5 tips to be more productive on your business trip
Though a source of opportunity for the company and pride for the collaborators, business trips require thorough preparation before leaving to remain productive and connected.
Business trips may have become less frequent since the global health crisis, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. No wonder: the best technology in the world is no substitute for the value of face-to-face interaction, whether it's to meet a new client, strengthen relationships with colleagues, or even learn new skills.
While business trips are an excellent way to boost business, they are also a source of fatigue and stress. Limited resources, odd working hours, interrupted sleep, and distance from family and friends: these are just some of the reasons why travelling for work is often not your most productive time - unless you fully prepare yourself and embrace agile working.
1. Have the right tools
Technology can be your best ally, provided you have the right digital tools at your disposal. Rather than being overwhelmed by a myriad of notifications, organise your meetings with a meeting management solution. This way, you'll know exactly what your priorities are and have access to all the documentation you need to prepare. Besides, effective meeting management tools work both online and offline, so you don't have to worry about finding a Wi-Fi connection. You can work while you're on the go or even during transit time in a truly agile way.
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2. Prepare a travel itinerary
There's no need to waste valuable time looking for the exact address of your hotel or your client's offices. Instead, prepare a document that outlines your entire trip: your flight or train schedules, your booking references, the addresses you need to get to (and possibly their GPS coordinates if you are renting a car), and the local emergency phone numbers, just in case.
3. Stay connected
Depending on your work commitments and time zone, you may find it challenging to communicate with the teams in your home office. So before you leave, remember to clarify priorities with your collaborators and adjust your agenda accordingly. For instance, be sure to delete the meetings you won't be attending and, where appropriate, designate someone to represent you. Also, consider delegating some responsibilities while you are away, and make sure your automated email indicates who to contact for each type of enquiry.
4. Have a productive day while on the move
How often do you have several hours of uninterrupted work per week? Never? We thought so. Take advantage of this time during your trip to review documents and reports that you usually only have time to skim. Review the meeting minutes from recent meetings and the actions decided upon. In short, use the opportunity of being in the air to literally get a bird's eye view of the projects in progress and gain perspective on the bigger picture.
5. Set up a space to work while away from the office
While some people can focus anywhere, many need a dedicated space to be able to work effectively. When travelling for business, make sure you have a workspace where you can be productive. This could be a desk in your room or a quiet corner in the hotel lobby. Having a designated space will help your mind get into “work mode” and help you get things done.