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Road Warriors: 5 Tips to Stay Productive While on the Move

If you travel for work, you’re aware of the challenges that being on the move poses for productivity. You need to perform well when you reach your destination, but you also need to stay on top of your work in the interim, whether that’s from a hotel room, train station or airport.

For all the road warriors out there, here are 5 tips to help you stay productive while you’re away from the office.

1. Pack wisely

This may sound like a no-brainer, but it’s amazing how often this step gets relegated to a last-minute rush job. Pack in advance, making sure you have your usual travel essentials, of course, but also that you have all the hardware you need (laptop, tablet, mobile phone). Don’t forget to pack all the relevant chargers and adapters, so that low battery is never a blocker to getting work done. Also consider an extra battery for your laptop and/or a USB power bank to recharge your smartphone – they can be invaluable when the need arises.

2. Work with the cloud

Not having access to the same documents and information as your office-based colleagues can be a real problem when traveling, so make sure you choose cloud-based services that let you access what you need wherever you are. Take advantage of cloud-based services that include the ability to work on documents offline so that when you’re not connected you can still make edits, and remember to sync these changes once you get online again.

3. There’s an app for that

Make the most of apps designed to help you! Travel apps can be really useful on your journey – for example, TripIt is popular for keeping track of travel itineraries, your airline’s app may be useful for checking flight status, a weather app lets you check local conditions, maps will help you navigate once there, and translation apps can help cut through language barriers. Also consider productivity apps such as a conferencing smartphone app that are designed to help you conduct your life with as little disruption as possible, no matter where you are.

4. Communicate effectively

When you’re away from your colleagues and team, clear communication becomes even more important. This is something we have discussed many times, from tactics on managing remote teams to tips for communicating across multiple time zones, and staying productive when working from home. It’s also crucial that your colleagues know when you are contactable and by what means.

5. Make the most of down time

Finally, traveling can be exhausting and, if you are on a train or a plane, it’s tempting to fill that time up so that you feel you are as productive as possible. Make sure that you allow yourself a breather; taking short breaks can increase your productivity as you will be fresher when you devote yourself to tasks. Consider that when you do have down time, doing something novel can help expose you to new ideas and experiences, which can help broaden your thinking when you get back to work. It’s also a good idea to try putting down your screen – beyond eye fatigue and stimulation overload, it’s always worth looking up at wherever you’re traveling to.

Please feel free to share other methods you use for staying productive while on the move.
For more posts on communicating effectively, check out:

Working From Home: Find Your Rhythm, Don’t Forget Collaboration
How to Not be Annoying on Conference Calls
Top 5 Tips to Stop Wasting Time on Conference Calls
4 Tips to Stop Wasting Time on Online Meetings
BYOD and Productivity: Why You Need a Good Conferencing Smartphone App

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