Smart Avoidance Strategies: No Stress on Business Travel

              Wednesday, 4 December 2019

              Those who travel for work are often particularly energized. Good preparation can help. But it is far from the only way to go on a relaxed business trip.
              From one plane to the next – here today, tomorrow there. This sounds glamorous, but for many employees, business trips are often stressful. After all, a business trip usually does not start until the moment when employees get into their car, train or plane. "A business trip also consumes a lot of time in advance and after-work," says Christopher Schulz, who frequently travels as a consultant and has written a book on the subject. One of his advice is: "The best business trip is the one that does not take place." Of course this is not always possible. For Schulz it follows: Especially those who are often on the move should, if possible, shorten or merge travel times. In other words, appointments are combined where appropriate and synergies are exploited. "Then, ideally, at least not every week you travel to the place of business travel, but maybe only every twelve days." Anti-cyclical travel: avoiding full trains and roads When planning is also pay attention to travel as countercyclical. It is best not to set off with all the other Monday mornings, but rather to set days and times when there is not so much going on in the train and on the streets. "This reduces the stress, almost always reduces the time required and usually also reduces the costs," says Schulz. If you have to travel the same distance for a certain project for a few weeks or months, then Schulz should always be looking for a setting continue to optimize. "You always take the same connection, always the same hotel and then always the same billing." The customer review has been automatically translated from German. Although this sounds boring, but saves the effort in the planning and facilitate the implementation on site. Even the best preparation does not protect business travelers from the unexpected, be it a storm that paralyzes the rail traffic or flights that fail due to strike. Employees do not have to blame themselves, says Jutta Boenig from the German Association for Career Counseling. Then it is a little easier not to get upset, but to accept the situation and retrieve Plan B. If there is a delay, there is a reward. Consultant Christopher Schulz has a psychological trick that he often uses himself. "All flights are canceled or you are stranded again – I reserve a special reward for such situations." You could treat yourself to a very special coffee that you would not drink otherwise or look at the latest episode of the favorite series. For well-paid managers, the time-consuming business trip with all its hardships is compensated by the salary, with skilled workers and simple employees, the thing is different out. "It is the case that the efforts of traveling are not adequately recognized by the case law," says Alexander Bredereck, a labor lawyer. Many things are not clearly regulated, so there are often disputes between the employee and the employer. That starts with the arrival. If the employer wants his employee to arrive by car, then the matter is clear: the journey is working time; after all, the employer has to drive the car himself. If the plane or the train is used as a means of transport and there is no work that has to be done during the trip, this is considered leisure time. Even if it does not feel like it. From practice, Alexander Bredereck knows that there is often a compromise: then the outward journey is considered as working time, because it should be used to prepare for the customer appointment. The return journey is however free time. But if a whole working day only goes on arrival or departure, it must be remunerated. Even overnight stays would have to be taken over by the employer when the daily working hours have been reached. "When traveling on business, the number of unreported cases for exceeding the working time law is high." Excluding uncertainty factorsMuch work, little sleep, a completely different daily routine – that can really go to the substance. For Christopher Schulz it is clear: stress can be reduced if as many uncertainty factors as possible are excluded. Mobile phone and laptop are fully charged, on long trips, the documents are printed in addition. Who is confronted on his journey with a foreign languages, unfamiliar transport or a foreign culture, this can at least compensate for the choice of accommodation. "In that case you prefer to book a room in a chain of hotels, that may be boring, but you do not have to expect a surprise." Otherwise, the rule of thumb is: The accommodation should either be close to the transport cross – then business travelers are quick at the train station or airport , Or you can book a room that is close to the customer in order not to have to rush through the rush hour on the day of the appointment. "And trade fairs and major events should always be on the radar," says Schulz. In such cases, it is often more relaxed to look for an alternative date. The consultant uses idle time on business trips for tasks that can be completed in five to ten minutes without high concentration. "You can set up a collector there and work it off gradually – for example, bill for travel expenses or revise a presentation layout." The Christmas mail, for example, can be done well on a train ride. According to Jutta Boenig, it is important to delegate the work in regular operation. "One should not think that you get ten things on the way to the airport." Regulated you get that maybe already, but arrive at the end of exhausted at the business appointment.

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