Make Business Travel Stress-Free

According to market reports, India is the world’s tenth largest business travel market and might record the highest growth in this segment in the next five years.

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THIS YEAR I have been travelling around the world for work, but while the globe-trotting sounds like a dream, frequent travelling is not productive. It gives me little time to unplug, recharge, exercise, spend time with my family, or simply, eat well. It’s not just me, numerous business professionals in India are flying in and out for work, often on the same day.

According to market reports, India is the world’s tenth largest business travel market and might record the highest growth in this segment in the next five years. But travelling for work can be tiresome and overwhelming as the challenges of finding a workable accommodation in a new location or adjusting to the ensuing settlement difficulties pile up.

More and more companies are agreeing that frequent travelling isn’t the party some might imagine it to be. It can actually impair job performance due to over-work, disorientation or disturbed sleep. As research proves that there’s an obvious, undeniable link between well-being and productivity, well-being cannot be ignored no matter your place of work. 

This is why on long, hectic trips, I make a rigorous plan to treat travelling for work for what it is: disciplined work with some hours of fun.

Know your objective

It not only begins with knowing why you’re there but by asking do you have to be there. Even before you plan a trip, ask yourself if your physical presence is absolutely essential. If the answer is yes then ensure that the purpose and goals for the trip are aligned and crystal clear. The pressure is off when you’re well-rehearsed and meet the expectations and shared goals of the trip.

Sleep

Your sleep is the first to get affected when you decide to travel but without a good night’s sleep, your body and mind cannot function effectively. While I, like everyone else, catch some shuteye on the airplane, this doesn’t mean I don’t get eight hours of proper rest before boarding the flight. In fact, I also align my timezone with the destination as soon as I board the flight to expedite the process of jet lag. If you suffer from the first night effect - sleeplessness on the first night of a strange place, you can do more than counting sheep. Ensure you’ve had an active day with exercise and are well-rested both mentally and physically. Now, before you sleep ensure that you take no work to your bed. Finally, keep your phone, whose blue light suppress sleep, away and breathe in and out, slowly, to fall asleep.

Work Shorter Hours But Harder

I work shorter hours when I am travelling but I fit in copious amount of work while at it. If time management is important at home, it’s paramount when travelling for work. I begin by forcibly pushing my phone on airplane mode and ensuring that there are no distractions, only single-minded focus and discipline. There’s another big motivation and incentive to work briefly but work harder when travelling for work: the desire to explore the outside.

Think about your destination

There’s little point in travelling to places of historic, cultural or commercial importance if you can spare no time to enjoy at least some of the attractions. I ensure I visit local sites to feel like there was a mini-break built into the trip, it keeps me motivated to travel as much as I can. But getting acquainted with the place doesn’t end with sightseeing, think about how much you know about the place, the services, provisions, and facilities available in the location. While you might agree that an important question to ask is what to eat, an equally important question is how to exercise.

Do It Outside

I try to consciously eat healthy and drink lots of water while I am travelling but more importantly, I make sure I always go out for a run. If it gets difficult to make time outside of your hectic schedule, here’s a simple tip to get some exercise while also familiarising yourself with the place: Instead of holding meetings in conference rooms or cafes, try to hold them outside in fresh air. The benefits of open air meetings are numerous and increased creativity and motivation are just some of them. I frequently have walking meetings with my colleagues that help me get some exercise while also helping me feel energised, no matter what time of the day it is. When I am travelling for work, I also religiously track my activity to ensure I am moving enough. This, in turn, helps me eat well and sleep. But my day is not complete till I make time for family and call up my son, Aeden.

If done right, business travel can refresh you and ensure that you return with a feeling of accomplishment. But before you’re ready to go, make sure you plan everything from the objective of the trip to how you plan to eat healthy, stay fit, and most importantly, make time for some hours of fun while away for work.


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