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Staying productive on the road crucial for business travelers

Friday, December 28, 2012

Staying productive on the road crucial for business travelers

Whether they choose to stay in serviced apartments or corporate suites, many executives traveling for business purposes have the same goal - remaining as productive as possible. The necessity of doing business face-to-face can place tremendous pressure on travelers' time, meaning that they must do everything they can to get everything done after their meetings conclude. Small Business Trends recently offered frequent business travelers some suggestions on how executives can stay productive on the road.

Manageable goals
One aspect of business travel that has been revolutionized by consumer technology is mobile internet and email. While these tools are invaluable to many travelers, they pose certain threats to productivity if left unmanaged. An email inbox can soon become a cruel taskmaster, especially if executives expect to be kept in the loop about business back home while traveling.

For this reason, the news source recommends that travelers strive to maintain "inbox zero" at the conclusion of their day. After checking into their corporate accommodations, executives should prioritize which emails need to be dealt with immediately, and either archive or at least read the rest before retiring for the day. This strategy can yield substantial benefits, as many business travelers feel pressured by having an ever-expanding inbox.

While some emails may need to be read immediately, others can wait. By effectively prioritizing and developing their own system, executives can cut down on the amount of time they spend checking in with the office and ensure that their business is taken care of.

Become an organizational dynamo
The ubiquity of cellphone technology has brought with it a wealth of benefits for business travelers. While some executives may feel overwhelmed by the endless stream of emails, instant messages and status updates cellphones expose them to, these devices can be immensely beneficial from an organizational standpoint.

According to the Financial Post, the future of business travel revolves around mobile technology. As executives become increasingly reliant on smartphones on the road, service providers in the transportation and hospitality industries will further refine their products to reflect changes in the way that people do business. Even an experience as common as waiting at the airport will become an entirely different experience due to advances in mobile data consumption.

"You’ll be able to plan your stay in the airport better," Tom Knierin, senior manager of market insight at SITA, told the news source. "Do you have time for another glass of beer, or do you need to start running because you’re late and it’s a half-hour walk to the gate?"

In addition to helping executives remain organized, smartphone technology can also take the headache out of common tasks for business travelers, such as expense reporting. Scott Newell, vice-president of the Canadian market for Concur, told the news source if he has several paper receipts to expense, he can use a mobile app to digitize and centralize his expenses to a cloud-based repository, potentially saving time and money.

Empowering individuals
Above all, technology is putting more power into the hands of business travelers. Whether they use their mobile device to reserve a short term rental apartment in a foreign city or check the status of their flight in the taxi, executives are taking control of the business travel experience in a way that has never been seen before.

According to Travel Market Report, "Travel 2.0" is empowering individuals to make more informed decisions, explore a wider variety of choices and take the reigns when it comes to planning their trip. Many experts believe that 2012 will prove to be a pivotal year in the business travel sector, largely due to the rapidly changing ways in which executives are leveraging the power of technology to remain productive, make better decisions and, ultimately, save money.