Whether you are travelling for business alone or with your team, your mind-set should be somewhere midway between a clear focus that this is a work-do with roles and assignments and that little extra adventure streak which comes with visiting someplace new/different. However, as they travel with colleagues, many people seem to forget that their primary purpose of travel is work and focus too clearly on indulging, hence creating a bad impression of themselves. The writers at Forbesfone have several pointers to help you overcome travel hiccups when you’re flying with colleagues.
1. Never lose focus.
Remember, you’re out on a mission. We find it helps to set goals before you’re off. Ask yourselves questions you can give an answer to by the end of the day or the end of your stay. This will help you keep on the right track and not lose yourself in matters not related to the task at hand. However, do stay open for opportunities which are not on your plan but which will enrich your work-travel experience. For example, a tour of the warehouse where your products are being packaged (though it may not fall directly within your line of work) can help you glean precious information which you can use later on.
2. Maintain strict professional boundaries.
Your colleagues may be your friends but do not confuse a working trip for a holiday. Think of this as an extension of the office: if there’s something you wouldn’t say or do at the office, avoid saying or doing it on a work trip. If you don’t know your colleagues that well, although this trip will lay grounds for you to get to know each other better, do not over share personal details. It could get awkward for both of you, adding tension to the whole trip.
3. Look out for each other
You’re a team and as teams go, they work best when members work together. This does not only apply for work related items on your agenda, but also to other everyday chores. Remind each other to set the alarm clock at a specific time, share snacks which your colleague might not have had the foresight to bring, check on each other if someone is taking long to show up, even if it’s something casual like drinks. And never try to outwit your team member just so you’ll be viewed in a better light when you’re back at the office. It just won’t do.
4. Take initiative to book and/or plan
Although we realise that this will involve much more work from your end, your colleagues will be eternally grateful: a sure way to win points with the team. This doesn’t mean you have to take on all the work yourself. There will always be people who will volunteer to help so it’s also a great way to get to know your colleagues better (plus, you get first say in anything!) Do make sure you consult with your team though, especially if there are special requirements you need to know about.
5. Make sure you schedule some “me” time.
When you’re flying together, eating together, holding meetings and working together – sometimes up to 14 hours of it – you do need to find time for yourself. Perhaps you need it just to compose your thoughts, get a few minutes of precious free time or simply because you don’t feel like staying in a crowd anymore. Being around people too often gets tiresome and it’s normal. So make sure you schedule some off time to do with as you please.
This post was originally published here on Forbesfone in March 2017. TheYoungProfessionalGroup.com takes no credit for the work of the author.