For most people, the idea of working away from home is a positive one. Yes, it’s hard to be without your family and friends, but it’s only for a short period. In the meantime, you are free from the usual tedious activities that are linked with typical nine-to-five jobs.
Whether it’s working from a coffee shop alone or exploring a new city in your free time, there is a lot to enjoy about working away. Of course, it’s not easy and takes some getting used to, especially if you plan on negating homesickness and being productive.
With that in mind, here is a selection of our tops tips. The following guide covers everything from transport, accommodation, and dealing with coworkers.
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Schedule Your Work Trip In Advance
There are always unforeseen circumstances that rear their ugly heads, and there is no way to eliminate them altogether. Still, you can limit the damage by planning your trip in advance. That way, you’ll be able to react more efficiently and turn a negative into a positive.
Usually, it’s the small stuff that travellers forget about when they are away from home and the office. For instance, do you know how to get from the airport to the hotel? All it takes is a quick Google search and you’ll have all the options at your disposal.
Then, you can gauge which method is the best and book ahead in some cases. Uber lets you pre-arrange taxis so that you don’t have to queue at a rank and waste more precious time.
Don’t Get Lost On Your Travels!
If the destination is in the country, it’s cheaper and easier to drive. However, getting behind the wheel is quite precarious when you’ve never experienced the roads before. You can’t be sure if there is going to be heavy traffic or a one-way system that is almost impossible to understand. Once you lose your bearings, the chances are high that you’ll get lost.
It happens, but it’s something that won’t go down well with the bosses if you’re late for a critical meeting. Even if you’re only heading to your hotel or work accommodation, you need to value your time because you don’t get many minutes to yourself to unwind and relax after a long journey.
As straightforward as it sounds, the key is to use a sat nav to take you from your door to the precise location on the map. Again, plan ahead to avoid mistakes and ask a colleague to carpool. Carpooling not only splits up the driving responsibilities, but it makes it easier to follow instructions.
Packing is a can of worms because you need enough stuff to last you for the trip, yet you don’t want too many items. Lugging around a bag or suitcase is annoying. Plus, it adds to your expenses and makes you more likely to be late. Checked baggage is an extra £30 and you have to wait for it after your flight!
Packing light means taking the essentials and leaving everything else at home. The essentials include:
- Mobile devices
- Accessories (phone/laptop charger)
- Tools (for tradespersons and construction workers)
- Formal and casual clothes (work suit/gym clothes)
Bring anything that you require for your daily routine. The rest of your belongings can stay at home, and if you need something while you’re away, you can ask someone to post it to your address.
Don’t Go Away Without Organising With Coworkers
At Workforce Accommodation, our business accommodation services are designed to house up to one-hundred-and-fifty people and include electricity bills. This is because we understand how tough it is for businesses to cover all the bases, so we do it so that you don’t have to.
Of course, you’ve still got to live with your colleagues, which means it’s your responsibility to create a plan to ease any tension. For example, coworkers often draw straws to see who gets the best room. Or, if they had the best digs on the last trip, you agree that you have it this time. Although these are small details, they are essential to the success of the trip.
People who don’t get along won’t work as a team and the company will suffer. Therefore, you should consider arranging to live with people that you like to eliminate any awkwardness.
Strike A Balance
You should have fun because working away from home is a fantastic experience. On the flip side, you have to be professional and remember that you’re there to do your job. The trip isn’t a glorified holiday or an excuse to down tools and be unproductive.
With that in mind, it’s vital to strike a healthy balance between work and your personal life. A brilliant tip is to use your spare time to see sights and attractions in the late afternoon or early evening. However, when the sun sets, it’s probably better to get an early night rather than go out on the town.
This is particularly true if you’ve got a big meeting or presentation in the morning. There’s nothing wrong with going out for dinner and enjoying a couple of drinks, but call it a night early to maintain your reputation and keep the management happy. If you push your luck, your working from home privileges may be revoked.
Keep Your Receipts
A business trip is paid for by your employer. It shouldn’t cost you much, apart from the odd expenses for food and drinks. Sometimes, they will be covered by the company, too. This happens if you get a daily amount rather than vouchers or coupons.
What you shouldn’t assume is that HR or accounting will accept all your expenses without asking questions. Typically, employers want to account for every penny, so you’ll need to provide evidence if the money isn’t going to come out of your pocket.
Receipts are everyday things, yet they are easy to throw away. You must keep hold of them in case the company queries an expenditure and requires evidence. Holding them in your wallet or purse until you get home is an option, or you can take photos and save them to your computer or cloud.
What Happens If I Don’t Have The Receipts?
Losing receipts occurs a lot, and you’ll inevitably misplace the tiny pieces of paper at some point in your life when working away from home. Don’t fret because there is an alternative solution – online bank statements.
Downloading a copy of your bank statement for that period should prove:
- The expense
- The full amount
- Where you bought it
Regarding international business travel, you have the added difficulty of exchange rates. A €15 lunch may cost £10 when you buy it, £12 when it comes out of your bank, and £9 when you come to claim it. For simplicity and transparency, use the amount that left your bank as it’s easier to prove.
Tips For Coping When You Work Away From Home
There will be times when you miss home and can’t wait to go back to be with your loved ones. As a result, it’s essential to learn how to cope with these emotions. Otherwise, they’ll prevent you from focusing on your duties and doing your job.
Working out is a fantastic way to relieve stress and tension and stop them from boiling over. The problem with new surroundings is that you may not have access to the same amenities, such as a gym. To get around this, make sure you bring running trainers and outdoor exercise clothes so that you can go for a jog or workout in your accommodation. All you need is a home-based plan that requires zero equipment.
Going off the grid is easier than you imagine. With work taking up all your time, it’s difficult to reply to messages and stay connected with your family and friends. However, not making an effort will only make you feel worse, which is why it’s vital to call regularly. All Workforce Accommodation apartments have WiFi, so all you need to do is use WhatsApp, Skype, or FaceTime to spend quality time together virtually.
Remember Time Zones
Calling people is straightforward when you’re in the same country. It gets more challenging when you’re abroad and there are time zones to consider. The best option is to figure out the time difference and schedule regular calls at that point each day. After all, there’s no point calling at the end of your workday when everyone at home will be in bed. An easy hack is to use a Time Zone Converter online.
How Can Workforce Accommodation Help?
If you find the idea of working away from home stressful, you should let us take care of your accommodation requirements. With us, you get everything from free laundry services to fully-equipped apartments that are ideally located in the centre of towns and cities.