One of the reasons I went AWOL on this here blog a while back was because I was working away from home a fair bit at a series of conferences, exhibitions and launch events.
I always find working from home a bit odd. On the one hand I enjoy being out of the office and interacting with our customers. I like staying in a fancy hotel and having a slap-up dinner on expenses. What I don’t like is missing home and the feeling that you’re working 24/7. And, certainly, for a self-confessed introvert, like me, the whole experience can be truly knackering.
With this in mind I thought I’d share with you some of the tips which help to keep me sane when I’m working away from home…
1. Comfort is key – Whether you’re driving or flying wear something comfortable to travel in, especially if, like me, you’re going to setting up a room full of products and marketing materials when you arrive. The last thing you want to be doing is lugging boxes of literature around in a suit!
2. Double-check the details – Sense check that postcode before you enter it into the Sat Nav. It only takes a few seconds to key it into Google Maps to make sure it’s taking you to where you expect it to. So much better than a mid-route Sat Nav fail! Make sure you have all the paperwork you need for flights, hotel check-in and for the event itself. Create a checklist a few weeks ahead of the event to ensure you remember everything. Chances are you will be running around like a mad thing nearer to the time and will be more likely to forget something.
3. Pack light – taking only hand luggage means you can exit the airport more swiftly if you’re flying and allows you to fit your case in with all of those products and marketing materials if you’re driving!
4. Be sure to pack
- Presentable PJs – bear in mind a midnight fire alarm could result in you being stood outside with your work colleagues, so chose your nightwear accordingly
- Minature toiletries – easier to pack and lighter to carry
- A phone charger
- A spare pen and paper
- A few hair bobbles and hair clips – a lack of time and different water makes bad hair days a real possibility when you’re working away from home – be prepared. A small can of dry shampoo is also a good thing to stash in your bag – just in case!
5. Phone home – find the time escape off for a little while to call home. It will help to keep the home sickness at bay and also give you some sanity as it gives you the opportunity to talk about something other than work!
6. Pick your socialising wisely – taking time out for yourself is fine, but you need to make sure you time it properly. Some social events you will be expected to attend and stay until the end of (especially if you’re organising them). Understand which ones you need to stick out and which ones you can duck out of, for example, Gala Dinner = gotta go, after party pizza = perfectly acceptable to take yourself off to bed.
7. Don’t make a tit of yourself – don’t drink too much, snog anyone, or start controversial conversations unless you want to be the talk of the office for all of the wrong reasons! And if you’re organising the social events, err on the sober side of tipsy. Trying to organise other guests who may be under the influence is difficult enough sober!
8. Make the most of any downtime – it’s rare but if you do get some time to yourself take a bath, read, blog, catch-up on cheesy TV, go for a wander around the grounds of the hotel, do yoga. Do something for you.
Do you work away from home? What tips would you add to this list?