There’s an art and a science to business travel. Do it wrong, and you’ll spend a lot of wasted hours in airports and scramble to make up lost time in your hotel room. Do it right and you can make the most of what’s available to you.
And as a safety professional, you know that there’s not enough time in the day to waste.
The secret to staying productive while traveling isn’t coffee (though coffee helps) or noise-canceling headphones (though you’ll be endlessly grateful for them when there’s a crying baby three rows down). The secret is staying organized.
Here’s what you need to know to stay productive whether you’re on the road, in the air, or camped out in a hotel room.
Frustrating though it is to trudge through the daily grind, going to the office each day has a structure. You have a certain number of hours in the day to complete predetermined tasks, and you have a specific place in which to complete those tasks.
Travel takes you out of your routine. And since most people are ill-accustomed to working outside of work, the best thing you can do for yourself is to plan ahead. Think of Plan A to Plan M (or at least Plan D).
Since travel is less forgiving, it’s harder to make up for unplanned detours, like a low laptop battery, a forgotten document, or lack of WiFi. To counteract this, have a plan in place to set yourself up for future success.
Is your laptop is dying? No problem. You can occupy your time reviewing those strategies in your bag. Missing a document or have no WiFi? No big deal. Thanks to tools like EHS Insight, you can manage all of your EHS documents and processes in one, centralized platform. You can even work offline and our EHS software will sync your work when you regain internet access.
Make a List
Put another way: rearrange your project list to accommodate for travel.
We’d all like to be that aggressively impressive businessperson who can work in the airport as though they’re in their own office with the door closed, but that isn’t always how reality plays out. That person might have work that translates well to long hours in the airport, but you might not.
To that end, rearrange your project list to include projects that are more travel-friendly. If you know you’ll have strong service and plenty of time on your hands, schedule phone calls. Write up that long report on the plane instead of driving yourself crazy waiting for the bad airplane WiFi to catch up.
Adjust to the Type of Travel
Finally, in case you haven’t figured it out yet: adjust to the type of travel.
Let’s say, for example, that you’re going to spend several hours in the car driving alone. You can’t work with your hands since you’re driving, but thanks to the wonders of modern technology, many cars now allow you to take phone calls without picking up the phone.
Or, if you’re going to be on a plane for several hours, schedule a task that benefits from several hours of seclusion. If you have to present on several reports on the latest safety trends, for example, download those reports and take notes while on the plane.
Need More Tips to Stay Productive?
One of the greatest skills of an EHS professional is adaptability, whether you’re in the office or 100 miles from home.
Want to find out more about productivity and how productivity performance plays into safety? Make sure to check out our blog for more great tips, like this post exploring the conflict between productivity and safety.