Business travel takes you away from your usual office working environment. You are not sleeping in your own room, you are not eating the foods you are used to and you’re not working in your own office desk.
Couple these with jet lag and the multiple business meetings, it seems productivity is just a pipe dream. Are you destined to just spend your business travel playing catch up? Don’t worry. There are easy steps you can follow to help you adjust faster and make your business trip a productive one.
Use technology to your advantage
Before leaving for your business trip, decide which gadgets will serve you best. Do you need your laptop for writing reports and other business documents, or are your smartphone and tablet already adequate? Not bringing some devices that you won’t be needing will allow you to lighten your load and even let you go on a business trip with just a carry-on.
Internet access will be essential during your trip. You can get wi-fi from your airline, but check whether this service is available and how much. At your destination, verify wi-fi availability at your hotel or Airbnb rental and meeting space.
Organise with a list
Before your departure, consider all the items you could possibly need and put them on a list. Your list could include your business attire, batteries, chargers, office supplies, make-up kit, and more. If you’d like to bring along a few comforts from home, you can take them with you, like your favourite pillow or sleepwear, to help you adjust quickly.
You should also consider a contingency plan for any unexpected happenings like flight delays or cancellations, and lost luggage. In your carry-on bag, include a change of clothes, a few essential toiletries, and other items you will need for your first day of work. Or, learn to pack smartly, so you won’t need to check-in luggage. This is one of the helpful tips to make your business travel more comfortable.
Brief your colleagues
It is stressful to keep up with your regular workload when you are on a business trip. The way to handle this is to ensure your team at the office remain on track while you’re out of town.
Before you leave, gather your team to keep all of you updated on project status and upcoming deadlines. It is very important to inform your team when you will be available or not available by phone, and when you are going to check your emails. Plus, tell them how you want to be contacted for emergencies.
Finally, write your out-of-office message to inform people who to contact about inquiries.
Familiarise yourself with your destination
Find out what’s nearby where you’re staying. How close is a grocery store where you can buy snacks or drinks? Can you easily walk to the business center? Find out if it is easy or difficult to find a cab, especially at night. This way you will know if you need a car service or not.
You’ll save time and allow you to get right on working mode if you know these important details beforehand. But in case something unplanned happens, download apps that will make travelling easier like the Uber ride-sharing app.
Stay where you’d be more comfortable
Because business travel can be very demanding and isolating, you might like to stay in a place that is warm – one that feels homey.
To ease the loneliness and stress that is often associated with business trips, book a comfortable, clean and affordable property. Hotels corner the market for business travellers, but Airbnb is gradually catching up, particularly with the introduction of Airbnb for Work.
Airbnb properties under the Work Collections must offer the following:
- Self check-in
- Laptop-friendly workspace
You can find Airbnbs practically anywhere, from the heart of a city to a tranquil place out in the suburbs. It is up to you where you prefer to stay.
Air-rive manages a number of excellent Airbnb properties located in great locations across Brisbane. Check them out when you’re going to Brisbane, whether for a holiday or for business.
The graph below shows Airbnb use by leisure travellers versus business travellers:
Take care of your health
Travelling can overwhelm you, especially if you are feeling jetlagged and feeding on unhealthy foods for comfort, or because it is easier to access. You won’t be able to get over this feeling if you don’t take care of your health.
Make sure you get enough sleep. Drink lots of water. Eat healthy and exercise. It is even more imperative to observe good health practices while on the road to keep you energise and productive.
Find what focuses you
As soon as you check-in, do the things that will help you find your focus quickly. Identify what will help you feel settled – and do it, such as unpacking your luggage and organising your temporary closet or stock up the fridge with your favourite drinks.
When you are working in your lodging, do it on a desk or table and arrange it to look similar to your normal workspace. Take out your laptop, connect to the W-fi, organize your files, and set up the office supplies you would need. It will be easier to start work right away when you return to your lodging in between meetings when everything is already laid out.
Find time to unwind
No matter how many busy you get on the trip, you have to find the time to unwind at the end of the day. You might want to relax by having drinks in a bar and socialise a little, or you might prefer to have some alone time. You can have a quiet dinner, read a book, or call home to your partner and/or kids.
When you are able to relax at night, you will be recharged and ready to face another grueling day of business meetings and phone calls the next day.
Have fun and enjoy
And although business is the main purpose of your trip, there is no reason not to see and enjoy the local sights. If you have some free time before your departure, or you have a few hours of layover, enjoy some sightseeing. Take advantage of the fact that you are in a new place that is waiting to be explored.
“All work and no play” should never apply to business travel. You will look forward to your next business trip and the next if there is something fun and enjoyable to look forward to at the end of it.