Travelling for work can be one of the most rewarding and enriching experience anyone could hope to enjoy in their professional life. However, it can just as easily devolve into a fever-dream-come-to-life horrorshow. The good news is, you can prepare yourself for some of the ordeals that come along with business travel. And to help you achieve the best trip possible, here are five pitfalls you should work to avoid next time you need to travel for your business:
Plain and simple, don’t assume anything. Making assumptions based on cultures you don’t fully understand is a sure-fire way to put your foot in your mouth. So instead, keep an open mind and pay attention to non-verbal social cues from those around you. Even if you don’t realize what you’ve done, recognizing that you’ve made a faux pas is the first step toward correcting it.
Losing Touch with the Home Office
Part of the pleasure of traveling for business is that you get to flee your regular workspace for a few days. Still, you need to keep a solid line of communication between yourself and your team members back at the office. There’s nothing worse than not being able to reach someone with important information. If your office is just beginning to send workers out on business trips, invest in a phone system that can ensure remote connectivity. Fortunately, keeping your employees connected is just one of a number of Hosted VoIP solutions a cloud-based phone system can offer your company.
Speaking More than You Listen
Let your hosts dictate the conversation in most instances. You’ve flown to see them –– they know where to go and what to do in their city. And if you don’t listen to their wants/needs/concerns/recommendations, you’ll never be able to better your relationship with them –– personally or professionally.
Sure, it might prove cumbersome carrying around an overstuffed travel bag. But it’s infinitely preferable to pack more than you need than to forget essential items like a toothbrush, extra towels, or even foreign currency. Do yourself a favor: pack the night before you plan to leave.
A business trip is exactly that, both “business” and “trip.” Which means that –– yes –– you should focus on work while you’re out of the office. But you also shouldn’t deny yourself the opportunity to take in a new city. Don’t let a jam-packed schedule preclude you from reveling in famous sights, interacting with locals, and experiencing a new way of life. At the end of the day, they’re likely to be the moments you remember best.