Since the emergence of the laptop, the World Wide Web and the Four Hour Work Week, we have seen an increase in the number of workers who telecommute, or live the entrepreneurial lifestyle of the “digital nomad.”
On top of that, domestic US business travelers took a staggering 488 million trips in 2015.
What does this mean for your business?
If you or members of your team spend a lot of time on the road, in the air, or otherwise away from the office, there is a risk that you will become disconnected from the day-to-day operations of your business, and see a drop in productivity.
In this article, we will discuss some of the best ways to stay productive and keep in touch with your staff, even when you are thousands of miles away, or thousands of feet in the air.
Let’s get right into some practical suggestions:
Be Prepared to Work at a Moment’s Notice
Have a list of ideas ready (in paper form or on your phone, since you will be forced to close your laptop on planes for takeoff and landing) that you can work on when you have a spare moment.
If you arrive 15 minutes before an appointment, do you have something you can work on in the reception area? What if you have a spare hour at the airport? Use this extra time to cross important tasks off your to-do list.
Maintain Healthy Habits
Stay hydrated while traveling. This can be easier said than done, but traveling tends to dehydrate you, and people on the move tend not to drink as much water as they should.
Try to buy an extra bottle of water before you start a plane or train journey, and hydrate whenever you think of it.
Rest. Sometimes the best way to make sure you stay productive is to get enough rest. The body takes a beating when on the road, and if your brain is working overtime on overcoming language barriers or worrying about travel delays, you might need more rest than usual.
Work out. Even if it’s just doing some bodyweight exercises or yoga in the hotel room, you should try to get your heart rate up for 15-20 minutes a day, especially when you’re on the road.
Eat right. Oily and heavy foods will weigh you down, even more, when on the road. Though it can sometimes be hard, get your daily servings of fruits and vegetables, and eat lean protein, not ribeyes.
Keep a list of work stuff you need every time you travel. If you’ve ever forgotten a travel charger or an outlet adapter, you probably already have an extensive list. If you are not properly supplied, you can’t be at your best.
Carry on. Don’t waste more time than necessary waiting at baggage claim. Get travel sized toiletries and don’t spend more time in the airport than necessary.
Sometimes faster is not more productive. For instance, while it might sound quicker to take a plane, train travel can be much faster and more convenient if you are traveling on the East Coast of the United States. Plus, you can more easily get work done on a train.
Use Google Drive or Dropbox. You need to stay connected and ensure you don’t lose your work. All of my work documents exist on my computer and are backed up on the cloud. If you deal with sensitive information and are worried about security, consider a highly-encrypted syncing service like SpiderOak or Tresorit.
Employ a virtual receptionist. This is a particularly good solution for those without a physical home office. A virtual receptionist is a person who sits in a call center and responds to callers or customers according to your personalized preferences. For instance, when people call your office number, the call can be forwarded to this person, who will then take care of your caller’s needs.
Virtual receptionists can take messages, set appointments, gather information or perform any number of other duties you might need them for. Best of all, virtual receptionists are highly-trained and very cost-effective, especially if your phone isn’t ringing off the hook all day, every day.
Don’t eat alone. You’ve probably heard this one before but have your meals with current and potential business partners. This is another tip that can be highly effective for digital nomads. You already share a love of travel and adventure. So you are likely to find some interesting ways you can team up with these like-minded individuals.
Conclusion: Live Your Work
If you are a frequent business traveler, you work remotely from time to time, or you are a self-employed, world-traveling couch surfer, it can be hard to stay focused on your work.
Distractions are everywhere, and you can lose the sense of normalcy and security that comes with a routine. So make your own routine, without having to be drab or boring.
Use some of the tips in this article, and you can enjoy the life you have set out for yourself, without losing sight of the important work at hand.