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Marriott’s Residence Inn Taps Home Office Expert for Ad Campaign

The Road Warrior, What's New With the Tour?
October 26th, 2009 No Comments »

marriott-bookmark-jpgHome office, telework and road warrior technology tips from leading home-business and work-at-home expert Jeff Zbar will be featured in more than two million copies of TIME, Fortune and Money magazines and Time Inc. websites beginning this week.

In a unique promotional campaign for Marriott International Inc.’s Residence Inn brand, Zbar provides two dozen tips on remote work strategies, “cloud” computing and online security. The tips are presented on “bookmarks” bound into the magazines and linked to from the websites. View the bookmark here.

“Road warriors, digital nomads and others who work from the road don’t want to struggle or just get by. They want to thrive – no matter where work and life take them,” said Zbar, creator of Chief Home Officer and Home Office Highway, a site focused on extended, working vacations. “Residence Inn’s campaign reveals in simple detail how easy it can be to achieve location independence and to connect and compute from a workspace other than the home or corporate office.”

The Residence Inn campaign, “Master The Long Trip” appears in the October 26 issues of TIME and Fortune, and the November issue of Money. The online tips debuted on CNNMoney on October 19, and will run through November 30. The tips also appear on Sports Illustrated.com. Read More »

Road Warriors & Teleworkers Turn HD Video into Power Tool

Product Review, technology
September 24th, 2009 No Comments »

They say video is the Next Frontier for small business marketing. Are you recording?

Videos will be searched, categorized, crawled, archived, accessed and — eventually will replace the typed blog or other commentary for people more interested in having content as eye-and-ear candy than as an exercise in reading.

For that reason, I have a Pure Digital Flip Video HD. It takes sharp, snappy images in crisp HD clarity. I also have a library of home office videos (showcased at the top of this website). Each was taken with a Flip Video.

flip-videoSmall. Simple. Sharp. Easy to share. These attributes describe the evolution of today’s video camera — and what consumers are demanding in them.

These aren’t just for marketing. Contractors can shoot images from job sites. Teleworkers can video their home offices — as proof for their employers that they have a bona fide workspace. Of course, kids can use them for projects and parents can goof off with them (not while working, of course…) Read More »

The Lonely Planet Offers Smart Global Travel Tips

Pre-Trip Planning
September 8th, 2009 No Comments »

Hitting the road to locales little known? Travel wisely. With the right tools and plans, you can travel light – and like a pro – no matter where the open road takes you on this lonely planet…

For Wireless Provider, Happy CSRs Mean Improved Customer Service

Tour News
August 20th, 2009 No Comments »

In a non-descript building in suburban Tampa, Florida, resides the nexus of Verizon Wireless’s customer experience.

It’s the experience that occurs after the new wireless customer has left the retail showroom, after the first bill has arrived, when a question arises or when it’s time for an upgrade and a live operator must get involved.

Verizon Wireless call centers belie the traditional image of row after row of non-descript workspaces.

Verizon Wireless call centers belie the traditional image of row after row of non-descript workspaces.

It’s an experience handled by one of some 1,200 live operators (CSRs, or customer service representatives, as they’re called) at this six-story building just off a bustling throughway. The wireless carrier’s Florida Customer Service Center handles calls from across the state. The center is one of 24 nationwide, but it’s anything but typical.

And though it’s a call center, don’t come in thinking you’ll see row after row of stereotypical phone banks. Read More »

Laptop Lifts Protect Netbooks, Macbooks from Home Office Hazards

Product Review
August 14th, 2009 No Comments »

In the world of computing, seemingly simple mistakes can have devastating consequences.

Laptop Lifts raise the laptop, netbook or Macbook - and protect from spills and overheating.

Laptop Lifts raise the laptop, netbook or Macbook - and protect from spills and overheating.

When we were on Home Office Highway, our technology was subject to all sorts of hazards.

Falls, spills, the heat of an RV all were potential problems. In fact, several times the MSI Wind netbook almost took a fall from the dinette table because RV vibrations set it into motion.

I discovered a simple solution: A few small strips of adhesive-backed silicon stuck to the bottom of the computer. Tacky with the rubbery feel of silicon, they hold the device snug in place.

Such is the premise of Laptop Lifts (www.laptoplifts.com). The product and its creator offer a plethora of PC protections — and lessons in entrepreneurship.

Slippage is just one problem laptops face. Low and close to the table, one spilled drink can soak and fry the device in a flood of fluid. The Laptop Lifts, though, raise the device a mere quarter inch, allowing safe passage for an otherwise disastrous deluge.

Read More »

LogMeIn, Skype & Custom Earplugs: Just What the Road Warrior Ordered

Pre-Trip Planning, Product Reviews, technology
August 11th, 2009 No Comments »

Paul Holstein’s summer trips to Europe are a holiday indeed — especially considering how little he has to worry about staying connected during his time away.

