Using an Internet cafe while traveling can provide mobile workers with an alternative work place and means of accessing the Internet. There are some issues of which to be aware of before using an Internet cafe and safety precautions which should be taken.
1. Finding an Internet CafeBefore leaving on any business trip, make sure you have researched where Internet cafes are located and which are located in close proximity to where you are staying. Having an Internet cafe which is located hours away from where you are staying is not convenient at all. Use online directories and map services to get specific locations and directions.
2. Weighing the CostsMany Internet cafes which are listed online do provide details regarding the costs and how long you can use the service. Compare the price of access via an Internet cafe against the cost of Internet access in your hotel so that you are making the best and most economical decision. If you are going to use the Internet only for checking email - an Internet cafe could be a viable option.
3. Go Web-based Use a web-based email system either your own company's or through a third-party such as Hotmail or Google. This can be a quick method of checking your email and you will not have to worry about losing any email on your own system.
4. Leave Email on the ServerRather than downloading your email to the computer in the Internet cafe, learn how to change your email settings to have the email stay on the server. This way when you return from your trip, you can still access the email and file it as needed. Just remember to change your settings back once you return from your trip.
5. Time for a ChangeUsing an Internet cafe provides you with a change of space and allows you to get out of either an office or your hotel room. Whether you want to grab a quick bite to eat or just read email your email, it's a nice change of pace for mobile workers.
6. Don't Leave Anything BehindLearn how to delete your email and any web surfing information from an Internet cafe computer. You don't need to leave any information that could be discovered by someone else. Like camping - leave nothing behind.
7. Not Meant for Internet CafesIf you plan to work for a prolonged period of time or download large files - an Internet cafe isn't your best option. Most Internet cafes rely on people coming in and out, not staying for extended periods of time. This could also get very expensive for you the mobile worker. If your work involves spending an extended time online, then working from your hotel room is your best option.
8. What Do Others Say?Talking with co-workers about their experiences with Internet cafes can help you avoid problems and learn which Internet cafes to avoid or which to seek out. Once you return from your business trip be sure to share your experiences with others. Your company may even wish to create a list of recommended Internet cafes.