The Way We Work

suitcase1With the holiday season upon us, it’s time to consider how you are going to stay on top of work while traveling to visit family and friends for home-cooked feasts and togetherness.

oDesk recently asked one of our world-traveling providers, Jacqui Pittenger how she stays on top of things while jet-setting, and here are the holiday packing secrets she shared…

Jacqui: I bought world adapters for my laptop as well as a really portable plug adaptor to use for our other chargers. I always bring all the adaptors — I never know if we’ll go somewhere else on the way home! Sure came in handy when we decided to come home from Brazil by way of Paris and London earlier this year. If we’d only brought the Brazilian plugs we’d have been out of luck.

Always keep a devoted back-up drive. On a short trip, I back up before I leave and don’t bother carrying it — between email, Google Docs and my dropbox, all my work files are now stored online. On a longer trip, I bring it along and make regular back-ups.

Other work gear I bring on my trips include: a really nice wireless mouse and wrist rest, a retractable Ethernet cable (many hotels still make you plug in) and all my connecting cords/chargers. It all fits in two little baggies so it stays nice and neat.

Oh, and noise-canceling headphones! Not just for the airplanes, but the airports and sometimes even the hotels. I don’t necessarily have total control over my work environment, but I refuse to let my work environment have control over me.

Well said, Jacqui! Before you leave for the holidays, don’t forget to check out our list of airports with free wifi, as well as our list of other free wifi hotspots.



* laptop and charger
* noise-canceling headphones
* adapters (international travel)
* backup drive
* cell phone and charger
* updated contact info for all clients
*list of free wifi locations at destination

A word to the wise? If you’re flying, make sure these items are in your carry-on bag. You don’t want to chance losing them to holiday luggage purgatory. Besides, waiting for your late flight might just be the most productive hour of your pseudo-vacation!


Working from home can either liberate you or weigh you down — it’s all about how you do it. Having worked from home for over a decade, I’ve learned what works and what just creates more work. Here at oDesk, you’ll find the tips and tools to do it right.

– Tamara

Tamara Rice

Freelance Writer and Editor

Tamara Rice is one of several freelance writers on the oDesk Blog team. She joined the oDesk marketplace in 2009, after more than six years on staff at an award-winning national magazine.