Combining Business with Pleasure: Strategies for Working While Traveling
If you are like many people, you find yourself having to spend at least some time while on vacation tending to business. Effectively, efficiently working while traveling for can prove to be rather complicated, especially while attempting to enjoy your time away from the office. With that in mind, here are some strategies that you can employ to effectively work as needed while you are on vacation.
Carve Out Specific Time to Work While on Your Trip
One of the most important strategies you need to employ if you must or desire to work while on vacation is to schedule specific time for professional efforts. You may want to generally layout the work schedule you will follow on your vacation before you take off. By planning in advance, you can let your colleagues, employees and others know when you likely will be available to address work related issues while you are away. By establishing this type of schedule in advance, you establish vacation boundaries and work to protect activities and relaxation associated with your travels.
Carving out specific work time while you travel allows those traveling with you to plan accordingly. They will understand what times you will be working and what times you will be free for activities. They will be able to plan their day around your work schedule and include you when you are available.
Because you are on vacation, you should take care not to overs-chedule the amount of time you are setting aside to deal with work issues. Your work time scheduled in advance of a trip should not be concrete. This scheduled work time must be flexible enough that it typically can be overridden if a vacation related event or activity becomes available at a time you previously planned for work. Aim for early morning, late afternoon or late evening for your scheduled work time, saving the best parts of the day and meal time for your vacation.
Have Proper Mobile Devices on Hand
One crucial step for working on vacation is to make sure you bring along proper equipment and mobile devices, allowing for easy work flow and less time spent finding internet access and proper devices. For example, make sure you have your work laptop or a way to access your files such as DropBox or Google Drive. If you are traveling internationally, make sure your cell phone plan allows international travel or get a SIM card for your destination country. Check with your hotel ahead of time to see if the wifi is included or if it comes at an additional cost. You might also want to consider investing in a travel router. Travel routers will allow you to connect multiple devices to a private wifi network, which is very helpful if your hotel restricts the number of devices you are allowed to connect.
Identify an Appropriate Place to Work
Identifying a good place to work can help you quickly and efficiently check everything off your to do list when you sit down to work. You may not want to rely upon a hotel room, particularly if you will be sharing it with others. Trying to work in a hotel room oftentimes is neither fair to you nor to others on the trip with you.
Many hotels have “Business Centers” available to their guests. These provide ideal locations at which you can undertake professional tasks while traveling. In addition, coffee shops of even a diner or bistro can be suitable work spaces for you when you need to tend to business for a short period of time. Using these types of settings underline the necessity of making sure that you take along proper mobile and other devices to meet your professional needs while traveling. While Business Centers will usually provide internet, they may not provide it to your personal or work laptop. Diners, cafes and coffee shops can be hit and miss, especially internationally. Be sure to research your location before hand so you know what connectivity services they will provide.
Leaving Work Behind All Together
Many experts suggest that leaving work behind for a few days is not only great for the employee but also great for the employer. Reducing stress and maintaining a work-life balance is important for any productive person. Even if you work for yourself, try to set business aside for a day or two and enjoy some time away.
With that said, you may have work-related issues that effectively demand you carry on working, at least a bit, during the time period you are on vacation. You may have a work situation that is easy to take care of but would cause unnecessary stress if you were to ignore it until you returned from your vacation. Not allowing yourself to work at all while on vacation may end up causing you greater stress than if you do work a bit but establishing well-defined parameters can help you and your travel companions get the most out of your vacation without stressing too much about work.