I am sitting in an airport lounge. My plane is about to leave and I pull out my phone to send a quick text and to check my email. I look up and scan the room. I notice that I am not alone. Everyone here is on some sort of a handheld device trying to stay connected and working hard.
Today’s reality is that most people now can travel and never leave their desk. The 9 to 5 job is no longer the case. This makes for an interesting world. Once that I wish existed when I started my business.
How do you travel everywhere and work at the same time?
There should be an obvious answer for this, but there isn’t. It requires organizing your “travel office” to get the job done seamlessly. Anyone can just up and go for a week to a conference. But, how about leaving the scene for over a month and still be productive?
In this article, I will share some of my wisdom on how I take my office on the road.
Have an action plan
Before my scheduled travel date, I look at all my projects and plan a strategy for our campaigns. I go over these with my clients and my team. We make sure we are on the same page. My business should run as if I am still at my desk.
Find the right portable backup system
This one is essential! I collect all necessary materials and share them on Google Drive and Dropbox. Everything is now available on the fly. I also have a small flash drive as a secondary backup device just in case the cloud is inaccessible
Utilize management apps to keep on track
There are many management apps to help you keep organized beside cloud systems. I am partial to Slack for business communication and workload organization. Slack allows me to remotely manage a project with my team. Other apps like IFTTT are great for reminders, management and so much more. Check out Check out this recipe to send a daily reminder to a Slack Channel.
Other than Skype, every country I visit has a favorite long distance communication app. The easiest ones to work with are Whatsapp for calls, quick texts and group chats. Viber and Skype are good for phone calls. If you want to get creative you can also use Snapchat to send a video for a project.
Productivity – Balancing Tourism and Work
When traveling you will want to allow for tourist and work time. This takes great discipline. It is the hardest part of all. Plan fun days ahead of time. You still have some weekends. Managing time zones might also work in your favor. If you are in Europe and your business is in the US, get up early and do most of your work before the official office hours. Long plane rides are ideal for catching up on projects as more flights now have with WiFi.
Managing jet lag and work hours
Plan your travel time on the weekends, so you can catch up for the Monday workday. Don’t forget to drink lots of water.
If your job (and boss) permits, you can actually be more productive working remotely. The “Puritan Work Ethic” of the nose to the grindstone with no time off (or for yourself) is going the way of the dodo. Today’s technology is freeing people from the desk, commuting, and stress! Take advantage of the cheap travel offers out there and explore the world — Productively!