Paul Holstein - the well-honed road warrior.

Paul Holstein – the well-honed road warrior.

This is the second installment of a two-part snapshot offered by the owner of CableOrganizer.com into the must-bring tech that keeps him productive “across the pond” — as if he hadn’t even left his Fort Lauderdale offices.

Last time, we looked at some of Holstein’s hardware selections. This time, it’s his software and accessories he’ll introduce us to…

Syncplicity is a software application allows you to setup one or more folders on your hard drive and it synchronizes that folder with all your other computers.  In my case, that’s office, home, and laptop.

When I need to make a presentation or work on a document both at home and the office, I make sure I keep the document in my synchronized folder.  I gave a presentation in Boston a few months ago and forgot to put the presentation on my USB flash drive.  No worries, it was on the syncplicity server.  I just fired up my web browser and downloaded it.  Unlike other sync programs, Syncplicity copies all your files to the cloud so that your computers don’t need to be all on to synchronize.  It works really well with my next favorite software…

RoboForm. How many times do you sign up for a website at the office, then try to access it from home?  Or how often do you change your password for sensitive sites with a complicated password, then you need access from your laptop or you forgot the password?  Well, with Roboform, it remembers all your logins.  When you open a page with a login, it fills in the information for you.  In addition, it generates really secure passwords for you and it will even fill out your name, address and credit card information that is needed on a lot of sites.  When I use RoboForm in combination with Syncplicity, I don’t have to worry about remembering logins anymore.  They are always up to date.

LogMeIn is fantastic and free.  They have a paid version, but if you have syncplicity, you really don’t need it.  I use logmein to access my enterprise programs such as our ERP program and our accounting system.

Skype is the mother of all VOIP applications.  I use it all the time to save money on phone calls.  Skype lets you call regular phone numbers for about 3 cents per minute.  That’s a lot cheaper than most other plans and the voice quality is great.  In addition, you can even do video conferencing with people who have Skype.

Sound is an important and often overlooked component of travel. I also carry my Bose Headset with a special microphone adapter and my custom earplugs. The Bose Quite Comfort headsets are a lifesaver on long trips.  You’d be amazed how much calmer and relaxed you are after a long trip if you use noise cancelling headsets. I found a special communications kit that you can use with it that lets you make phone calls.  This is incredibly useful in crowded airports or on the road.  You can hear your callers perfectly no matter how much noise is around you.  The sound quality is great on the other end as well.

I also had custom earplugs made for me.  These are incredibly comfortable and allow me to sleep with the earplugs in.  I can even turn my head on the side on my pillow with no discomfort.  I used them on the plane and also in noisy hotel rooms.  It cost me about $100 but it is well worth it.

Indeed.

iPhone, Smart Laptop Add Balance to Road Warrior’s Mobile Life

Pre-Trip Planning, Product Reviews, technology
August 9th, 2009 No Comments »

When Paul Holstein heads to Europe for summer holidays, he’s packed and ready for business.

Paul Holstein - the well-honed road warrior.

Paul Holstein - the well-honed road warrior.

The owner of CableOrganizer.com offered a snapshot into the must-bring tech that keeps him productive “across the pond” — as if he hadn’t even left his Fort Lauderdale offices.

His take…

What a perfect topic for me.  I’m on vacation in France now and, of course, totally connected.

My favorite laptop these days it the Toshiba Portege R600-ST4203. It’s built for the traveler.  It’s 2.4 pounds and one inch thick.  You can’t imagine how this changes everything.  You don’t need to carry a separate laptop bag if you don’t want to.  You can tuck it into your regular carry-on suitcase.

Alternatively, you can carry a small laptop bag and add clothes to it for short trips. Forget the headset and webcam.  Those are built right in to the laptop.  They are built into most laptops today.  That saves you a lot of effort as well. Read More »

Post Home Office Highway Getaway: A New Definition of Stay-cation

Work/Life Compatibility
August 3rd, 2009 No Comments »

Jeff & Stella relax on Ft. Myers Beach.

Jeff & Stella relax on Ft. Myers Beach.

After two weeks in an RV, I’m ready for a staycation closer to the home office.

Yet if the soft market has let slip any hopes of exotic travel this summer, don’t cave to “vacation envy.” Get creative and plan a “stay-cation” of your own.

Urban dictionary defines stay-cation as “A vacation that is spent at one’s home enjoying all that home and one’s home environs have to offer.” Don’t blow your stay-cation catching up on chores, straightening up the garage, fixing the roof or painting the house.  Make sure that you limit the time you spend on email.

The well-planned stay-cation, or stay-at-home vacation, can help de-stress and re-energize the soul, notes FAT Bastard Wines.  Here’re nine tips for planning a killer stay-cation… Read More »


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