Turn Your Travels With Coworkers Into Smooth Sailing
Whether you travel occasionally for business or spend much of your time on the road, you’ll probably encounter times when your colleagues join you on your journeys. Impress your boss and keep the peace with your office mates by following these steps before, during and after group business trips.
Steps To Take Before You Leave
- Bargain for group discounts. There is power in numbers. Tell your travel agent or individual vendors how many people are in your group. You may be able to get better rates on hotel rooms or rental cars. Your boss will love to see people holding down costs.
- Pack sensibly. Traveling light is the easiest way to deal with airline baggage fees and restrictions on carryon luggage. You can all get out of the airport faster if you can avoid checking luggage.
- Collect contact information. Keep a list of cell phone numbers and emails for the people you’re traveling with and the people you’re visiting. You’ll be able to find each other if you get separated and coordinate any last minute changes in itineraries.
- Plot out logistics. Know where your hotel is and how you’re going to get there. Be prepared to pick up your rental car. Map out the route between multiple meeting destinations.
- Research local attractions. Treat yourselves to something more special than generic hotel food and television channels. Look up the favorite local running trails. Plan a trip to offbeat museums.
Steps To Take On The Road
- Focus on work. Make business a priority. You can socialize as long as you fulfill the purpose of your trip first, whether it’s generating new business or attending educational events.
- Take initiative. Business travel is a chance to showcase skills that go beyond your daily tasks. Make yourself indispensable to your boss by volunteering to assist with a presentation, take minutes, or staff the company exhibit booth.
- Be courteous to your roommates. You may sometimes be asked to share hotel rooms or other accommodations with coworkers. Be on your best behavior to make the experience as pleasant as possible. Keep the bathroom tidy and hold down the noise if you’re a night owl or early riser.
- Keep expenses reasonable. Check out your company policy on limitations for meals and other expenses. It’s always safe to order from the middle of menu even if your colleagues are more extravagant.
- Remain professional. Above all, project a professional image. In most industries, that means dressing conservatively and sticking to the same topics of conversation you would consider acceptable at the office.
Steps To Take When You Get Home
- Document your accomplishments. Make the most of any business trip by sending your boss a brief memo summarizing what you did and how it contributes to company goals. Share the glory by giving your colleagues credit. Thank your boss for giving you the opportunity to travel.
- Bring back gifts. Remember those who stayed behind. Put out candy or other treats for everyone to share. Email photos of important or funny local sights like presidential libraries or giant Elvis Presley garden statues.
- Look ahead. A key advantage of travel is the way it stimulates fresh perspectives. You may feel closer to your coworkers or excited about launching a new project. Even if any lapses occurred on the trip like someone drinking too much, put it quickly behind you to restore positive relations.
Planning ahead will make traveling with your office mates less stressful and more productive. Strive to be considerate and professional so you maintain good relations and advance your career.