The employees around the world spend an average of 2.99 to 5.43 days away from home each time they embark on a business trip. The first figure corresponds to the displacements made within our borders, while the second corresponds to the journeys that are customary to spend abroad. Given that in some cases it is possible to spend the equivalent of a week of work outside the office, is it possible to organize so that work is not the only activity to be carried out during these days? The answer is yes.
Leaving the office to travel to another destination to perform other tasks necessary for the proper functioning of the business should not mean that the worker is attached to his mobile or laptop and can not devote time to himself.
Moreover, a large part of the measures that allow a business trip to be better-organized start from the same premise: to prepare the route in the most conscientious way possible to increase efficiency at each moment.
Plan everything: from the dates to the hotel
It may seem the greatest of the obvious, but it is also one of the points that are often overlooked or delegated to third parties. Do you already know the dates you are going to travel to? Keep them in your agenda and avoid compromises that may interfere with them. If a five-hour trip by plane awaits you and you have a meeting as soon as you arrive at your destination, it is advisable not to finish too late the day before leaving and get up early the day you travel.
Can you afford to make a non-stop flight? Buying tickets that fly directly to your destination airport will allow you to save hours in the air and also reduces the risk that a delay may disrupt some of the plans you have closed once you land.
Something similar happens with hotels. Do you know what the locations of your meetings are going to be? Try to book a room that is nearby, so that your journeys are as short as possible: not only will you save time on trips but you will maximize the time you spend in your room.
The importance of the itinerary (and technology)
As important as having a perfectly worked agenda is to know by heart the itinerary that we are going to follow and act accordingly. Knowing at every moment where we are going, who we are going to see or what topics we are going to talk about is the best way to get to the preparation meetings and get to the point, avoiding lengthening the meetings more than necessary.
And in the same way that it is important to know what time the transport leaves for the airport, it is also essential that you write down specific moments to rest, although at this point we will arrive somewhat later.
Time on business trips is very valuable, so it is important to pack a suitcase with the right and necessary clothes. Take your professional attire for the days that you need or do not hesitate to take less and take advantage of the hotel’s laundry service: the best way to not waste time searching for clothes in the suitcase is to carry only the essential. And do not rule out carrying a change in your hand luggage: it would not be the first time that an airline lost your suitcase, right?
The same goes for technology: carry only what you really need, be it a computer, a tablet or a laptop. Keep up-to-date insurance for these devices in case of loss or theft and, above all, store all sensitive documentation in the cloud so that it cannot be lost in case of loss.
And speaking of carrying only what is necessary, it is also essential to carry the relevant documentation if we do not want to fall into a bureaucratic maze when arriving at our destination. Is a passport necessary? Visa? Do you have one on hand the reservations of hotels, cars, air tickets?
Although the vast majority of them have already been automated and can be carried on your mobile, it is worth having a hard copy in case of unforeseen events.
Learn to relax and rest
As important as the work that is carried out on a trip are the rest hours, necessary to disconnect the mind, charge the batteries and face the coming days with energy. And if necessary, mark specific schedules in which to turn off the computer and end the day.
The disconnection can be total and you can do some tourism. Look for interesting bars or restaurants, inquire to see if there is any kind of cultural attraction that is worthwhile or even an interesting sporting event may be held.
Or simply take advantage of free time to take a nap, walk or read a book. Everything that allows you to keep your brain away from work will be beneficial and will allow you to make the most of each of the scheduled meetings.
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