There is no privilege quite like traveling for work. Although you have been assigned by your employer to conduct work duties, and it’s certainly no holiday – the luxury and esteem that comes with travelling remains a luxe privilege enjoyed by few. Be that as it may, the way you conduct yourself on these trips is of utmost importance! As a result, we’ve drawn up a list of business travel do’s below…
Written By: Zimasa Mabuse
- Preparation is Key
- Be clear on your mandate and what your boss expects from you while you are on site, and what outcomes you are expected to provide upon your return. While travelling, access to resources can be scarce so ensure you print or download all necessary work documents, charge your laptop the night before your departure, do some background reading for your assignment, take extra electrical ports and adaptors along, and set up any meetings that are imperative to your mandate beforehand.
- It is often difficult to dress up to the standard that you usually observe back at the office, since you are always on the move. To make it easier, pack key pieces that do not crease or soil easily, take shoes that are comfortable but can be worn with multiple outfits (and still look professional) and bring a dark-coloured jacket/blazer/coat along for those moments when you need to go from visiting outdoor offsite areas to a professional meeting room swiftly.
- Educating yourself briefly on the business conduct laws and regulations of the place you are visiting also helps as it will place you a cut above your colleagues and aid you in functioning better at your job or assignment.
- An important aspect of climbing in corporate and growing in your career is by building rapport with various stakeholders. While travelling, it is certain that you will meet people of different cultures and so it is imperious that you learn a few key phrases of the local language of the destination you are travelling to. A mere greeting in someone else’ language will take you further as you immediately show the respective stakeholder or individual that you respect them. Be mindful of your tone when greeting – if you’re too playful, you may come across as contrived or even offensive.
- Policy Awareness
- Familiarise yourself with the travel policy of your respective company: what is your company’s position in regard to paying for your laundry? How much is your daily stipend? Is ordering alcohol at restaurants permitted? Do you have limitations in regard to what you can purchase on the corporate card? This is probably the most critical step as one simple error of judgment in this regard can cost you your reputation, your employer’s trust and most importantly, your job! The number of employees that have been dismissed purely for poor judgement or ignorance whilst on company visits will have you floored!
- Take it all in
- Lastly, be grateful and appreciative that you have the opportunity to see a new place on someone else’s account as opposed to your own, and truly maximize on the experience – meet new people and keep in contact with them (you never know when you might need them!), learn a new language, try new dishes and educate yourself culturally. We live in a global world, and the more awareness and consciousness possess, the higher your value as a person and employee.
- Always send a Thank You email to the delegates or team that you conducted work with when you have returned from your travels. This goes a long way in ensuring that you are remembered!
Have any other tips for? Comment and share with us below…
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