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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Officing While On The Road
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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Officing While On The Road - Executive Leadership Articles

Tips For The Traveling Executive: Officing While On The Road

Executive Leadership Articles

Tips For The Traveling Executive: Officing While On The Road

Getting in some good, productive work time while on the road can be a serious challenge to those of us who shun the isolation or sameness of a hotel room. For many, the desire to be somewhere among other people, even perfect strangers, is enough to make working in solitude just about impossible. For others, a quiet space alone in an office-like environment is the switch that turns on our productivity, a common trait among those who habitually come into the office on weekends and holidays.

Happily, with more and more people working away from traditional offices, there are usually several options in those cities away from home, and they are not limited to coffee shops and tea bars, although proper acknowledgment should be paid those establishments, many of which offer free wifi, plenty of electrical outlets, and many times (depending on time and location), a nice, studious vibe. Even in the solitude offered by earbuds and tables for one, just being surrounded by others who are busily tapping away on laptops and tablets can be an encouragement for productivity.

Cafes have different personalities, though, and it can be difficult to find one with the atmosphere you prefer. The popularity of blended iced drinks in many places means the endless growling and wailing of high-powered blenders, which of course must be spoken loudly over by the small group conversing at the next table, and if you’re sharing wifi, the network speed can be unbearably slow. For those who prefer a more office-like situation, short-term use of coworking space might be a better fit.

Coworking services offer shared office space for long- or short-term use. Many will provide an actual personal office space, with a desk and shared necessities, such as coffee, copiers, fax machines, wifi, clean restrooms, office supplies, and even meeting rooms. Others provide open spaces with multiple desks or shared tables (for a much lower price), in an environment that encourages people to discuss what they’re working on for possible networking or collaboration. A space at a quiet, shared table can often be as inexpensive as two lattes in a café, and it usually comes with the added bonus of having no blenders or wailing children. There are also increasing numbers of hotels offering shared space like this.

As with cafes, coworking spaces come in a wide range of flavors and decors. Christine DesMarais at Inc.com has a lovely slideshow of “16 Cool Coworking Spaces” to give you an idea of what’s out there, including a solar-powered space, a cottage-like space with a fireplace, and even a space just for women. To get an idea of what your coworking options are in the city you’re planning to visit, try a Yelp.com search for “coworking” or “shared office spaces.” Your own city might even have more options than you’re aware of, something to consider for those stay-cations where you need to sneak in just a little bit of office time away from the office. National services such as Regus and Liquidspace have websites that can match you with (and book you) an office space that meets your specific needs and price range, with Regus also offering spaces in locations outside the United States.

One other option, of course, is to ask the associates you’re meeting with if their companies have an extra desk or an unused conference room that a visiting friend might make use of. In addition to (probably!) being complimentary, making use of a space like this can lead to better relationships, or offer you the opportunity to extend future invitations to your hosts when they’re visiting your city. Like the networking encouraged in coworking spaces, a borrowed desk like this could result in new ideas for future projects.

For your next business trip, consider getting yourself out of the hotel room for those often-necessary stolen moments of catching up with the goings-on in your home office or brainstorming sessions for your upcoming project. Plan a café-crawl or explore the creative, innovative coworking spaces blossoming all around the country.


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Tips For The Traveling Executive: Officing While On The Road - Executive Leadership Articles

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