corporate travel 5

Corporate Travel Problems: Working at the Airport

Layovers and Delays Shouldn’t Diminish Productivity

Every corporate traveler understands the unique balancing act of productivity and energy conservation during their trips. From rushing through the airport to waiting on the tarmac during a stopover to unexpected delays, there is any number of issues that can arise during your trip, putting you behind on your projects or assignments.

Being stuck at a huge airport, like O’Hare in Chicago, with a seemingly endless flight delay ahead of you, can diminish your productivity significantly if you haven’t planned and prepared. Here are a few easy tips for getting more work done at the airport during corporate travel.

Organize Your Power Cords and Devices

A smart corporate traveler knows how important it is that they have all of their necessary devices packed for their trip. The next step is ensuring that your bag is packed with foresight in mind; when you learn of an unexpected delay, and you would like to utilize as much of it as possibly for completing tasks or working on a project, finding the tools you need should be easy.

Dedicate a certain compartment of your carry-on to just you devices. Keep each device’s power cord close by so you don’t have to waste time searching for the right one. An organized selection of devices will help you find what you need faster, minimizing the amount of time you waste looking for things.

Bring Your Own Snacks

In an airport as huge as O’Hare, making your way to a certain restaurant or storefront to get a snack could lead to a big time investment, cutting into your time for getting work done.

Bringing along your own snacks can actually have a few benefits; you can bring things that you know boost you own productivity or help you feel full and focused. You won’t have to wander into unknown parts of the airport to get sustenance, and you won’t have to pay outrageous airport prices, either. It’s a win on several different levels!

Only you know which foods are your favorite for fueling up on the road. Nuts, trail mix, jerky, and other non-perishable, energy-rich foods are always great bets if you don’t know what to pack.

Bring Headphones

Being able to block out the noise and get into your own head space is an important part of working efficiently in an environment as distracting as a busy airport. Bringing headphones, especially noise-canceling headphones, can help diminish the noise, and let you really lock into the project at hand.

Make Yourself an Itinerary Beforehand

Just to be prepared for any delay times or even pre-scheduled layovers, make yourself a work itinerary to put you on the fast track to productivity. Prioritize which tasks are most important; give yourself insight into the tools you’ll need to complete the task and which co-workers you might need to contact. Giving yourself a schedule can help you stay on track and get the most important things done first.

Take Short Breaks

Nothing leads to a sore neck and tired eyes faster than sitting in one place and focusing on a single screen for too long. It’s important to take frequent breaks, to stand up and move around and get the blood flowing again. Give your eyes 15-second rests to ward off exhaustion, and try not to multi-task. Not only will you get more done, you’ll find that you feel less tired and weary at the end of your layover or delay.

Productivity can be a puzzle; in airports, it’s a nearly impossible one. But with the right advice on hand, and preparations made to help you stay on task, you can be productive regardless of your environment.

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Dale Schahczinski
Goal driven team leader, with industry experience spanning all aspects of operations and administration.