed like everything you would need to conduct business, right?

That’s what I thought as well, but I was oh-so-wrong.

First, we were only allowed to charge our devices when the sun was shining. You don’t realize how much energy your devices use until you are put on the voltage clock. It turns out my Macbook pro is a power hogging beast.

The “high speed” Internet? That was the real problem.

I had no cell-phone service, so I tried to make a wifi call through T-Mobile. The call “worked” to the point where I could hear the voices of my clients on the other side. Unfortunately they could only hear every other word I was saying.

My connection was so poor that I couldn’t even make a “I guess I learned my lesson about conducting business in a Yurt” joke.

No matter what I tried, I couldn’t get my voice across with this poor Internet connection. I had to cancel my meetings, reschedule for the future and apologize profusely.

But I also learned several lessons:

  • There are many times to get work done, while camping is not one of them
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  • Don’t schedule meetings during times that you are not sure you will have a solid phone/Internet connection
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  • Minimize the technology needed for meetings when possible
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  • High speed Internet means many things to many people

Since I started traveling full time, this is the first time the Internet has gotten the best of me. It won’t be the last. I just need to be smart about when to schedule meetings.

Don’t take chances when you are working from home or remotely. While we can be professionals from anywhere in the connected world, it doesn’t mean we will always look professional if technology gets in the way.

About Guest Blogger

Guest bloggers for the TDS Business Blog.

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