There is no doubt that Covid changed the work landscape significantly. While travel and commuting were once booming, these days, the thing booming the most are Zoom calls and Google Hangouts. Granted, this newly remote lifestyle is an introvert’s dream, but alas, no dream can last forever.
Though it is nice to spend the day in your PJs and not battle traffic and people and delays, it’s unrealistic to expect to never have to travel again. Businesses are reopening, and while many companies have adapted well to remote hires, not all roles are performed well from a distance.
That means to continue to work, you may see travel in your future once again, whether it’s a weekly drive to the office, a flight across the country for a team meeting, or a flight overseas to negotiate a new deal. We believe the key is to plan your travels strategically.
Tips for Traveling without Spinning Your Wheels
When thinking of traveling strategically, we really mean carefully evaluating where travel might be necessary and/or beneficial and skipping it when it isn’t either of those things.
Some things are better with face-to-face time, while others clearly could be done at home and save everyone time and travel expenses. Not to mention the many Covid restrictions and hoops you may have to jump through to travel in certain areas!
So ask yourself, when does it make sense to travel? Below are a few ideas.
Though Zoom interviews are all the rage at the moment, sometimes you just have to meet prospective new hires in person, even if it’s in a more casual locale like a coffee shop, not necessarily the office.
There’s something to be said for a little one-on-one interaction with someone in the same room, and it allows you to get a better feel for their personality and character. Especially when you are hiring someone for a critical role in your business, you want to make sure you’re hiring the right person.
Team Building Activities
Team building activities and retreats are, by nature, social events. So traveling for these just makes sense. Sure, you can do ‘virtual’ team-building activities, but again, some things are just better when everyone is present in the same room together. How can you feel like a real team if you never truly connect in person?
It can be difficult to network online, even for those who do it as part of their jobs. Networking is all about fostering relationships, and one of the best ways to do that is to meet people in person and get to know them.
A virtual conference can be great for distilling information, but you simply cannot network in the same way you can when you’ve got a bunch of like-minded individuals gathered to learn something new together.
Negotiating Big Deals
Just like negotiating a big new hire, negotiating big sales deals might require face time with key players. Traveling for this kind of thing is important if you want to close the deal because not everyone you negotiate with will be keen to communicate virtually. There are many people that are old school and will expect to meet in person to hammer out details.
Obviously, when you have business interests overseas, you cannot escape traveling for it at times. Whether it’s to tour a new site or check up on an existing one, traveling is, dare we say, a requirement.
Face-to-face meetings can significantly lower language barriers and cultural barriers, which is key to successfully doing business in other countries.
Depending on the type of industry you’re in, some projects may require you to be hands-on—for instance, the construction industry or the medical industry. You certainly can’t perform surgery or remodel a bathroom remotely!
Though it can feel a little daunting to get back into the rhythms of regular travel again, the world is opening back up, and there’s no stopping it.
Hopefully, both businesses and workers will value and keep the many benefits remote working offers, but still understand that some travel is necessary and important. Ultimately, flexibility truly is the name of the game.
Need help enhancing your business operations and management? Give us a call.