Employees who find themselves traveling for business on behalf of their company company can often end up stressed, frazzled and not exactly in the best shape to deliver that big presentation they have been sent to give, something that is a problem for both employee and employer.
As traveling for business is always going to exist – we think – it helps everyone involved to try to make business travel as relaxing and stress free as possible so that employees can conduct the business they have been sent to to the best of their abilities. And this applies as much to managers and employers as it does to employees, as they – as in you – are often the people traveling the most.
So with all of this in mind here is a look at some of the ways that some simple tweaks and tactics can help you and your employees travel for business with less stress.
On the Flight
One of the ways business travelers can help relax and prepare for their trip is to start it off on the right foot, with a plane journey that is as worry free as possible. We do understand that it's not possible for every employee to be flown first class or even business class, but there are some ways to make a plane trip – even one in economy – a better, less stressful experience.
Try to Pick a Good Seat
The seat you are assigned on a plane can make a significant difference to your chances of getting some relaxation, and may even a little sleep, so if you have the chance to choose, go for it. Some airlines do allow you pick your seat during the booking process, while others will open up a seat selection option to you once you have gone through the online check-in. Whatever your options, pick that seat as soon as you can!
But, you ask, just which seats are best for relaxation on a plane? Assuming here that you have a choice – and your business class seat is a reasonably good one (the quality varies greatly) best option would be a seat in the emergency exit row: that way you’ll be able to stretch out your legs and won’t be disturbed by your seatmates moving in and out of their seats.
If those have already been snapped up by others with the same idea, try for a window seat instead. In a window seat, you’re less likely to be bothered, and watching the scenery from the window is something that many people find very relaxing.
Traveling for business in economy (not all companies can run to business class)? things can be a little tougher, as you may not even get a choice of seat, but the same logic as we used for business class seating should be applied if at all possible. And employers? If you really want your employees to do you proud and do their best work, consider upgrading them.
Don't Be Tempted to Tipple
Thinking about relaxing on the plane with a glass of wine or or two on the flight? Think again – and not just because your superiors may not approve. If you drink alcohol you will feel the effects of dehydration more quickly while in a pressurized cabin, and that certainly won’t help you relax or arrive at your destination raring to go.
Even worse, dehydration is one of the main causes of jetlag, so it won’t help you the next day either. Stick to juice and soda and save the wine for the business lunch/dinner you'll probably be attending once on the ground.
At the Hotel
Your hotel should not just be the place you head between sessions to rehearse your next presentation. It should be a haven you can head to relax and regroup and get the sleep that is essential to great work performance at any time, but especially when travelling for business.
Book the Right Room
If you are going to stay in a hotel, make sure you – or your employer – books the right room. Sometimes hotels can be the noisiest of places due to parties and other events that take place on a regular basis. Rooms located in the middle of the hallway are usually quieter since they are away from facilities such as ice vending machines, housekeeping closets, and other areas known to be noisy.
Also, avoid rooms near pool areas as pool areas tend to be a gathering ground for people who are looking to socialize and party. Make sure your room is located at least 2 to 3 floors away from banquet halls, bars, or clubs as well. These places can get pretty loud too and the sound can easily travel into your room if it is located too close. All the sleep aids in the world won’t be much use if your night is one long rendition of the Chicken Song, thanks to the bachelor party down the hall.
Don’t Forget to Pack Your Sleep Necessities
Make sure you don’t forget to pack some simple sleeping necessities such as comfortable nightwear, earplugs, and maybe even a sleep mask. They can be quite helpful in improving your quality of sleep while traveling. So, make sure they get into your luggage somehow, even if it means squeezing them in.
Hotels do tend to follow a fixed schedule when it comes to services such as housekeeping. So, make sure you inform the staff about not being disturbed or at least hang the “Do Not Disturb” sign outside your door if you don’t want someone to wake you up in the middle of your well earned nap after a big presentation is finally over.
Watch Your Nighttime Habits
Avoid having rich or large meals before going to bed. The temptation to indulge in the free cuisine while traveling can be very strong, but keep that for the daytime or early evening at the latest. A light meal should suffice before bedtime. You can also try to soothe yourself to sleep with warm beverages such as chamomile tea as it is known to induce sleep. But avoid caffeine before bedtime at all costs.
If you have certain habits such as reading a book or listening to music before sleeping, do not give them up when you’re traveling for business. Continue those habits, as they will act as indicators for your brain and body to go to sleep even if it is slightly confused by the unfamiliar sleep surroundings.