With travel being so heavily restricted in response to the coronavirus pandemic, it’s a good chance for businesses to step back and reassess their approach to travel.
Having been forced to come up with teleconferencing and telecommuting solutions, they might find that they can implement these solutions even when things return to normal, and thereby save on travel costs. On the other hand, it might be that certain sorts of human interactions are more important than ever.
If you’re going to be traveling for business in a year’s time, how might you approach the practice differently?
Do your cultural homework
If you’re going to be conducting business in a different country, then it follows that you should take the time to understand any cultural differences you might come across.
The people you meet will, in all probability, extend you a little bit of charity when it comes to social mores and interactions – but if you demonstrate that you’ve taken the time to understand their way of doing things, the effort is likely to appreciate.
Learn the Language
The same logic applies to foreign languages. Of course, being able to converse freely in multiple languages is an enormous advantage for any international businessperson. But even a few choice words can go a long way. Learning a new language isn’t a small undertaking, and the effort you go to should be proportionate to the likely payoff.
If your business is heavily dependent on supply chains running through France, then learning to speak French will be invaluable.
Take advantage of every day
Traveling overseas has its downsides. You’ll miss your friends and family, and you might feel a broader sense of isolation.
You can mitigate the former problem with the help of online video-chat services like Skype and Facebook messenger. But it’s also important that you take the time to explore your new surroundings and to appreciate the opportunities that travel affords you.
Plan your days
Travel can often lead to a lack of structure. This can have several knock-on consequences, among which is a depressing sense that every day is blending into the next. The best way to get around this is to make a plan for every day.
This plan should naturally be based around the travel arrangements themselves, and the demands of your itinerary. So, if you’re catching trains to Rainham in the mornings at a fixed time, and back again in the evenings, then it’s worth splitting up your day, finding where the spare time is, and then adjusting your itinerary accordingly.
If you’re traveling, then it can be easy to value convenience over every other consideration. As a consequence, you might naturally eat badly, and shun exercise. If you don’t make a conscious effort to avoid slipping into bad habits, then you can consider them almost inevitable.
Book hotels with gym facilities, and take advantage of them. If there aren’t any gym facilities, you can always work out in the room, without any equipment.