this increasingly service-oriented and partner-based economy, mobility has become
critical to workforces of all sorts. Employees are constantly on the go - working
at client sites, at home, branch offices or with business partners across town
and across the globe. In fact, research studies have estimated that over 54 million
American employees are currently involved in some form of remote work equaling
more mobile workers than the total combined population of California and New York.
can a business traveler stay organized and productive while on the road? Sharon
Mann, an organizational expert at Esselte -- a leader in office solutions and
known for its Pendaflex® brand of filing products -- offers ways that the
mobile executive can keep focused and be efficient while traveling Whether you
are a first time traveler or a seasoned road warrior, these tips will be useful.
Carry Pen and Paper: Even in the digital age, the most low-tech solution is
still the best, "so always be equipped with a pen, pencil, highlighter and
notepad," notes Mann. "You might need to just dash off a message or
take notes, but remember - paper and pen will always work during a power failure
Be Tech Savvy: Advances in technology are making it easier to be a mobile
executive, says Mann, and having the latest technology at your fingertips such
as a cell phone, wireless e-mail, PDA, lap-top computer - will help stay in touch
and in sync with your office, your colleagues and your clients.
Do Your Research: "Do your homework and research the area of where you
are going before you get there," advises Mann. This includes noting the currency
exchange, places to stay, nightlife entertainment, appropriate attire, restaurants
for you and your clients, car service/car rental information, and the distance
between the airport and your destination. "Be aware of the do's and don'ts
of where you are going and dress accordingly," states Mann, "you don't
want to end up dressed too formally or too casually for your destination."
Bring Batteries: Sure, this sounds like a no-brainer, but it is important
to have batteries to back up all of the technological products you may have with
you. And, reminds Mann, don't forget the charger for your cell phone!
Take Business Cards: Always carry extra business cards on you, and keep them
in an easy-to-reach place. "When traveling, your business card is your calling
card, and you want to make sure to have enough with you to give out to important
clients, business partners and new contacts," recommends Mann.
Keep Important Information Close: Mann urges keeping your license, passport,
tickets and directions to your destination in an easy but safe spot close by.
Always keep this on hand, in briefcase or on your body, perhaps in a fanny pack
or an inner jacket pocket, and never pack your traveling information - always
keep it accessible.
Bring Office Essentials: Mann suggests carrying special organizers for paper
files and presentations with you, along with an expanding organizer for all of
your paper-based files to keep at your fingertips. "This will keep your files
handy when you reach your destination," she says.
Color-Code Your Files: Color-code papers to save time looking for the variety
of documents you need to carry with you. Counsels Mann, "color-coding keeps
your papers visually accessible, making it easier to locate your paperwork when
it is organized by color."
Stay on Top of Finances: Keep a daily journal of all expenses associated with
your traveling so that you can reconcile the money spent upon your return. Mann
cautions that travelers should be aware of hidden costs, special surcharges and
taxes, especially from hotels.
Stock up on Literature: Always carry reading material to keep you occupied,
since clients can run late and planes may be delayed. "You can also use this
time to review your notes, peruse a business journal, catch up on a proposal or
return phone calls," Mann says.
Mann is an organizational expert for Esselte Corporation (www.esselte.com),
the world's leading maker of innovative organizing products including Pendaflex
brand hanging file folders. Mann also serves as president of the Pendaflex "I
Hate Filing" club (www.ihatefiling.com),
a dedicated group of nearly 100,000 office professionals who dislike filing but
enjoy finding new ways to become more organized and more productive in the workplace.