Jumping back into work and starting the New Year on a productive note? It may be inevitable to embark on a couple of trips to build and maintain business relationships, or kick-start the business in the New Year. But such trips have the tendency to disrupt your usual work schedules, especially when long haul flights and time differences take up room in your itinerary.
By following these three key strategies, you can still remain productive on the go.
Strategy 1: Plan everything
Travelling on a tight schedule can make you feel frazzled. Printing out essential travel documents is always wise as some cities, like India, mandates the physical copy of all official documents. They also come in handy if you lose connectivity unexpectedly. For digital copies, tools such as the Corporate Traveller mobile app can help consolidate all your travel details on one platform for a seamless transit.
Even if visa on arrival is an option, always make arrangements for it prior to departure. This saves you precious time at the immigration. Better yet, make use of fast track passes to breeze through the check points so you dive straight into business.
Business trips are usually jam-packed with activities, from full-on business meetings to casual lunches or networking in the evenings. The use of a calendar app to plan for meetings not only prevents any potential clashes but also gives an overview of your day to better organise your time. With calendar apps, you can also input location details, ensuring that you can find whatever you need, whenever you need.
Minor health issues can happen anytime. It would be wise to be prepared to prevent disrupting your schedule. Since emergency supplies might be difficult to locate overseas, bring along things that you rely on regularly such as painkillers, personal medication and other essentials. This helps you stay at the top of your game, all the time.
Strategy 2: Productive in Transit
Your trip might involve a lot of downtime and time spent in transit. Instead of letting it go waste, you can optimise these pockets of time to complete work and minimise the stress of getting back into the swing of things once your business trip is over. Technology is the best assistant when trying to be productive in transit.
Today, with so many businesses relying on collaborative tools and email to get work done, Wi-Fi is an essential that service providers put on offer. Some examples include portable Wi-Fi devices that can be rented online or at airports worldwide, and affordable onboard Wi-Fi offered by airlines such as Emirates and Qatar.
See: The Itinerary to Success: What Do Business Travellers Really Want?
Of course, Internet connectivity in your hotel room is a must, so don’t forget to bring an Ethernet cable in case the Wi-Fi signal is weak. If you have a long transit, check with your travel partner for airport lounge passes that allow you to work and rest in a comfortable environment, along with access to food and drinks to keep you energised.
When working on the go, portable chargers will come in handy towards ensuring that your devices stay juiced up. Additionally, noise-cancelling headphones will be particularly useful for flights and long train or bus rides to drown out external noises and keep you focused.
Finally, setting goals can also help you optimise your travelling time. Knowing what work can be done with or without Wi-Fi will be useful, as you can download what you need in advance. Blocking out time to stay connected with your office can prevent you from being overwhelmed when you get back to work. Additionally, factoring in the tiredness from travelling when you plan your schedule can help you set realistic goals.
Strategy 3: Stay Balanced
Travelling for work can be very exhausting, potentially taking a toll on your mental and physical health. Beyond just optimising productivity, set aside time to take care of yourself and unwind from the stress. This ensures that you stay energised and productive throughout the trip, and when you get back to the office too.
The best way to stay balanced on your trip is to satisfy your personal wellness needs and retaining parts of your daily routine. Rely on a strong Americano every morning to get work done? Quickly Google where you can find the best coffee near your hotel. Always try to incorporate some form of physical activity to boost endorphin levels.
This can be a quick morning jog or utilising hotel facilities such as the gym or swimming pool. Many business travellers also find fitness trackers and health apps useful in helping to keep their goals on track. For the true fitness buffs, some cities even have communities that offer group classes and boot camps on a drop-in basis, making it extremely convenient for you to workout and make some friends at the same time.
Author credit: Shaun Clear, Operations Leader at FCM SE Asia. Shaun heads Corporate Operations for the SEA market in both the FCM and Corporate Traveller brands, and is accountable for maintaining high standards of service delivery, quality control and consistent processes across the markets.
Also read: Keeping Up with the Expectations of Millennial Business Travellers