Do things outside of your comfort zone – a great concept. Along that same note, is there such a thing as working – literally – outside of your comfort zone? Absolutely.

Recently I spent a week working from Portland – a city I find myself in quite often because my boyfriend lives there. Usually when I am in Portland, work rarely finds its way into my routine. However, on this visit, I decided to stay for a longer period of time and try working remotely. What did I bring with me to make working from Portland just as effective as working from Plantronics or my home in Santa Cruz? Nothing fancy, just the basics; my laptop, a note pad and a few of our UC products.

During my week in Portland, I was able to work from my boyfriend’s apartment, coffee shops in downtown Portland, the Nike campus (headquarters in Beaverton, OR), and even an open work/collaboration space. Each location taught me something different about working remote and what works well (or not so well) for me in terms of location, noise level, environment, etc.

DAY 1: I started the week working from my boyfriend’s apartment. I found a few spots that were comfy (dining room table and couch in the sun) so I could rotate if I needed a change. Overall, it was very similar to working from my own apartment in Santa Cruz – just a bit nicer!

Two of our UC products were especially helpful. The first, one of our USB corded headsets (Blackwire 420) and the second, a small USB speakerphone (Calisto 420). They are both designed for portability and are extremely easy to use. As a result, they were key players in making my work week successful. These two products complement each other well – if I wanted to be immersed in a conference call blocking out background noise, or simply listening to music, the Blackwire 420 was my go-to headset. If I wanted a hands and headset free option to join a call, with great microphone and speaker coverage, the Calisto 420 was perfect. One of the best features on both of these products is that the mute button is easy to find and it’s very clear whether or not you’re muted – VERY important when working remote.

Another key takeaway, don’t assume that your internet connection will automatically work – even if you’ve been on that particular network prior. So, give yourself a few extra minutes to join the call. I was a few minutes late to my first call because I assumed I would have instant connectivity. Always check first, especially when you’re traveling or are in new work locations.

Best part about working from home (or a home): food and coffee are always nearby and accessible….and free :)

Day 1 was marked as a successful remote working experience.

On day 2, I ventured out into downtown Portland…more to come.