Simple ways to boost productivity during business trips

Posted by Amanda Augustine

March 11, 2014 @ 01:46 PM

How to ensure your next work trip doesn’t get in the way of your work.

Social_Media_Skippy_SmartphoneTraveling for work can be fun, but it can also be challenging – particularly when it comes to staying productive as your routine is thrown off. Remember, your deadlines don’t disappear when you hit the road.

I’ve been thinking about this topic ever since we kicked off the 2014 JobMobile event series with TheLadders. When you’re traveling frequently for business, it’s imperative to plan ahead. Here are four tips to help you stay productive when you’re out of your usual element.

Set expectations

Before you hit the road, meet with your team members to share project updates and review next steps. Communicate when you will be available to speak on the phone, and when you’ll be checking your email. Determine how you’d like urgent messages flagged in your inbox so the most pressing issues can quickly be addressed during your short windows of time between business meetings. Set up your out-of-office messages for your phone and email, detailing a point person for inquiries, and articulating communication expectations.

Plot out your work.

Before you go away, take a good look at your to-do list and determine what needs to be accomplished and by when. Tie up any loose ends that require a face-to-face meeting before you head out of the office. There will be times during your travels when you may not have access to the internet. Save the projects that don’t require internet access for these occasions so you can remain as productive as possible.

Gather your tools before you go

In order to remain productive on the road, you first have to make sure they have the right resources to get the job done. Beyond a phone and internet access, consider what resources you need to do your job. This may include access to in-house software systems or servers that require your tech team’s help to access. Thanks to mobile technology, this is easier than ever before. When I’m on the go, I like to use Skype or FaceTime to handle meetings with colleagues and document-sharing services such as iCloud and Dropbox so I don’t have to worry about accessing the corporate drives.

Know your internet options

Whether you’re taking a train, a plane or even a bus, these days you can find internet access almost everywhere. First, check to see if your service provider offers mobile internet and mobile hotspots. I use the Verizon Jetpack Mobile Hotspot MiFi to access internet anywhere my phone has service. Additionally, check to see if your airline offers WiFi on their flights. Save some time and money by setting up an account with a service like Gogo ahead of time and choosing the pricing option that makes the most sense for your needs.

Looking for more ways to be productive? Click on the following link to access my favorite apps for managing your career and job search.

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Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow her at  @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter and “Like” her on Facebook for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.

Topics: Ask Amanda, Professional Development