At first, it seems easy to complete 40 hours of work in a week while simultaneously traveling for meetings or sales. It would appear from a superficial level that hours of airplane travel, blocks of time waiting for transit, shuttle, taxi time and evenings in hotel rooms would give ample time to complete day-to-day tasks.
It is not until one lives the experience that one comes to realize that façade of ease is a false one, and the struggle of cramming in a full work-week while on the road is actually challenging.
Below is a list of travel tips provided by some of the most traveled professionals I know – true road warriors who work in the marketing industry. Hopefully, some or all of these suggestions will prove useful in increasing readers’ work efficiency while traveling.
- Note which of your hands is dominant, and chose an aisle seat that compliments it. For example, if you are right handed, you want to sit on the left side of the aisle allowing your right arm to move more freely
- Use a tablet/laptop hybrid like a Microsoft Surface device so you don’t have to shut down during take-off and landing, giving extra work time for increased productivity
- Don’t rely on a plane to have internet (even if it says it will). Often the internet is not working, or is too slow to complete more involved work. Instead, hold off to complete the small or menial tasks until boarding. Clean desktop, improve formatting of old documents and presentations to make them into templates, and organize calendar/email while in the air
- In preparation for a longer flight (cross continent, or international), research apps suggested by your airline company to download ahead of the flight so you don’t have to pull out credit card and create an account in front of everyone – associate account with work email address so all receipts go to that inbox for tracking purposes
In transit and at hotel
- Try not to schedule conference calls while traveling because your risk of being late or needing to reschedule due to unforeseen circumstances will be increased
- Always have granola bars, water and Starbucks VIA on hand in case you run late on a call or deliverable, and can’t get to lunch or dinner when planned
- Remove distractions from hotel room by switching off your TV and hanging the “do not disturb” sign on your door
—Lee Sumner, Sr. Research Manager