Working patterns have changed and evolved throughout the years. Gone are the days of a typical 9-5 sit-down office job, and employees are favouring a more flexible working pattern.
Transient working has become more of the norm than it was ten years ago, with many embracing the opportunity to explore the world whilst working. In some industries, the need for co-location and remote working is a necessity. It can be overcome by a variety of technological advances, including collaborative and video technology. However, in other industries, a physical presence is required and a nomadic working style is essential. For example, in the role of a Leisure Product Director. Within the travel industry, this role involves travelling to a variety of different hotels and resorts around the world to review and sign up new partners. Jacek Skrzypkowski, Leisure Product Director at the online travel agent, eSky, has spent 14 years visiting hundreds of hotels and resorts throughout his career. It is physically impossible for Jacek to do his job without transient working and staying away from home for weeks at a time. Jacek has collated his top tips for maintaining a healthy work-life balance fortransient workers:
When you are away from home on business, it is easy to lose track of time and focus solely on work. Ensure that you take time away from your desk to interact with friends and family. Despite time differences, schedule regular conversations with someone back home. It is important to keep your daily routine as normal as possible despite the difference in the environment and to take a regular break from the office.
A common occurrence when on business trips is that your diet tends to suffer. Irregular working patterns, an abundance of fast-food restaurants and frequential business dinners are partially to blame. It is natural to indulge every once in a while, however, a bad diet does take a toll on the body after a while. Make sure to consider what you are eating and take care to be mindful of what too much junk food can do to your body.
Although most hotels provide complimentary gym access, it is surprising just how little people use them. Exercise tends to take a back seat when you are away from home, with many business associates focussing more on work than their health and wellbeing. Even 15 minutes of exercise a day, whether in a gym or going for a run or a swim, can heavily improve your physique and overall wellbeing.
Jet-lag is notoriously difficult to manage and even harder to recover from. Drinking a lot of water and keeping the body hydrated during a flight significantly helps with the symptoms of jet-lag. This can help you to fall asleep more naturally too. Do your best to adjust to the schedule of your destination and try to sleep at the time you would naturally at home. One of the best methods is to set your watch to the time of your destination as soon as you get onto the plane. This helps you to mentally adjust to the rhythm of the new country.
Ensure that digital housekeeping is in order
One of the many things to consider when abroad is your digital ecosystem. Although most laptops, mobile telephones and other devices will automatically adapt to a foreign country, some may have to be manually programmed. You must also ensure that your mobile is set up for travel – remember to add on any necessary data packages to your existing mobile phone contract. This not only saves money but allows for the best connection possible. Most countries will also use a different power adapter to what you are used to. Ensure that you bring an abundance of plug socket adapters and a small extension lead. This allows for multiple devices to be charged and used no matter how many sockets are in your room.
Culture and customs
Travelling for work is the perfect opportunity to expand your horizons. Take time to explore the destination outside of the workplace, brush up on a foreign language and taste new foods.
Focus on productivity
Although you are away from the standard office scenario, working from a different environment must still be productive. Working remotely allows for more time with loved ones once you return home and therefore provides a clear divide between your work life and personal life.
It is important to mitigate stressors before you even step foot in the airport. It is easy to forget to check your passport expiry date if you are away on a long trip, however, this can lead todisastrous consequences if it is not valid. Another crucial factor to investigate before the trip is whether or not a visa is required, the currency of the country and the type of travel insurance you require. You should also make sure to advise your bank of any likely foreign purchases that could be made on your card to avoid your account being frozen.
No matter how tedious it is, packing is an inevitable part of any business trip. Make sure to check the baggage allowance of your airline and always weigh your bag to avoid unexpected excess baggage costs. Pack the clothes that you will need immediately on the top of your case so they can be accessed easily and roll items to create extra space and reduce creasing. Take any business shirts and suits in carry-on luggage to avoid being ruined during transit.
Review your “life admin”
It is important to remain focussed when away on business and not be distracted by any “life admin” issues at home. Visit the bank before leaving to ensure that all direct debits are correctly set up and all bills will be paid on time. Anything that is difficult to manage away from home should be finalised and taken care of prior to taking off.
Jacek Skrzypkowski is the Leisure Product Director t eSky.