Travelling for business presents an opportunity to expand your network, discover new destinations and of course, escape the daily grind. It also means spending an extended amount of time with a colleague or boss. And while this is an ideal scenario to strengthen your working relationship, it also poses the risk of making an accidental business blunder.
In fact, we recently found out that nearly half (49 per cent)* of business travellers are concerned about this. To ease some of these worries, we put together our top tips to ensure your next work getaway is a personal and professional success.
Punctuality is key.
Sure, there might be times you are running late for work, but when you're travelling, don't expect the same level of understanding. Being late can cause come serious delays in your travel arrangements causing undue stress for both yourself and your colleague. Give yourself an extra hour in case you find yourself in traffic or your driver gets lost on the way to the airport because the last thing you want is to miss your flight.
It's your time to shine.
Make it a priority to handle the logistics, from ordering an uber to making lunch reservations, these small gestures won't go unnoticed. It will show leadership on your part and creates a comfortable dynamic for both you and your colleague in this new setting. Who knows, it could even lead to that promotion you have been looking for.
There is a fine balance between getting to know your colleague and sharing too much. It may be tempting to divulge personal information but some things are simply better left unsaid. Remember, you are travelling with a co-worker, not your best friend. No matter how much you have in common, it is best to maintain professional boundaries.
Forget about business talk.
This is the perfect opportunity to build a stronger relationship with your colleague outside of the office. Learn more about their interests, hobbies and things that make them happy. As long as the topics are kept kosher, your conversations shouldn't focus too much on work. Building friendly relationships develops healthy grounds for teamwork.
If you have nothing nice to say, don't.
Gossiping about work policies, colleagues or your boss may seem like a way to connect with your co-worker abroad, but in the end, it could be disastrous. It showcases a lack of maturity and could lead to others questioning what you're saying about them when they're not around. You're not in high school so don't behave like you are. Rise above the impulse even if your colleague initiates, and you'll walk away from the trip guilt-free.
Limit your alcohol intake.
It may be tempting to over imbibe when there is free alcohol and everyone else is partaking. Just remember, drinking too much may seem harmless but there is a high potential for embarrassment which could ruin your professional reputation.
The best way to show someone respect and admiration is through action. Your boss might not expect the better seat on the plane or the hotel room with a great view, but if you selflessly offer them the better option, they'll instantly feel appreciated. Even small actions like holding doors, or offering to get coffee can go a long way. Just remember that hopefully one day you will be in a position to receive the same special treatment.
* The Better-quette Survey was commissioned by Booking.com which now has now has over a million properties. It was independently conducted among 4,555 people (18 -65) across USA, UK, Germany, France, Spain, Japan, China, Italy who had travelled internationally for business four times or more in the past year. Research took place between 29th of January through the 11th of February 2016.
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