Travelling for business has become a common occurrence for many workers, yet between commuting to the airport, going through security, waiting for your luggage, and the actual flight itself, it can feel like a significant amount of time is being wasted. Because of this, there is a desire to be as productive as possible while travelling. The following will provide some top tips on how you can make the most out of your next business flight.
1. Before the flight
There are a number of things you can do before your flight to ensure everything runs smoothly and you make it to the boarding gate in the most efficient manner.
Check in online
Most airlines give you the option to check in from home and receive your boarding pass via email. You’re then able to either print your boarding pass at home before you leave, or display it on your mobile phone at the gate. By doing this, you avoid the queues at the airport for check in and can breeze straight through to security.
One problem with displaying your boarding pass on your mobile phone is that it needs to be loaded using an internet connection. To avoid the risk of your boarding pass not loading properly on the day, take a screenshot of it at home. This is the quickest way to check in and avoids the stress of losing your paper boarding pass while moving through the airport.
Check in baggage or carry on?
Travelling with carry on baggage will also get you to the boarding gate faster. Whether you choose to check in baggage or fit everything into a carry on will come down to cost, space and in-flight experience, so weigh up the following factors before deciding which option is best for you:
- Do you have to time check in your baggage/retrieve your baggage when you land?
- Do you want to save money on baggage fees?
- How long are you travelling for?
- Do you want space to stretch your legs on the plane?
Charge your devices
In order to work throughout the flight, your laptop, mobile and tablet devices need to be fully charged. It’s best to charge them at home before you leave for the airport, however if you don’t have time, most airports have powerpoint outlets and the time saved at check in can be used to for charging. To save battery throughout the flight, switch your devices to flight mode while you’re working.
2. Working without internet
Being on a plane allows you to concentrate on work without the distraction of calls and texts, co-workers talking and business meetings, so it’s a great opportunity to do tasks that require high concentration. The first thing you should do when you get seated is to set goals for the flight. What do you want to achieve before you land? Write these goals down and tick them off as you go.
Some airlines provide internet access for certain flight paths, however if yours does not, you will need to focus on work that you can do offline. Before your flight, download all the documents you need and save them to your desktop for easy access. If you aren’t as prepared for your flight, consider drafting replies to unanswered emails to send once you land. Gmail Offline for Chrome allows you to read and respond to emails while offline and sends the email as soon as your internet connection returns.
3. Block out the noise
Talkative passengers and crying babies are not uncommon to air travel and can be quite distracting when you’re trying to concentrate. To overcome the noise, try to create your own space – noise cancelling headphone or ear plugs are great for blocking out disruptive noise.
4. Look after your health
Studies show that frequent business travellers are less healthy than non travelling employees. Working efficiently requires a clear mind, so it’s important to look after your health before and during the flight. Ignoring tiredness and dehydration can cause you to become fuzzy and lethargic, affecting the quality of your work. Here are the key things you should focus on during your flight to maximise your health:
Work in blocks and take breaks
Divide the hours into 40 minute working blocks with 20 minutes for rest and exercise. During your breaks, take a walk up and down the aisle and stretch your legs. Increasing oxygen and blood flow throughout your body will help increase the functioning of your brain and allow you to work better. You should also consider doing some laps of the terminal before your flight to keep your blood pumping and lower your stress levels.
If your flight is longer than a normal work day you will need to take time to rest, particularly when travelling to a different time zone. Sleeping during the night hours of your destination will allow your body to adjust and help you avoid jet lag during your trip.
Eat and drink
Air travel is tiring, and the best way to keep yourself awake and alert is to ensure you are properly fed and hydrated. Drinking lots of water during the flight will keep you hydrated, improving your brain function and preventing you from becoming sick. Consider packing a water bottle that you can fill up before your flight and take onto the plane with you so you have access to water without relying on the flight attendants. You can also pack healthy snacks to keep you going between meals.
Make the most of your next flight
Travel time can often feel like time wasted. However, if you are well-prepared for your next business flight, by checking in early, preparing work for the plane and looking after your health, you can increase your productivity and get a lot out of this time.