For many professionals, the office-based 9-5 is a thing of the past. Instead, completing tasks while travelling to meetings or on the commute, has become normal practice. But how can you ensure that you remain productive and make the most of your travel time?
As well as using journeys to work, think about how to make the most of your time before and after travel. Most major airports now have facilities like business lounges, which offer a quiet, productive environment to concentrate in. Such locations will help you to make the most of your time if your flight is delayed, for example. Do remember, however, that anyone might be listening!
Making and taking calls during a train journey might be a great use of time, but they do tend to attract the attention of fellow passengers. Be careful about information you give out within earshot of other travellers to avoid breaching any confidentiality agreements or causing embarrassment.
Another tip is to think carefully about meeting locations.
It’s easy to assume that meetings are best held at your usual office, or that of your client. However, this might not necessarily be the most convenient location.
Meeting rooms are available at a wide range of places including motorway service stations, hotels and even shopping centres. Using one of these settings could mean reduced travel time – and therefore higher productivity – for all concerned.
There are also a whole host of tools now available to make working on the move productive.
In our survey of over 4,000 senior business people, 85% of said they have used at least one tool enabling remote working in the previous month, with DropBox and Skype being the most popular.
It is, of course, important to stay safe on the road. In research we commissioned in 2014, two-fifths of respondents admitted to having dialled into conference calls while driving and a fifth said they had held important business discussions, tantamount to a meeting requiring concentration and decision-making, while one of them was driving.
The best way to ensure safety on the road is to turn your phone off, but at the very least you should use a hands free kit or ensure you pull over safely to take calls.
The changing nature of working practices means that more people are spending more of their time working while travelling than ever before, and this trend is likely to continue. However, working in a range of environments can make maintaining concentration and productivity a challenge. A few simple adjustments to working practices can ensure that you make the most of your time while working on the move.