Maxing a Mini Space in a Home Office RV

Telework & Virtual Officing, The New Work
July 22nd, 2008 No Comments »

When I first saw the RV we’d be driving for Home Office Highway, I wondered how I’d make the most of what was by all accounts a miniature space.

Some concepts and practices fell right into place — like using the Mobile Office Workmate or keeping clutter to a minimum. And some were learned, and depended upon the tools we had on hand.

Check out this video to see two examples of how I used off-the-shelf devices to maximize available space.

The Workstation in Progress…

organization, technology
July 6th, 2008 No Comments »

I’ve planted my flag and staked my claim to the front-facing perch of the dinette table in our mobile home office. It is here I’ve created my workspace. And I’m settling in quite nicely.

With a few common supplies, a couple of hardware gadgets, and a little ingenuity, I’ve made it my own

My Foray Mobile Workmate has packed with my laptop (a killer new HP Compaq 2710P tablet ultraslim notebook) and my accessories abound. Ativa Power StationI’ve got several cameras (a Sony Cyber-shot 8.1 megapixel, and my two-year-old HP Photosmart 5.1 megapixel. Nicole brought her Casio Elixim. And the phones have cameras(of course). The Workmate fits perfectly between the driver and shotgun seats while moving. And when I’ve relocated to my office, it opens right beside me.But what’s really cool are the little tweaks I’ve made.

With a pair of inch-square patches of Velcro, I mounted the Ativa surge protector to thee wall behind me. Up and out of the way, it’s become the power charging station for the phones, cameras, printer, laptops and all our other accessories.

The other occurred in that place where A-Ha! meets the right-designed product. The dinette table has two cup holders set in holes routedAtiva USB Hub out from the wood. I popped out one of the holders, unscrewed the in-desk USB hub, and slip the top through the wood. I then screwed the backing behind the table, screwed it into place and — Viola! — I had an in-desk USB hub.

Working from an “alternative” home office requires a bit of make-shift thinking, a few epiphanies and some luck. More tweaks and creativity to come.

It’s positively a unique experience. Except Sponge Bob’s on the cable. So I guess it’s not that unique at all…

Home Office is Where the Laptop is…

June 10th, 2008 1 Comment »

What would you do if you had to create a home office from a space just under 169 square feet? Where would you put “your” space — to work, to focus, to ply your trade uninterrupted?

Jamboree Floorplan

That’s what I’ll face when I take my laptop, wireless Internet connection and other accessories into our Fleetwood Jamboree and try to work efficiently from a make-shift home office for three weeks.

This isn’t really a stretch. It’s bigger than my office at home, which measures right around 140 square feet. But the two are very similar in one respect: Whether it’s 169 square feet or 140, it’s not ALL workspace. In my home office, my desk takes up about 20 square feet (it’s a custom-built beauty, I humbly admit), and the shelving behind me consumes another 10 feet.

Look at the Jamboree’s floor plan, and you’ll see I won’t have much space of my own. The dinette may be my ideal space, but that’s about 21 square feet. The cab-over bed and storage will be another 29 feet. The kitchenette and bathroom are not ideal workspaces, though I’ve been known to get some pretty good reading done in the latter…

Clearly, I’ll have to improvise — and will enjoy doing so. I’ll lose the kitchen table when it’s converted into a bed, meaning my pre-dawn working hours will need some other space. With the awning stretched out, I’ll feed my unusual work chronology by working outside when the spirit and elements cooperate. I’m sure the campgrounds and RV parks we visit will have picnic tables. I’ll work as Robbie drives (oh, the beauty of wireless broadband).

As I’m learning from other RV sites, working from the road is a heavily improvised and ad hoc exercise. If you have some thoughts or suggestions, send them my way…

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