Work trips are great for developing business opportunities and building relationships, but time away from the office can sometimes be disruptive, especially when long-haul flights are in question.
FCM's Shaun Clear, operational leader, SEA, shares three strategies to help you remain focused and productive while travelling:
1. Plan, plan, plan
While it is convenient to go completely digital, printing out essential travel documents is still necessary in some cities, like India, which mandates the physical copy of all official documents. Plus they also come in handy when Wi-Fi signals are spotty. Double up with digital copies using tools such as the Corporate Traveller mobile app, which can help consolidate all your travel details on one platform.
To better organise your meetings, use a calendar app to get a good overview of your day. With such apps, you can also input location details, ensuring that you can find whatever you need, whenever you need.
To address unexpected health issues, always bring along a medicine pouch filled with essentials like painkillers, personal medication and other essentials. This saves you time from having to locate a pharmacy, and also helps you to stay on top of your game at all times.
2. Get productive in transit
Optimise the pockets of waiting time to complete work, as it can minimise the stress of getting back into the swing of things once your business trip is over.
Today, with so many businesses relying on collaborative tools and emails to get work done, Wi-Fi connectivity is essential. Consider renting portable Wi-Fi devices online or at airports worldwide, or opt for affordable onboard Wi-Fi offered by airlines such as Emirates and Qatar.
Better still, make use of your airport lounge passes (if you have them) so you can work and rest in a comfortable environment, with food and drinks to keep you energised. Also good to have: portable chargers to ensure your devices stay juiced up, and noise-cancelling headphones to drown out talkative neighbours during journeys.
3. Stay balanced
With all that said, travelling for work is exhausting. Beyond optimising productivity, set aside time to unwind and take care of yourself, so you can stay alert for the rest of the trip, and when you get back to the office.
The best way to do so is to satisfy your personal wellness needs and retaining parts of your daily routine, such as your morning coffee must-have.
And don't underestimate the importance of physical activity, be it a quick morning jog or quick dip in the hotel 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.