For many working professionals, business travel is part and parcel of their role – with the job requiring anything from annual corporate meetings to bi-monthly journeys overseas.
While these trips can strengthen client relationships and help to secure new contracts, it can also be difficult to stay motivated when on the move.
Whether it’s sourcing a reliable Wi-Fi connection or ticking off your to-do list on the flight, we’re helping you find ways to make your next business trip as productive as possible.
Make a priority list
Any business professional knows that prioritisation is the key to success – and whether you’re a working mother or the manager of a team, these skills will prove invaluable across all areas of life. Ahead of your trip, make a list of the things you want to achieve and mark them in priority order.
As with any aspect of business, it’s not always possible to achieve everything you set out to do – but by having tasks organised by order of importance, you’ll know the items you can roll if something more urgent crops up.
Working overseas often means you’ll be operating in a different timezone than the rest of your team. In preparation for this, it’s a good idea to structure your working hours as soon as you plan your trip. Not only will this highlight how many hours you have available for ad hoc tasks, but it’ll also help you stick to a structured working day – which isn’t always easy when away from the office environment.
Ahead of your trip, work out the time difference between the UK and the country you’re visiting and how this matches up with your usual office hours. This way, you’ll be able to give the team an idea of the hours when you’ll be available, and you’ll even be able to schedule team meetings in advance.
For those with children, it will be hugely helpful if you set aside time each day to check back in with family members at home, as this will remove distractions and allow you to stay focused during working hours.
Work on the flight
You might not be able to access emails or connect to the internet in the air, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make the most of this often wasted time. Use the airport’s Wi-Fi before you fly to download any important documents or data offline and use your time in the air to familiarise yourself with any information ahead of meetings once you land.
It’s worth requesting a seat with extra legroom as, this way, you can make yourself comfortable and use the extra room to set up your very own mini office in the sky. With your drinks tray acting as a makeshift desk for your notes and stationery, you can utilise your flight time to get organised.
Find great Wi-Fi
When working remotely, a strong Wi-Fi connection is crucial to productivity. If you’re working to a more flexible schedule and are hoping to take in some of the sights while you’re away, it’s still worth ensuring you’re never too far from a strong internet connection – especially if you’re expecting an important email to drop through.
If you’ll be meeting clients during your trip, choose a location well in advance and ensure they have great Wi-Fi access before the time of your meeting. You’ll be unlikely to impress a client if you’re attempting to show them budget projections or plans over an intermittent connection.
Set up a workspace
A hotel might seem like the obvious choice when it comes to business trips, but if you’re travelling with a group, a home-from-home villa can be the ideal place to set up a workspace – particularly if you’ll be away for more than just a few days. Private accommodation not only provides you with a suitable work area but also means that, from individual bedrooms to self-catering, you can enjoy all the comforts of home, too.
When it comes to practicality, hiring out a villa means you can check out its suitability in advance and read reviews regarding any noise in the area and the strength of the villa’s Wi-Fi connection. Whether you’re working from your accommodation or setting up at a restaurant in the centre of town, try to avoid moving to different places throughout the day and, instead, find a base that meets all of your needs.
While business trips can require professionals to spend periods of time away from their families and often involve a lot of travelling, with a little planning and preparation, you could make your next journey the most productive yet.