Device users need to think about how they transport their tech if they want to keep damage costs down and connectivity and productivity high.
We may all know about the boom in mobile working, but one important element of this – how we get our tech from A to B – probably isn’t high enough on our radars.
If you’re working from home one day, at a client’s premises the next and from the office the day after that, one thing that can easily scupper your plan to be online, available and productive is your equipment getting damaged on the move.
According to the Office for National Statistics, the number of people working remotely is at its highest since records began in 1998. There is a sizeable 13.9 per cent of workers working remotely, around 4.2 million in total and a growth of 1.3 million since 2008.
That’s a huge number of people and tech equipment moving around on a daily basis, with the three biggest risks of damage to tech equipment:
This is the biggest cause of damage to laptops and tablets. Hitting the floor with no padding to protect it is liable to render any piece of equipment unusable.
Exposure to liquid can short circuit the motherboard and end in any tech breaking down. Rainwater, accidentally dropping a device into water or a drink spilled onto equipment on the move are all potential hazards that can take your tech out of action for some time, if not permanently.
While laptops becoming thinner and lighter is a boon to portability, it also makes an exposed or unprotected device more vulnerable to damage and its screen more liable to being torn or cracked.
When it comes to choosing a bag or case for transporting tech, here are five key questions to ask:
1 – What do I need to carry?
It may be a good idea to minimise the number of bags or cases that need handling, so it’s worth thinking about everything you usually carry around. Items that many of us transport at the same time include charger, battery, purse or wallet, toiletries, drink or even a change of clothes.
Some bags come with large extra compartments that can hold bulky items such as shoes. It is also worth looking at capacity in litres, while remembering that the larger the capacity, the heavier the bag may be to carry.
2 – What tech have I got?
Some bags come with multiple pockets which can help to keep everything organised and many have dedicated pockets for tablets and smartphones or media players.
The latter sometimes have a hole through which you can route your headphones.
An idea is to have several independently zipped pockets that open separately. One main zip that you need to open to reach all equipment may give others an easy view of what is inside and leave you vulnerable to theft.
3 – How protective is it?
A primary job of any tech carrying bag, case or rucksack is to keep valuable equipment as stable and secure as possible. There should be good padding, a snug holding area to the size of your tech and possibly straps to secure equipment in place.
Many tech bags have water resistant material on the outside or in their lining, which should be clearly stated. If water resistance is key this needs to be checked on the product description or labelling.
4 – How adjustable is it?
Comfort is key when people are manually transporting a range of equipment and personal possessions around. Does the bag or case have adjustable straps or padded handles? If a rucksack is being considered a chest strap could be really useful for comfortably walking longer distances to and from work sites.
5 – How do I usually get around?
People that use their car to get from place to place or need to take equipment into formal meetings and presentations may find a briefcase style holder best meets their needs. A public transport user or keen walker may be more comfortable with a rucksack style tech bag. If you go away frequently for work you may make better use of an overnight bag or wheeled case with internal spaces built in for tech equipment.
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