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Business Travel: How To Maximize Productivity While On The Road

As business travel begins to recover, more and more travellers are hitting the road. But how can you maximise your productivity while on the move? How do you cut through the chaos and uncertainty, and ensure that your trips are smooth, successful – and worthwhile?

Oz Desai, GM Corporate Traveller, shares 5 tips for today’s post-COVID road warrior:

  1. Ditch the red-eye flight

Getting up at the crack of dawn to catch a flight has never been the best recipe for productivity. After all, you want to be alert and focussed when meeting with important clients. In times of COVID, travellers need to factor in additional time at the airport for screening purposes. This makes the red-eye a complete no-go.

Instead, opt for a flight on the day prior to the meeting and enjoy the comfort of a hotel room to work and rest prior to your meeting. The more energised you are, the more productive you will be.

  1. Pack light

You’ll feel much more productive (and energised) if you are not weighed down with heavy suitcases and unnecessary baggage.

Pack the bare minimum – and ensure today’s essentials (your cell phone, ID, hand sanitiser and spare masks) are easily accessible.

A great carry-on bag, with handy zipped compartments, is your best friend. Make sure it can accommodate a change of clothes, laptop, chargers and all your travel docs (even better, have them on your phone) to prevent fumbling and faffing at security or the boarding gates.

Sam :] will also help you pack, as Sam’s pre-trip info and recommendations includes the weather in your destination.

  1. Choose your accommodation well

A hotel can make or break your trip. And finding the right hotel to meet your needs close to your meeting venue can be a challenge.

Things to consider:

  • The distance from the airport and/or your meeting venues. Ultimately, you want to eliminate unnecessary time in transit.
  • Free Wi-Fi (and great connectivity).
  • A comfortable working space. Having a decent desk (and space to think) in your hotel has become more important than ever. Especially, since common spaces to work are still often limited as a result of COVID regulations.
  • With safety and hygiene top of mind, not to mention some curfews still in place around the world, your accommodation needs to be within easy access of safe, vetted dining options.

Even better? Ask your TMC to arrange early check-in or late check-out so you can catch up on work (or sleep) instead of killing time in a strange city.

  1. Embrace tech

There are plenty of apps available that can only enhance – and simplify – your trip. Check out traveller favourites like AroundMe, Mynd Calendar, and iTranslate. Sam :] is indispensable for Corporate Traveller clients (offering itinerary management, weather and traffic reports, check-in reminders, alerts and more), while other useful apps include TripIt, GateGuru and Hotel Tonight.

Don’t forget to download Zoom or Teams onto your mobile device so you can join meetings with your team while on the go! 

Another tip? Plan all the work you need to get through in advance. Make sure any information, resources or documents that you need for reports or presentations are downloaded, so that you can work productively while offline.

  1. Plan ahead

A productive trip comes down to solid planning and accurate information. Today’s traveller needs to deal with COVID protocols and a destination’s rules and regulations on arrival. It’s important to plan ahead in terms of COVID testing requirements if you’re travelling regionally or internationally, but also to give yourself enough time at the airport. A rushed, stressful journey can torpedo a successful trip before it really begins.

You should work with your travel management company (TMC) to ensure:

  • You book the best flights and fares. Flying direct might be more expensive, but direct flights always trump connecting flights when it comes to productivity (especially now).
  • You know what to expect in terms of current, up-to-the-minute regulations and restrictions.
  • You’re not caught on the back foot with regards to COVID testing, quarantine or other COVID protocols.
  • You design the best itinerary for a successful trip, including flights, transfers, accommodation, meetings and downtime.
  • You pre-book lounge access if available. Airport lounges have been closed due to COVID-19, but many are opening up. Chat to your TMC about which lounges are open, and if it’s possible to pre-book a lounge pass.

“Working with a professional will allow you to receive advice upfront, as well as 24-hour support throughout your trip,” says Desai. “Very often, travel professionals will also be able to give you access to valuable technology. Corporate Traveller’s Sam :] for example provides pre-trip information and trave alerts direct to your phone, including what time your flight is boarding, any changes to your boarding gate – and can even organise a taxi on arrival!”