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Jamie Lawrence


Insights Director

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Five steps to being productive when travelling


We’re all on the road more and more these days as we travel for meetings or to meet colleagues in other divisions. And yet we also need to be productive when we’re travelling to ensure we don’t get back to a nightmare inbox or drop the ball on important projects that can’t afford to be delayed. Here are six tips to remain upbeat, productive and engaged when you next leave the office.

1. Plan A and Plan B

You know when you’ve got a huge long list of things to do, and then you try to connect  to the Wi-Fi and find it’s just not going to play ball? We’re used to always getting our way with internet access but what are you going to do when you can’t access? Always have a Plan B of tasks that you can hack away at when you can’t get a connection. That way you stay productive. And don’t ignore ‘housekeeping’ tasks – which can make you more efficient, and which you probably wouldn’t make time when it’s business as usual.

2. Charge ahead

Like the internet, power is a limited resource and it can seriously impact productivity – if your laptop dies, so does your email, word processor, social media access, intranet access. So keep your devices charged before you start to travel so you don’t run out on the road. And also, if you can’t charge ahead, make sure you have the right accessories, so you can make use of car cigarette lighter sockets or the plug sockets that are becoming more common on commuter train lines.

3. Make use of the latest apps

In terms of technology, there’s a huge amount out there that can help you automate administrative tasks, keep track of where you are and where you’re going, help you find local amenities and much more. HRZone, in conjunction with our sister site BusinessZone and AccountingWeb, put together an article called 25 useful business travel apps for HR which includes everything you need to know on the latest technology to make your trip go much more smoothly.

4. Compartmentalise effectively

When you’re on the round and the hours are passing every minute can seem like an opportunity to work. But just as in the office you’d take time out to stretch your legs or make a drink – opportunities that aren’t always there when travelling – you need to do the same while travelling, especially as your body will be getting more fatigued. Make sure you build in rest periods after long periods of being on the road to allow yourself to recuperate.

5. Schedule, schedule, schedule

It’s amazing how much we take for granted when we’re working in the office or from home – it’s easy and quick to eat, to grab a drink, to see friends. It’s easier to eat healthily and sleep well. But on the road you’re dealing with a lot of unknowns, like uncertainty over clean, healthy restaurants, where you can get a good cup of coffee and whether your hotel room is above a nightclub. Research in advance in essential, of course, but so’s scheduling – make sure you set aside time to do the basics, such as finding a restaurant and enjoying your meal. This again comes back to downtime – without it, it’s very hard to remain productive.

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Jamie Lawrence

Insights Director

Read more from Jamie Lawrence

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