Working with maximum productivity and minimum stress always means ditching annoying distractions wherever you can — and business travel, with all its complications and frustrations, can bring distractions by the bucket-load. So how do you cut out the disruptions for a simpler, more productive work experience while traveling? Travel advice is everywhere, but here’s the secret bottom line: you don’t have to do without the amenities you have in your office. Here are four ways to make that possible.
1. Stay connected.
These days, we can do better than hoping the hotel has free WiFi. Personal WiFi hotspots are available from every major cellular service provider, and corporate plans are quite affordable. Check to see if your IT department can lend you a hotspot next time you’re hitting the road, or see if your cellular plan allows your smartphone to “tether,” which turns your cell phone into a personal WiFi network for all your devices. Alternatively, there are a number of WiFi providers — like Boingo and Gogo Inflight — that offer Internet access on planes and in airports. Investing in a package with any of these providers can pay dividends in productivity.
2. Bring all your files with you (without carrying a file cabinet).
It’s hard to be productive if you don’t have the files you need on hand. But that’s often a difficult task — logging into VPN from in-flight WiFi or trying to search your inbox for an email attachment can be an exercise in futility. But you don’t have to go through the hassle of copying files from the server onto your hard drive or downloading attachments from your email before you hit the road. Instead, make sure your organization uses a file sync and share solution like Dropbox for Business. Accessing the files you need — whether you’re online or offline — is as easy as opening up a folder on your computer, so you never have to put a project on hold until you can get the file you need.
3. Juice up.
You’re constantly losing energy while traveling, and that can be a productivity deal-breaker. But before you reach for the caffeine pills, we should clarify — we’re talking about your devices. Even if you’re connected to WiFi and have all the files you need, good luck getting work done if your laptop, tablet, or phone dies on you. Before your next trip, consider investing in a mobile battery pack; you likely will not miss sitting on the airport floor in the only corner that has an outlet.
4. Bring productivity with you.
It’s actually pretty simple to create a productive environment wherever you are. When you check in to your hotel room, make it yours; don’t force yourself to acclimate to someone else’s layout. Take a few minutes to rearrange the furniture to your liking before you get settled in. Go ahead and move the desk by the window. Same goes for the lighting — table and floor lamps are fully mobile, and that power strip you packed will ensure even more arrangement options. (Just don’t forget to put everything back before you leave, of course.) When it comes to your lodging, making yourself at home means making the home yours.