The modern work environment is increasingly mobile. Coffee shops, libraries, the home, and even the back seats of Uber cars are now serving as offices. With BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) now the norm in many corporate cultures, it’s never been easier to set one’s own schedule or work from anywhere – which means the briefcase and work bag have become an essential tool for many businessmen and women. Of course, if the work bag is essential for the modern professional, then what goes inside is even more important! These are your work bag essentials.
Laptop or Tablet
Why bring a laptop or tablet with you wherever you go? So you can get work done anywhere at any time, of course! The benefits of this item should be self-evident for anyone who works on the go. Choose a work bag or briefcase that can accommodate your tablet or laptop and all of its accessories, and you have the foundation for a mobile office. This one is key!
Whether you need to charge a laptop or a smartphone, you are going to want to pack a charger. In fact, you may want to pack both a plug-in charger and a portable cordless charger, just in case you find yourself low on battery power and away from an outlet.
Tide to Go (or Other Stain Removers)
Who among us hasn’t stopped for coffee or lunch before a business meeting and found that we accidentally spilled on our shirt or pants? It is a disaster that, if you’re caught unprepared, can ruin your whole day. That is where pocket stain removers like Tide to Go come in. True, it may not be able to remove a giant dollop of mustard from a white shirt, but for most situations, it can prove incredibly handy.
Forgetting your sunglasses at home is one of those things that can affect your whole day. Having to constantly squint is not just annoying, it can actually lead to headaches and physical discomfort, which themselves will further impact your mood. With fall already here, the sun is getting lower in the sky each and every day. Throw a pair of sunglasses in your bag – you can’t go wrong with classics like Ray-Bans if you’re trying to decide on frames – and start your day in comfort (and style).
If you’re attending a business meeting or sitting down with clients, it’s always a good idea to bring business cards with you. Whether you’re a wedding photographer who meets with clients frequently, or a mid-level manager who meets with clients infrequently, business cards are so easy to purchase now – with services like Vistaprint and MOO available – that every professional should have one.
Floss, Altoids, & Travel Toiletries
Before meeting with clients, co-workers, or executives, do yourself a favor and freshen up prior to your meeting. Brush, floss, and use mints liberally; it costs almost nothing to do so, takes up very little time, and ensures that your teeth are white and shining, and your breath minty fresh. Remember, impressions still matter. So pack some Altoids.
As much as we all may hate to admit it, working from a Starbucks can actually be incredibly difficult. Distractions are everywhere and the noise level tends to be unyielding and constant. Give yourself some peace and quiet with a pair of headphones. And forget about those little ear buds that always fall out; instead, consider a pair of high-quality, over-the-ear noise cancelling headphones. Even if you don’t listen to music, you’ll appreciate the quiet.
Notebook & Pen
Even in this digital age, it still pays to have an analog backup in your bag, especially for note taking. When you’re meeting with a client, a traditional note pad and pen is quite simply less conspicuous, less distracting, and easier to use. The client doesn’t want to wait for you to type out everything he or she is saying; jot it down quickly and transcribe later. Plus, you can doodle!
The Cloud has revolutionized data storage over the last decade, but a flash drive can still come in handy. You may not always have an Internet connection, or a file may be too large to email or upload to a storage account. With a thumb drive (you can easily attach one to your keychain so that it’s always available), you avoid these potential hurdles.