According to our latest research, an overwhelming number of business travelers feel that the positives outweigh the negatives at work (92%) and at home (82%) when traveling for business.
I personally share this opinion. I adore traveling. Even though you might be enclosed in a room for the whole duration of your trip (it happens, you know it too), there is always a couple of hours you can steal to experience the vibe of the place you are in. It can be over dinner sampling local delis or during a walk in the morning to see how people go about their day. I am a big fan of people-watching. One of my favorite spots for it is the metro. Have you realized how different people are from home? The looks, the behaviors… It’s mesmerizing.
Sorry, I got distracted. Back to the survey... What is most exciting about business trips for the majority of travelers worldwide is traveling to a brand new destination. Face-to-face networking with an individual who can help to advance your career ranks second and getting out of your work routine third. Following closely behind is meeting a colleague or client with whom you have had only virtual contact for the first time and being able to expense things like meals and hotel rooms.
Travel disruptions lead the dark side of business trips, followed by personal safety, missing important family events or time with friends, having to catch up on work and home life upon your return, getting sick while traveling, recovering from the fatigue that comes with travel, coordinating logistics and packing, traveling to a place you have never been before, and meeting someone for the first time.
I share some of these joys and pains. However, my list is slightly different.
For me, what makes a particular business trip look like a gift from above is:
- Getting the chance to travel to a destination where I have friends (and a schedule that allows me to see them at some point). If I can extend my trip over a weekend for some quality time with them, the experience is unbeatable. Who does not like bleisure?
- Meeting my team. I am a remote worker and my teammates are spread all over the world. Any chance to meet them and share the joys and pains of a business trip is a blessing. When they are around, a good time is guaranteed.
- Discovering new destinations and cultures. Discovering new places, meeting interesting people, eating new things… Traveling is a mind-expanding experience. Plus, sometimes you get confronted with things you are not particularly comfortable with. It is a great muscle-building exercise for life. As someone I admired said to me once: “Get comfortable doing the things that make you uncomfortable.”
On the downside:
- Dealing with logistics. Visas, accommodation and flights… but first and foremost, packing.
- Facing Murphy’s Law scenarios. Getting sick, missing my flight, lost luggage, credit cards not being accepted, mobile phones not working during an emergency…You name it. If you are a worrier, I am sure you feel me.
- Schedules from hell. Waking up at 3 am to get to the airport, staying late for a business dinner after a long working day, getting home late and not having time to eat. Business trips can wear you down.
What about you? We would be most interested in knowing what makes you jump with joy or cry in pain when it comes to business travel.
Blog author: Sandra Lastra, Global Corporate Communications Manager, CWT.