Whether you work in public utilities, construction, industrial manufacturing or surveying, you run into the same old problem. You don’t know where to put your jobsite laptop.
You need the technology to do your job. But the technology wasn’t built for where you need to work.
We wanted to go over 3 of the most common issues that professionals run into when using a laptop outside, and how to overcome those issues and make your outdoor computer a productive tool instead of a hinderance.
Jobsite Laptop Issue #1: Laptops Are Fragile
If you’re monitoring data on a telephone pole, an oil rig, a construction site… you’re not exactly working the desk job that people had in mind when they were inventing the laptop. You aren’t exactly brimming with options when it comes to stable surfaces to rest your precious computer.
Maybe that ledge doesn’t seem precarious. Or you’re pretty confident you can hold your computer and reach for that tool and then…
That sinking feeling in your chest as you see an investment of thousands plummet toward the concrete.
The fact of the matter is, Laptops are fragile. Which is a major pain on job sites where fragility doesn’t do too well.
How To Overcome It:
First, use great care when using any computer in the field. Use both hands when transporting it and moving it to different positions on site. Make sure you keep it in a protective case when not in use.
Second, don’t place the laptop on an unstable surface. Even if it feels stable now, job sites are dynamic. Conditions always change. Make sure that your laptop never rests on a surface that could shift, wobble, or move into harm’s way while using your laptop outside.
If you need a reliable stable surface wherever you go, you might want to consider Utilishelf. But we’ll get to that below.
Jobsite Laptop Issue #2: Laptops Are Susceptible To The Elements
Water and electronics don’t mix. But you don’t control the weather, and if your jobsite is open to the elements, your outdoor computer is vulnerable.
There’s not much you can do if it starts to rain and you need to use a laptop. You can pop open an umbrella and try to do your best to keep it dry. (If you have enough hands to juggle an umbrella and type at the same time.) And if it’s raining hard enough, not even an umbrella can provide the right protection.
So you sit and wait it out. And productivity goes down while you wait for the sky to grow cooperative.
But even if the clouds do break and the sun comes out, your problems don’t end there!
Using a laptop in the sun can be nearly impossible. With a bright glare on your screen, it’s hard to accomplish anything. You can’t work on a screen you can’t see!
How To Overcome It:
There are a few tricks of the trade that we’ve seen over the years. Building sun-shields out of cardboard can be an effective way to keep your screen visible in the glare.
Draping a coat over the screen and your head helps with visibility and/or dryness of your outdoor computer, though as you’d imagine it’s not particularly easy or comfortable to pull off for a long stretch of using laptop outside.
A potential option, especially out on job sites that are completely open to the elements, would be to use an outdoor computer cart. A portable workstation… like the Utilishelf CPD. The CPD is completely stable on the roughest terrain, and has a built in umbrella holder to keep your hands free to use your laptop.
There are also products like the ___ that attach to your computer screen itself and pull out to create a visor that can help you see your screen in the brightest of conditions. Check them out if you need to cut back on the glare!
Jobsite Laptop Issue #3: There’s No Place To Put It
If you’re on the job site and want to take care of your expensive computer, your options are limited.
You need a flat surface. One that isn’t going to move based on the shifting conditions of the elements or jobsite work. And you don’t always have a wealth of options right next to the spot where you need to use your computer.
So what do you do? Rest your computer someplace risky? Enlist a coworker to hold the computer for you and cut into their jobsite productivity?
How To Overcome It:
Bring your desk with you, or build it onsite.
One idea: bring a small card table with you to the job and set it up wherever you need it. Keep it in your truck in case you need to set up a computer desk on the fly.
Or, if you’re working on site where carpentry work is going on, you can build your own jobsite desk with sawhorses and a few unused boards. No sawhorses? Step ladders can work, too. Just make sure that, if you do build a temporary jobsite desk, you double check that it’s stable before you use it with your expensive jobsite laptop.
Of course, you could always bring a Utilishelf.
Utilishelf was invented for just this reason: to provide a stable, reliable work surface wherever hardworking people in the field need it. It’s easily transportable. Your laptop can be safely and reliably used on the jobsite using a Utilishelf with magnets, hooks, or a CPD portable dolly workstation.
Check out our products today, boost productivity on the jobsite, and protect your computing investment.