Some people love business trips; others hate them. For those who love them, business trips are an opportunity to take a break from their offices and typical schedules without taking a vacation.
For those who hate them, such trips require them to travel long distances, leave their families for a time, and put aside a significant number of tasks until they return.
Both parties and everyone in between sometimes struggle to stay on top of business.
Travel can be distracting, and having one’s routine thrown off can be confusing.
Regardless of what category you fall under, how are you supposed to keep up to date with your various tasks if a business trip is in the way, even though the trip itself is important?
Here are a few pieces of advice for making sure you don’t fall too far behind when you get back home:
Manage Your Itinerary
Take a look at your itinerary and make a note of when the important events are.
Meetings, conferences, and other business-related activities are appointments you probably shouldn’t miss, but you can schedule everything else around them.
For instance, you have more free time than you think. Take advantage of the time spent on planes, trains, and taxis to take care of a few tasks.
You might not want to tend to anything major if you don’t have internet access (or unsecured WiFi), but you can respond to an email or check in with your team.
Make a list of everything you can do while on your trip and where you can do it. Prioritize what you need to accomplish first.
You can write a few messages on the train but finish your big presentation in your hotel room. By keeping a list of what’s possible and where, you’re less likely to forget something.
Take Advantage Of Project Management Tools
Project management tools can make your life much simpler. Are calls, texts, emails, and other forms of communication too overwhelming and disorganized?
Project management apps can help you create documents, save them, pass them on to relevant people, assign projects, mark tasks as complete, and perform other functions to streamline your workload.
Use Tools For Communication
Obviously, your phone is going to come to mind when you think of communication tools. If you need to speak with multiple people who are in different timezones, though, your phone’s capabilities aren’t always going to suffice.
Instead, leverage a mobile video conferencing app that enables you to meet with whomever you need to.
According to one study, 45 percent of workplace meetings are virtual anyway, so why not chat with your colleagues face-to-face, even if you’re miles apart?
Conference calling platforms can boost communication and help you be just as productive as you would be at home.
Keep Your Devices Charged
Always keep your devices charged. You’re in a place you probably don’t know very well and also don’t know many people.
You’ll be in a predicament if your phone dies when you need to communicate with someone or call a cab.
Your laptop might run out of battery when you need it but cannot access your charger, so remember to juice it up before you leave your accommodations. Portable batteries are also a practical option.
Consider Using A Coworking Space
Are you in a city for four days, but your important meeting, i.e., the reason you traveled, on day two?
If you don’t want to spend all your time in your hotel room or its lobby, see if you can purchase a day pass at a local coworking space.
This area is designed for people who need to work on their computers and communicate with remote team members.
It’s an opportunity to get out of your accommodations and work in a productive area. Plus, you never know what networking opportunities you’ll find.
Be Prepared For Sudden Changes
Schedules can suddenly change and transportation can be delayed, so be prepared with something to do in case your day ends up going differently than how you expected.
Do you have a mobile data plan that can support whatever work you need to do? Maybe a WiFi hotspot you can carry?
This way, you can take advantage of whatever surprise free time comes your way that you can’t use to do something more fun.
Account For Downtime Sightseeing
Don’t spend all your time working, though. Make time to enjoy yourself and explore the city you’re in.
Work will always be there when you get back, so make efforts to get to know your coworkers better, try different restaurants, see local sights, and read a book or watch TV in your hotel room.
Call your family and friends back home—your first duty is to them and your mental health, not your job, so be active about making time to not work.
Staying on top of business while traveling can be tricky, but there are tools and techniques to make it easier. How do you keep up with work while on business trips?