With ultrabooks, tablets and smartphones virtually everywhere, it's inevitable that the office-bound professional will do some work while they're on the road this holiday season. Even if you have the best intentions of taking time off to celebrate the holidays, work will manage to sneak in through one of your devices, so be prepared.
If you've got some serious travel plans for the holidays, it's best to lay the groundwork ahead of time for you to successfully work from the road: research technology options, set boundaries with your boss and coworkers as to how much work you'll be doing and prepare your family for when you need some quiet time to get things done.
Here are four tips to help you work from the road over the holidays.
1) Technology: Make sure technology is up to the job and as powerful as you can afford. I opted for a 3G hotspot, but a more powerful 4G hotspot, with a bigger network, would have served me much better.
Charge all devices fully at least once a day -- it's no fun running out of juice just when everything is going well! And, if possible, check with your destination ahead of time to see if they have good Wi-Fi service, or stay at hotels with free Wi-Fi.
2) Logistics: Are you driving, flying, busing or training yourself around the countryside? Think of where you'll be working from and try to plan ahead for the space allotted. Planes and trains make it easier to work from a laptop, but smartphones and tablets might be the better technology choice if you're driving or busing.
3) Boundaries: Especially if you're supposed to be taking vacation time, but you wind up working, rely on the kindness of colleagues -- and don't be shy about speaking up if you find yourself behind on your workload and running into trouble. Prioritize your work so the absolute must-dos get done every day, and put off what can wait.
4) Flexibility: Being nimble helps reduce the double-stress of combining work and holiday travel. Plan for what you can, and take unexpected setbacks lightly. If your Wi-Fi goes out or your email won't connect, take the extra time and spend it with your family celebrating the holidays.