Work While Traveling: 6 Tips for Getting Things Done on The Road 86

Work While Traveling: 6 Tips for Getting Things Done on The Road - Let's Reach Success

This is a guest post by Joseph Sartori, a freelancer passionate about writing.

Since business travel is such a huge part of most people’s work life, addressing the topic of getting organized on the road and finding ways to work while traveling is quite essential.

Without question, you can get more work done and accomplish more critical thinking on airplanes than anywhere else. If you don’t fall into this category, consider yourself lucky, and feel free to skip this section. Of course, the expectation of productivity is very high regardless of whether we’re in the office or en route to an out-of-town meeting.

These are a few tips for helping you stay productive while on the road:

6 Work While Traveling Hacks

1. Plan ahead.

This means thinking about the tasks you’ll complete and bringing all the materials you’ll need.

If you wait until you are on the plane, you won’t be adequately prepared to do your work. During take-off and landing, use of electronics is not allowed for those who constantly use laptops on a plane.

Instead of wasting that time, you can bring along reading material or a group of tasks that don’t require computer or phone. Birthday party thank-you notes or holiday cards are great tasks that can be accomplished during those technology-free minutes.

2. Take advantage of in-flight Wi-Fi.

Most major airlines now offer in-flight wireless connections for a small fee (usually about $5.00). This minor charge is well worth being able to stay connected.

Over the course of a two-hour flight, you are able to catch up on almost an entire day’s email correspondence. By the time you land, you feel in control and accomplished.

3. Reserve a seat that lets you work.

Always choose an aisle seat. You will feel like you can stretch out a bit more, and can make it to the restroom without disturbing those around. Everyone has a different seat preference, whether it be aisle or window, but either way, you will be more productive when you are comfortable.

Related: How to Find Business or First Class Flight Deals

4. Avoid the chitchat.

If you are trying to work while traveling and want to get things done on your flight, although at times you can make great business connections en route, the last thing you need is a stranger updating you on his college papers for cheap.

The best way to politely dismiss a conversation is to break out noise-canceling headphones or power up your computer as soon as you’re allowed.

Related: How to Stay Focused When There Are Too Many Distractions

5. Make document copies.

Additional duplicates of travel documents may speed things up a lot especially if you are leaving the country. Usually, when you’re going through customs, you have to submit your own passport so the customs agent can produce a copy. So you make a duplicate before getting there and give it to them. With a quick scan, they can make sure it is a legit copy and have you on your way much faster.

6. Control your environment.

When you’re out there, the environment becomes unpredictable. When you’re not prepared, it can ruin the chance to do work while traveling.

You never know who you will sit with, so it’s just good to have headphones and music to help you concentrate and also protect you from a noisy environment. It all depends on the type of work to be done.

Music can be very soothing on different occasions. For instance, some people can do math problems while listening to music

Business travelers also understand how to make the most of the resources which are made available to them exclusively.

Come across hotels that serve the traveling businessperson. These hotels will not have facilities for families, neither are they trying to bring in lines of teenagers along the way to camp. Therefore, you can find a hotel with a lot less young people making a disturbance and being a pain when you are trying to focus on business.

What about you? How do you work while traveling?

See also:

3 Ways to Maximize Your Productivity While Traveling
How to Work Smarter
Productivity Hacks from Digital Nomads

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The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 10

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

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You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

***
Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.