By Susanne Barth, Publications Manager
A business trip is a nice diversion from normal office working. Meeting with different people, travelling to new places and staying overnight can even be energizing. Yet, reality is often different and in busy times travelling feels like an extra burden. And in fact, normal business goes on and you have to balance your responsibilities with your travelling agenda. So how can you manage to stay relaxed and to get work done while being on the road?
Make sure to have some helpful travel apps on your mobile so that you can access relevant information easily. Airport Apps keep track of flight delays and help you to navigate around different airports. TripIt for example can list your entire travel details such as flights, maps, hotels and directions all in one place. There are a lot of apps available which make your life easier while being away.
Especially when you are travelling with time differences tell your team when you will be checking your emails and when and how (texting, emailing or calling) they can reach you best. Also inform when you will be totally unavailable. If you fear that some emergencies might pop up during your absence share upfront with your colleagues how to handle this best.
Take advantage of your travel time to be productive and don’t save work for your destination. Still at home prepare a (realistic) to-do-list with the most important things you want to accomplish. If you have a long flight prepare an offline package so that you have the documents at hand you need (printed reports, presentations etc). During the flight - when you don’t have any internet connection - you can work on documents saved to your desktop or write emails so that they are ready to send later. If you want to use standby time at the airport it’s an option to buy some some noise-canceling headphones which help work well in crowded spaces.
Being well-organised during your trip will save you time afterwards. It might be helpful to have a folder where you store all your receipts, meeting notes, conference papers etc. Make it a habit to file away your papers and receipts every evening and you won’t be missing anything when you are back. Your expenses-note will be done more quickly than ever before!
Once in your hotel room organise yourself in such a way that you are able to work properly. Find a plug socket for your phone and computer chargers, connect your laptop to the Wi-Fi and arrange all you need. With a kind of work desk, it’s more comfortable to get work done and you can also make better use of time spaces between meetings.
At the end of a long day you need time to relax. So stop checking emails or working on your laptop until you fall literally into bed. Instead calm down before and detach with some rituals you have. This helps to have a good night sleep and to start fresh into the next day.
If you are going to a fancy place where you would enjoy some sightseeing it’s an option to see if you can arrange your business appointments for the end or the beginning of the week so that you can spend one day over the week end. Business comes first but this doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to discover something new which might bring you extra-energy! So enjoy your trip!
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