Staying productive while on the go: Three strategies for business travellers

One of the common challenges faced by business travellers is the pressure to stay productive during their business trips. However, long haul flights, jet lag and a fully-packed schedule often makes it hard for travellers to find a balance between work and rest. Yet, many make the mistake of not planning ahead, resulting in wasted time in transit or simply finding themselves lacking the right tools to get work done on the go.

By following these key strategies, your next business trip can prove to be far more productive –

Strategy 1: Plan everything

Travelling on a tight schedule can make you lose focus. Printing out essential travel documents is always wise as some cities, like India, mandates the physical copy of all official documents. They also come in handy if you lose connectivity unexpectedly. For digital copies, tools such as the Corporate Traveller mobile app can help consolidate all your travel details on one platform for a seamless transit.

Even if Visa on arrival is an option, always always make arrangements prior to your departure. This saves you precious time at the immigration. Better yet, make use of Fast Track passes to breeze through the check points so you dive straight into business. 

Business trips are usually jam-packed with activities, from full-on business meetings to casual lunches or networking in the evenings. The use of a calendar app to plan your meetings not only prevents any clashes but also gives an overview of your day to better organise your time. With calendar apps, you can also input location details, ensuring that you can find whatever you need, whenever you need.

Minor health issues can happen unexpectedly and disrupt your schdedule. Since medical supplies might be difficult to locate overseas, bring along things that you rely on regularly such as painkillers, personal medication and other essentials. This helps you to stay at the top of your game, all the time.

Strategy 2: Productivity in transit

Your trip might involve a lot of downtime and time spent in transit. Instead of letting it go to waste, you can optimise these pockets of time to complete work and minimise the stress of getting back into the swing of things once your business trip is over.

Technology is the best assistant when trying to be productive in transit. Today, with so many businesses relying on collaborative tools and email to get work done, wifi is an essential that many service providers have on offer. Some examples include portable wifi devices that can be rented online or at airports worldwide, and affordable onboard wifi offered by airlines such as Emirates and Qatar. Of course, Internet connectivity in your hotel room is a must, so don’t forget to bring an Ethernet cable in case the wifi signal is weak.

If you have a long transit, check with your travel partner for airport lounge passes that allow you to work and rest in a comfortable environment, along with access to food and drinks to keep you energised. When working on the go, portable chargers will come in handy in ensuring that your devices stay juiced up. Additionally, noise-cancelling headphones will be particularly useful for flights and long train or bus rides to drown out external noises and keep you focused.

Finally, setting goals can also help you to optimise your travelling time. Knowing what work can be done with or without wifi will be useful, as you can download what you need in advance. Blocking out time to stay connected with your office can prevent you from being overwhelmed when you get back to work. Additionally, factoring in the tiredness from travelling when you plan your schedule can help you to set realistic goals.

Strategy 3: Stay balanced

Travelling for work can be very exhausting, potentially taking a toll on your mental and physical health. Beyond just optimising productivity, set aside time to take care of yourself and unwind from the stress. This ensures that you stay energised and productive throughout the trip, and when you get back to the office too.

The best way to stay balanced on your trip is to satisfy your personal wellness needs and retaining parts of your daily routine. Rely on a strong Americano every morning to get work done? Quickly Google where the best coffee can be found near your hotel. Always try to incorporate some form of physical activity to boost endorphin levels. This can be a quick morning jog or ulitising hotel faciliaties such as the gym or swimming 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 offers group classes and bootcamps on a drop-in basis, making it extremely convenient for you to workout and make some friends at the same time.  

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