Travel and visiting clients are some of the Lisa Isaac HR Professional Services (“LIHR”) team’s favourite parts of the job. We’ve been lucky enough to traverse across Canada this fall and winter season for client connects, training opportunities, and to speak at conferences.
Working in person together provides many benefits and is a valuable experience. However, we have learned that travel can sometimes have adverse effects on an employee’s ability to be productive.
It might sound contradictory, but all the variety of factors that come into play while traveling, often keep us from getting other stuff done. Not to mention, being away from home naturally creates an environment where an employee may feel disconnected from their regular habits. So, our team wondered - how do we make it easy for employees to feel connected and productive while safely traveling for work?
The LIHR team has found that by using the right tools, we keep the lines of communication open. We stay connected through Slack messenger, we can let everyone know our schedule by maintaining our Google calendars, and we know what to work on by using ClickUp, our project management tool.
Before our team even thinks of hopping on a plane, train, or automobile, we log-in to Way We Do, a policy and process management tool where we create, store, maintain, and access our policies and procedures. This includes entering a pre-travel checklist for approval and reviewing our travel policy requirements. The Manager is able to review the travel request and accommodation needs and either approve, deny, or ask for clarification.
As much as possible, having these supports in place helps to reduce stress by ensuring the team knows what is expected of them while they are away from the office. After all, we are less productive when we feel overwhelmed or unsafe. Here are additional ways we protect our team’s mental and physical well-being when away from home:
Always ensuring a work travel buddy is aware of the travel details, including contact info for the accommodations, client, and emergency contact;
Ensuring the work travel buddy is texted as soon as work travel begins and upon safe arrival;
Leaving with plenty of time to account for slow traffic or unforeseen delays;
Acquiring clean accommodations in a safe area of town, preferably nearby the client site or conference building;
Scheduling mealtimes and exercise breaks throughout the day;
Eating healthy snacks and staying hydrated;
Connecting with clients in advance of arrival to align with their safety practices (PPE, sign-informs, parking practices, etc.)
Avoiding overpopulated restaurants and transportation if able, and masking otherwise;
Packing proper attire, footwear, hand sanitizer, medications to be prepared for seasonal weather, illnesses, and delayed or changed travel; and
Declining non-essential meeting invites the day of return to give time to settle back into routine
With these tips in mind, strong communication practices in place, and a solid travel policy to refer to, the LIHR team has ensured we’re well protected – both mentally and physically – and can maintain productivity while away from our home office. Getting back to travel has been enlightening, humbling, rewarding, and exhausting! Overall, we’re reminded how valuable it is to connect face-to-face with clients, colleagues, and friends.
Maybe we’ll be in your area soon!
Your HR business partner, or services like our 4-Hour Monthly HR Advice Package, can help you navigate your Employee Value Proposition and apply it to your unique organization and jurisdiction.
For professional HR advice that you can trust, contact us today!
Lisa Isaac HR Professional Services
From the LIHR team and lead collaborator, Allison Leach, HR Advisor