Traveling for work can range anywhere from exciting to exhausting. From new time zones and different schedules to general distractions of being out of your comfort zone, its often difficult to be as productive as a mobile worker relative to your normal setting. But don’t despair! Working on the go is nothing more than a skill to hone. Read below for tips on how to be productive while traveling for work, and which tools you should be using in order to stay connected.
Business Travel Tips to Enhance Productivity
Always be Prepared
Gradually reduce your workload before you depart, that way you can focus on your priorities and goals for your business trip. Go through your itinerary and update your calendar with correct meeting times, locations, and contacts. When packing, create a list of essential items for your carry-on, (phone and computer chargers, water, and a spare change of clothes) and put the rest in your checked bag. Finally, when you leave the office, leave it in good hands. Appoint an emergency contact just in case, and make sure your entire team knows you will be absent.
Bring the Right Technology
In your normal workspace, you likely have everything set up the way you need it. Traveling for work may reduce your access to your normal setup, but there are plenty of tools you can use to establish a remote workspace suitable for productive and efficient work. If you are on the go, invest in a Bluetooth headset that allows you to be hands-free while staying connected to the office. If you can find a place to set up more equipment, use tools like video conferencing with content sharing and high-definition audio that make it feel like you’re right in the office.
Create a Specific To-Do List
Tailor your to-do lists based on wifi availability. One business travel tip people often forget about is that wifi is spotty and inconsistent. To combat this issue, one to-do list should contain all of the things that can only be completed with an internet connection. Your other to-do list should contain anything that can be completed without an internet connection. This will enable you to divide and conquer tasks in a systematic and efficient way.
Get Connected to the Office
When traveling, make it a priority to stay connected with your office throughout the trip. Check your group chats and emails and don’t forget to check-in with your employees/boss. If you have the ability to, utilize tools such as Zoom or GoToMeeting to try to call in to any team or company meetings; this will limit confusion when you get back and eliminate having to play “catch-up.” This will enable you to stay up to date on any projects that are going on and may help stop the congestion of projects that get stuck waiting for your return.
Give in to Inspiration
Business trips are a great way to spark creativity and innovation. When you’re out in a new place, surrounded by people outside of your own company, collaborating with them can lead to new perspectives and ideas. During these new experiences and networking opportunities, you may have an epiphany or two. Bring that creativity and innovation back to your workplace and share it with your colleagues.
Know When You’re Burnt Out
To be your most productive self, you need to be fully charged. Pay attention to how you’re feeling: are you sleepy? Dehydrated? Jet-Lagged? Know when to stop and take care of yourself. You don’t need to do a cost-benefit analysis to realize that working while traveling is exhausting. Taking care of yourself with a little bit of proper rest and relaxation can go a long way. When you feel great both physically and mentally, there is no limit to what you can achieve!
Stick to Your Schedule & Stay Organized
Sticking to your schedule can help you commit to your work. Follow your normal schedule as closely as possible to minimize unnecessary wasted time. Organize as you go by taking notes about new ideas or perspectives. Stay organized by winding down at the end of the day, reviewing any notes, and setting up appointments to follow-up with contacts.
Gear to Make Mobile Work Easier
The Calisto 5300 portable Bluetooth speakerphone is great for working at home, remote, or in the office. Its full-duplex 360 degree microphone ensures your voice can be clearly heard from up to ten feet (three meters) away. And, in your downtime, its amplified speaker and wide frequency response is great for listening to multimedia.
Wherever you’re working, noise can be distracting. So whether you’re in an open office or on a crowded flight, taking calls or listening to music, the boomless Voyager 8200 UC Bluetooth headset with active noise canceling lets you focus on what’s important, in comfort and style.
When your work takes you out of the office, you need a headset that moves with you. The Voyager 5200 UC mono Bluetooth headset system ensures you sound professional in any environment.
The Voyager 6200 UC Bluetooth neckband headset with earbuds has the versatility to go beyond the office. Seamlessly transition to your next conversation — connect with colleagues working remotely, listen to music to focus distraction-free, or drop an earbud to tune in to the conversation around you. Featuring Plantronics clear talk technology, four omnidirectional microphones and enhanced noise canceling to optimize your voice and minimize background noise.
Apps to Make Travel Easier
Concur is committed to reinventing travel, expense, and invoice management with tools that are easy to use. As a single travel/expense manager, Concur has the ability to sync with your office for necessary approval and easily exported expense reports.
Imagine finding all your travel details in one place and getting live updates about each of your trips. TripIt simplifies itinerary planning by gathering and sorting all reservation confirmation emails, and providing you with a planned master itinerary.
Apps to Make Work Easier
Microsoft allows you to collaborate on any document and review it anywhere, at any time, from any device. OneDrive also offers an offline version that connects and updates your edits as soon as you regain internet access. This tool is also great for scanning documents while traveling to organize your records such as receipts, business cards, and notes.
No matter where you are or what you’re doing, use Asana to quickly capture tasks, manage to-do lists, set reminders, and jot down any ideas. Communicate with your team, view deadlines and progress for all your projects, and manage/delegate tasks all from an app.
Evernote is designed for note taking, organizing, task management, and archiving. The main feature of the app allows users to create various notes that fit their own work style. Notes can consist of texts, drawings, pictures, and even saved web content.
Although you’re traveling for work, you can still accomplish a lot. Use these various business travel tips and download these apps to make travel and work easier so you can be a successful remote worker when traveling. Prepare yourself to be productive and stay connected throughout your trip to limit your stress and (hopefully) have fun!