Keep business as usual when work travel is grounded

Business is commonly done online or digitally these days. Yet many employees prefer travelling to get their jobs done. However, schedules and budgets can get in the way. Try these strategies to continue as usual without travel for work. 

Nothing beats face-to-face interaction. According to the Harvard Business Review, “face-to-face requests were 34 times more effective than emailed ones”. No wonder in 2018, US travellers took 462 million domestic business trips!  

Employees travel to work for: 

Yet under today’s conditions, road warriors’ ability to travel has been curtailed. These ideas can help support business as usual without getting out. 

Working without leaving home

Face-to-face interaction is a big differentiator for work travel. You don’t have to give that up when business travel budgets are cut. Business collaboration software lets you establish chat channels to hop on video calls easily. 

Work with colleagues or clients via messaging, voice and video, all in one place. Plus, you can organise and share documents, even brainstorm with whiteboards. So, you can continue, as usual, while seeing each other in action online.  

Business doesn’t have to slow down because you’re stuck in one place. 

What distinguishes work partnerships where you’ve met people in person? Typically there’s greater trust. You know each other better from having spent time together. But, you can foster strong, authentic relationships from afar too. 

The technology makes it feel as if you’re right there. Now, it’s up to you to tailor your messaging. Even without being there in person, you can look to understand what clients and colleagues are dealing with. Then, brainstorm any ways in which you can help. This approach can help you build brand loyalty, even without taking a client or customer out for dinner. 

Taking advantage of the time savings 

You might also look at this change as an opportunity. Think of all the hours you’re saving. Without having to get on planes, trains and automobiles, you can reflect on what’s working. Use this regained time to tackle tasks getting pushed down the priority list:  

  • Review content assets for currency 
  • Update social media presence 
  • Clean up CRM data 
  • Investigate and implement automation software 
  • Research and develop goals and strategic plans 
  • Set up feedback and one-on-one sessions with direct reports  

You might also see this as a chance to reconnect with colleagues in the office. Now is an excellent time to touch base with those people you didn’t see before when out on the road. Just do it digitally. You may learn new things and get fresh ideas back in the office again.  

Or try to use this as an opportunity to break down silos. A salesperson might ask for a meeting with marketing. Product developers could engage with the people on the frontline dealing with customers to learn what the buyers are saying. Instead of focusing on external relationships, this can be the moment for internal relationship cultivation. 

Getting by without work travel 

Work can take place anywhere today. On any device, really. 

Adapting your work travel schedule takes adjustment. But it’s also an opportunity. You can get out of some ruts and find some new routines like having a virtual assistant read your emails while multi-tasking.   

Play My Emails in Outlook uses Cortana to help tackle your email inbox more efficiently. You don’t need to be at a desk to go through new messages. 

On the go, you can ask your personal productivity assistant to read the words aloud. Whether you’re driving, walking the dog or getting groceries, you can keep up with communications. 

Cortana also uses artificial intelligence to prioritise messages for you. Calendar scheduling updates? It’ll let you know of any scheduling conflicts. Plus, you can dictate a quick reply too. 

You can also delete, flag, respond and unread messages with Play My Emails. It all makes it much easier to manage your email and time commitments. 

When you’re back on the road for work travel, Play My Emails will remain a great tool. In the meantime, this article’s tips can help you continue to make a positive impact while adjusting to staying put for a little while. 

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Business Insights and Ideas does not constitute professional tax or financial advice. You should contact your own tax or financial professional to discuss your situation..