Is business travel taking a toll on your home life? One in five adults in the United States will take a trip for business in the next six months. For many, it’s a way of life. How can you travel for work and minimize the impact on your home life? Here are some tips from Humanergy’s frequent flying associates and clients:
Plan if you can. Give some notice to your spouse and kids, if at all possible. Depending on the ages and personalities of the children, they may need more or less time to prepare emotionally. Don’t spring the news on them by bringing out the suitcases.
Create a connection plan. Let the folks back home know when and how you’ll stay connected. Use Skype, phone or email to stay in touch. It is better to have fewer, less distracted contacts, so plan a chunk of time when you’re not engaged elsewhere. Avoid noisy restaurants and brief check-ins during meeting breaks. No one will enjoy those interactions, and you may actually increase the frustration and anxiety on everyone’s part.
Rethink the gifts. How many times have you run yourself ragged to purchase a gift, only to find the trinket discarded the next day? Consider nixing travel gifts in favor of a family outing when you return. If you must bring something home, make it meaningful and simple. You might even consider doing this gift selection in advance – ordering that book your spouse wants to read or the latest Nintendo game for the kids. Above all, don’t do the last-minute search for gifts in the airport shop. Those are the ones you find stuffed under the sofa shortly thereafter.
Plan for a civilized re-entry. If you can’t be fully present when you walk through the door, take a break. Jump into the shower or take a short nap before re-engaging with the family. You’ll be more pleasant, engaged and able to catch up on what you missed on the home front.
Outsource distractions. Rather than jumping right into mowing your two acres of lawn, hire someone to take care of your household chores. This will free you up to spend time with family and get some much-needed rest.
Ditch the )*^%(_#$ Blackberry. They’ve missed you and can’t wait to talk, snuggle and other stuff we can’t mention. Turn off your Blackberry (or equivalent) and have a meaningful conversation with your loved one. By no means should you ever bring it into the bedroom.
Have some fun. There’s nothing like playing together for reuniting a family unit. Get outside if you can and do something active together. Like cricket! The picture above is of our Humanergy family members after a fun-filled time learning to play the game.
Appreciate the same-old-sameness of it all. Unwind in your favorite chair, sit on the deck or whatever it takes to soak up the familiarity of home. Enjoy the simplicity of home and forget the travel upheaval and hassle – not to mention the language barriers. “Boy, those French. They have a different word for everything” (Steve Martin).
Have a question about this topic or want some input from Humanergy? Contact us!
Photo courtesy of stock.xchng