Productivity on the Road

Sometimes, you cannot avoid work and it follows you on your travels, whether is at a conference or at the beach.  And without a dedicated space or routine it can be difficult to get your entire to-do list accomplished.  That is okay.  We are here to help.  We have the tools and tips to help you be productive while you are away from home – whether it is on the beach in the city or on an extended vacation.

Day In Day Out

The first thing you need while working away from your home, city, or favourite Impact Hub is a routine. You need to establish times that you will work. Routines can be difficult to establish when you are away from home, and we all know this to be true.

One option for setting a routine is to get work tasks done before plans for the day start. It can be a relief to get work out of the way at the beginning rather than having it hang over your head for the whole day of that exciting conference you are attending.

Setting up time when your work contacts can reach you is also important for establishing a routine. It will help set working times aside from vacation activities, conference dinners, or any other reason you might be travelling and have to work.This will also create a sense of accountability in your day because other people will be counting on you to answer your phone or email.

Sometimes things don’t work out the way you planned. You can’t work in the hotel room because your early morning will cause your partner to wake up too early (they might actually be on vacation). Or you walked twenty kilometres the day before and have no desire to get up early. Or the plans for the day start at the time that you would normally have set aside to work.

Which means you need to be flexible and realistic with your work expectations.

Or you just need to go somewhere else and get everything on your list accomplished for the day.

There is no place like home – or is there?

We all have limited options when staying in someone else’s house or in a hotel. The desk and the uncomfortable chair that is supposed to be your office while away is rarely appealing. Coffee shops while comfortable, and have a ready supply of caffeine, often have unreliable internet connections.

So where can you go? It has to be somewhere that you know you can work well in. Somewhere that has a ready supply of caffeinated beverages. Somewhere comfortable with a reliable internet connection. And somewhere that isn’t isolated from other people.

Fortunately, Impact Hub has you covered!

You are already an Impact Hub Member. Just go to the local Impact Hub. Which is slightly more difficult in Canada as Ottawa is currently the only one in that vast landmass.

Impact Hub Ottawa
Impact Hub Ottawa


As an Impact Hub Vienna member, you get 3 days a year for free at any Impact Hub in the world. Regardless of whether you are off to Amsterdam or Zagreb there is always a place to work. And trust us, it is a home away from home.

Recently while away, I spent a day at Impact Hub Ottawa. I met James Chan, the Programming Lead, who graciously showed me where they kept the tea and coffee, introduced me to members in Ottawa, and gave me the internet password. I also met Vita Sgardello, the Community Lead, who told me about their tradition of “brown bag lunches”.  This is where people bring their own lunch to a short lecture given by one of the community members.  On that day, it was how to camp for free in Ontario.

The Impact Hub in Ottawa is fantastic. Everyone is super welcoming and It was a relaxing space in which to work. Just like Vienna.

Portable Projects

Sometimes, entrepreneurs and freelancers of all types can feel a bit like being an office hobo. You pack up a few things in your bindle for the day and off you go. Being close to your home means your resources are always within reach. However, when you are on the road this is another issue entirely.

While the majority of your work is probably stored on a laptop or tablet you still access books, people, and other physical resources on an almost daily basis. This means finding ways to make it electronic or to condense it realistically.

This might mean downloading books that you need for a project on your tablet – either from the library, on-line booksellers or through accessing materials that are no longer under copyright with Google Books.

This also might mean that if you need a drafting table to design your next bag or product it might be better left for your return. Portability also means choosing projects that can be realistically completed while you are travelling.

Final thoughts

You are travelling and away. Which means that you should also enjoy the reason that you find yourself in another city (or on the beach in Vienna).

Don’t despair that you aren’t getting all your work done.Pack up all your portable work and head out to the nearest Impact Hub.Relax, you will definitely be productive on your travels.