Freelance and remote workers are taking over the workforce. That’s not an exaggeration. They currently make up about 30% of the workforce, and it is estimated that by 2020 that number will reach 40%. This is good news for both remote workers and their employers—remote workers are both happier and more productive than those poor saps who still commute to the office every day. It’s a win-win situation.
If you ask a group of remote workers why they chose “the life,” you will get a range of answers, but I’m guessing the freedom to travel will be high on the list. With so many great business tools available, remote workers can now travel the world, mixing business and leisure with aplomb.
Here are 5 great business travel tools for remote workers.
Remember that time you spent hours wandering around the city looking for dependable wi-fi, then just ended up at Starbucks? That will never happen again. Workfrom is a new online community dedicated to helping freelance and remote workers find cafes, bars, and other great places to work. It provides essential info including upload and download speeds, whether outlets are available, and the level of background noise. Workfrom has officially launched in Portland, Seattle, and Austin, and is in the process of expanding to many other cities in the United States and across the globe.
If your goal is to work your way around the world, NomadList is your go-to tool to learn about the remote work–friendliness of various cities. The site provides information including an estimate of monthly living costs, hotel and meal prices, where to find coworking spaces, and wi-fi availability. Currently, they only have information about select major cities, but it is growing all of the time.
Sometimes, you need a private network or just can’t find dependable wifi. That’s where Karma comes in. A personal wifi hotspot, Karma works off the 4G network and is small enough to fit in your pocket. The best feature is that you don’t have to sign up for a monthly plan—you pay as you go and your data never expires, so you pay only for what you use.
Traveling freelancers and remote workers can say goodbye to getting lost with Citymapper, an app that helps you navigate new cities like a local and replaces both Google maps and all of the bus, train, and other transit apps you may be using. It was one of Apple’s 2013 Apps of the Year and also won Best Overall Mobile App at the 2014 Mobile World Congress GSMA. Coverage is currently limited to certain major cities, but you can vote for the city you’d like to be next.
As a remote worker, you know how important it is to keep accurate records of your time and expenses. BizXpenseTracker covers the trifecta: hours, mileage, and expenses. This app garnered quite a bit of positive press when it first came out in 2012 and has recently undergone what the company calls a “colossal update,” providing “numerous customer requested enhancements.”
What are some of your favorite apps for combining work and travel?
Featured image by Karen Apricot [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Flickr