As a career person, there are instances that requires you to travel out from workplace. Meeting with vendors, pitching for a blue-chip agency campaign, routine maintenance check or attending an industry conference, travel has been a part of many employees and businessmen.
- Why travel business
- Advantages as business traveler
- Disadvantages as business traveler
While it pays your business class seat and quality hotel rooms, allows you to make side trips to local attractions once business transactions are done, the trip is mostly business in nature that is often associated with stress of meeting and presentation preparations, meeting strangers who might not get along well, the hassles of waking up earlier to catch a flight and you barely have control of your entire trip schedule.
Needless to say, we often don’t get the best of both worlds.
- Trade shows. Businessmen may visit trade shows to check out new releases in the market and potentially meet trading partners and product suppliers or buyers.
- Networking and conferences. Employees may be sent to big industry events to be in touch with the latest developments, attend industry-specific conferences, and meet similar-minded people to expand business reach and establish partnerships.
- Customer support and routine maintenance. Technicians or highly specialized employees are sent to customer locations to provide assistance such as machine or software installation or maintenance or provide training and knowledge transfer.
- Visiting other company locations. Some employees are sent to other company locations to provide training to colleagues, supplement manpower shortage or assignments on short-term projects.
- Pitching a product or service. When a company participate in a large-scale bid, sometimes it is necessary to field in a resource person to ensure a well-prepared pitch that addresses necessary requirements and outdo competing companies or agencies.
- Visiting a project site for evaluation. A site might be a new location of a project and a visit is necessary to evaluate certain parameters as a comprehensive review and feasibility study s being made.
But let’s be fair and pinpoint the pros and cons in a situation as business traveler.
1. Free travel holiday. This is an obvious advantage especially if you as an employee is looking to explore new places, meet new people or the mere time you get a break from routine at the office. Free travel means your air fare — in some cases business class — accommodation and other expenses such as food and transportation allowance are taken care of.
2. Accumulate rewards points. Whether its accruing mileage on your favorite airline loyalty membership or cash rebates on your credit card — if you use your own card in a reimbursement arrangement — you gain something more than just getting your travel paid and getting paid to do so (because you are traveling as part of your job)
3. Learning experience. A less obvious advantage when you travel is that you get that opportunity to learn more. As a traveler, you might learn about the culture of a certain country — food, people, taste in music and others. You might also learn more about the job when you travel for training, or when you meet like-minded folks who are as passionate as you are with your current job.
4. Time to unwind. Once your task in this business travel is done, you can always look forward to relax and unwind. Perhaps socialize with colleagues in the hotel’s cozy cocktail bar or tick an item off your bucket list if the company organizes team building activity such as skydiving, rock climbing or other activities you’d always wished to do but work commitments get in the way.
1. Missing time with family. Being a business traveler, especially those whose jobs require a significant amount of on the road means sacrificing time with family. Even unmarried business travelers might feel the strain with relationships, missing out on time with family and friends. Instead of doing the usual family activities on weekends, you are left alone to accomplish tasks at work.
Parents also miss quality time with children once they travel extensively, depriving them of parental guidance and monitoring their progress in school, social life and personal development. At extreme cases, being a business traveler can lead to domestic conflicts as responsibilities are left out in favor of commitment to work.
You may enjoy the sights of the sunset or take a dip at the beach, but you miss your family more and wish they’re with you to witness the spectacle.
2. Health and fitness issues. Business travelers may be required to fly on red eye schedule to fit meeting arrangements and accomplish tasks more efficiently. Needless to say this impacts health and well-being of the worker.
While hotels may provide fitness gyms, nutritious meals and swimming pools to maintain a healthy work-life balance, in many cases business travelers are also engrossed with other things such as preparing presentation slides, analyzing situations onsite or collaborating with other business parties, thus depriving them adequate time for rest.
Eating at some fancy diner paid on company account might be an enticing offer but straying away from your usual healthy diet means unwanted weight gain.
3. Travel to a place becomes a boring exercise. First time business travelers are certain to have mixed feelings of excitement and nervousness. But repeat visits to the same place becomes a tiresome effort. Waking up earlier than usual to catch a flight or staying late to catch a conference call with partners from other parts of the world doesn’t sweeten the deal either.
4. Bad travel experience. Instead of taking that spacious business or premium economy seats, you are cramped at economy seat of an airline notorious for bad service and frequent flight delays. Worse, you miss an important appointment because bad weather or mechanical trouble forced flight cancellation, stranding you at the airport for several hours.
5. Cost-cutting company. You are employed in a company that makes use of accumulated mileage to pay for your airfare, so you don’t get any rewards points nor card rebates.
6. You are traveling on a less desirable place. Instead of going to a place to see attractions for free, you are traveling to areas that impose restricted movement. These places might not be war-torn or have high risk of accidents, but simply notorious for petty crimes that your employer prefers to keep you confined at a certain place to meet with business partners.
Indeed being a business traveler has its own set of pros and cons. Getting the job done, and traveling to help accomplish it, can be a challenging role. But as with every experience, try to dwell on a positive note, especially when your current travel doesn’t look like the business trip you have as planned.