We live in a highly technologised era where digital tools and solutions allow professionals to connect and collaborate with each other without being in the same physical space, which is great for companies that rely on a remote workforce. However, there are certain situations that require face-to-face interaction. It’s true that many work-related tasks can be handled from afar, via text or phone/video calls, but it’s also important to acknowledge that not all meetings can, or should, be an email, and sometimes travelling for work is necessary.
When video conferences and phone calls don’t suffice and things can’t be managed remotely, business travel comes into play to save the day. Unfortunately, for employees who have lost touch with the in-office environment or simply prefer to stay in their comfort zone, work trips can turn into a rollercoaster of emotions, with stress and anxiety leading the way.
The prospect of dealing with the hassle of airport parking and security checks, and the jet-lag that follows after is enough to put anyone on the edge. Then there’s the pressure of working in a different environment, being surrounded by new people, having to make important decisions and attending intense meetings. All that can add up and take a toll on employees’ mental and physical health.
But even though business trips might not be your cup of tea, you can still make the most of your experience if you prepare properly. So, here are some effective tips that can take the stress out of the equation and help you stay productive and healthy when travelling for work.
Start preparations as early as possible
Although in most cases business trips are arranged by the hiring company or an assistant, there are certain aspects that you might need to take care of on your own. Also, if you’re a freelancer or an entrepreneur who’s just starting out, the responsibility of organizing the trip falls entirely on your shoulders. Regardless of the situation, you should start preparing for your journey as early as possible to make sure you don’t forget anything important and get everything in order before your departure.
Having a comprehensive pre-trip checklist that includes everything from the items you need to pack to the details of your itinerary and booking information can make the preparation process a lot smoother and give you peace of mind.
Make use of travel apps and tools
Tech advancements have made travel so much easier and more convenient these days so it would be a shame not to take advantage of the perks they provide. From travel-related websites and blogs to expense-tracking apps, travel guides or platforms that allow you to search and book airport services such as Sydney airport car park, there are numerous digital tools and solutions that can help you plan every aspect of your trip down to the very last detail.
Even a simple app like Google Maps that most people are familiar with can help a lot when you’re trying to make your way in a new location. You can download the best travel apps on your phone to make sure you have them on hand when you need them.
Set clear goals for your trip
The last thing you want is to arrive at your destination and not know what you’re supposed to do next. Being in an unfamiliar setting can be confusing enough without stressing out about not being prepared for the work that you have to carry out while you’re away.
Talking to your manager about the things you need to achieve on your business trip or setting clear goals and expectations from the get-go if you’re your own boss and don’t have to answer to anyone can considerably relieve stress and anxiety and give you the confidence boost you need to stay productive. You also need to prepare for the unexpected and know there’s a possibility that some things might not work out the way you planned. Keeping a positive attitude and staying flexible will make it easier for you to overcome these hurdles.
Get enough rest when travelling for work
It’s not a secret that business trips can be quite hectic and downright exhausting, especially if they involve long-haul flights with interminable layovers. Tight schedules filled with back-to-back meetings, tons of work and constant travelling from one location to another can make it difficult for you to find a bit of time to catch your breath and relax. And overworking can make stress and anxiety so much worse.
Even if you feel like there aren’t enough hours in a day to do all the things you want to do, you still need to carve some time for yourself and disconnect from work, so you can still function like a normal human being. Take a look at your schedule and try to sneak in some downtime whenever you can. Also, sleep is non-negotiable, so put away all your devices one hour before bed to make sure you get a good night’s sleep.
Work on the go
If you happen to be stuck in an airport for hours due to layovers or delays, you can use this time to your advantage and get some work done. Not only will this keep you busy and make time pass easier, but it will also give you the opportunity to get ahead on work. This doesn’t mean you should spend every waking moment thinking about work and never lift your head from your laptop or tablet. But if going through your notes one last time and double-checking your plans will provide you peace of mind, you should take the opportunity to do that.
Wrapping up: Travelling for business
Travelling for work often feels overwhelming and daunting due to professional demands, tight schedules and the usual travel stressors. Fortunately, there’s at least one solution for all these issues and as long as you take the time to prepare thoroughly, you’ll be able to keep stress and anxiety in check.
Further reading: The financial stuff you need to know before starting a business.