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.
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.
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?