Upcoming Travel? 5 Tips to Get Work Done While on the Road
Posted by Megan Totka on July 22, 2014 in Business Start Up Advice [ 0 Comments ]
If your job requires you to travel, you probably know how challenging it is to get much accomplished between boarding flights, attending conferences and meetings and getting much-needed sleep. The hassle of traveling combined with work stress can make business trips very taxing. Recent research from the CWT Travel Solutions Group tells us that an employee traveling for work can lose up to 6.9 hours on a trip due to stress (Tweet This). To better manage your email and workload so your return to the office isn’t too overwhelming, take a look at these five tips.
Be Realistic When it comes to Your Capacity
People often overestimate the amount of work they can handle while they travel. It’s hard to account for the things that come up like eating lunch in a restaurant, finding locations with Wi-Fi or coping with a poor connection in the hotel room. Many people forget to allow the time it takes for travel in an unfamiliar city too.
So to best manage your business, you need to pass off some of your workload to your staff. If you have less running through your mind, you will be able to get the most of your conferences and meetings.
Plan a Month in Advance
Make sure you plan ahead several weeks prior to your trip. If you try to delegate your work three days before you leave, you won’t have enough time to make arrangements and those who are helping you may be ill prepared. Also, work ahead on projects when you can. It is that much less work you will have hanging over your head.
Remember to Set Your Out of Office Auto Responder
Before you board the plane, set your email auto responder to let people who email you know that you will have limited access to email. You can also share the dates you will be out of the office and the name and contact information of your out of office contact.
Pass the Baton
Delegate. It’s often hard for small business owners, but it will be in your best interest to select someone to act in your place while you are gone. Make sure this person is able to answer questions from employees and your clients with confidence. Again, plan accordingly and go over the ins and outs with this employee weeks prior to your trip.
You may be in the hiring process and wondering how to put together a stellar team – this is a great opportunity to allow an individual to shine. You never know – you may find that he or she is ready to take on additional responsibility as your staff grows.
Prioritize Your Emails
In just a few days’ time, you may be the recipient of hundreds of emails. When you are traveling, it is okay to prioritize and focus on the emails that need response in the timeliest manner. The rest can be addressed upon your return.
To start the process, simply skim the emails that are in your inbox. Start by deleting or filing away newsletters or emails that do not need a response. Then turn to the most urgent emails and respond and continue to work your way through your inbox. Remember to mark the emails that don’t need an immediate response so you can tend to them when you are back in the office.
When you are away from the office, it’s important you realize that you won’t get as much accomplished as during a regular workweek. Plan ahead so you can better manager your workload, promote the continuation of your business and to ensure you don’t have heaps of work to do upon your return.
How do you prepare for a business trip? What are ways you maximize your time while traveling for work?
Photo via Flickr
Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for ChamberofCommerce.com. She specializes on the topic of small business tips and resources. ChamberofCommerce.com helps small businesses grow their business on the web and facilitates connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide.