This week, we're bringing you a guest blog by our App Center partner, eBillity. Read on for their tips on staying productive during business travel...
No matter how hiccup-free, business travel is taxing; and somehow most manage to juggle work on travel days. From replying to emails, jotting down notes or pulling out a laptop in the airport café, the pressure is on to make the most out of every minute. If you’re a professional services firm that bills by the hour and you have dozens of employees in transit each week, the value of these minutes is significant. In fact, just 24 minutes of extra billable time per employee per week can noticeably increase annual revenue if you’re a large company.
eBillity helps companies make the most of billable hours with Time Tracker, an app that lets your mobile workforce track time during business trips and then send them to Concur for automated expensing. As experts in timekeeping, we thought it would be helpful to share our top 3 tips for making business travel days most productive:
Be a time-capturing genie
There’s nothing like a busy day to throw you off your timekeeping game. Rushing through the airport to make a connection can make the details of your last few emails hazy, and guess-timating usually results in under-reporting of time. Don’t wait until you’re on the road to get disciplined. Get into the habit of turning on your timer before replying to client emails. Time Tracker comes with an Outlook Add-in, which converts calendar events into time entries in just two clicks. If you don’t have an Internet connection, you can log your time using the desktop app and your entries will post to your Time Tracker account as soon as you regain connection.
It’s hard not to multitask, especially when you’re on the road, but research has shown it’s a common stealth time waster. Travel days can give way to the temptation to multitask in the interest of efficiency, but this often backfires and results in forgotten or inaccurate reporting of time. If it’s feasible, consider turning off notifications while getting through the security line or checking in for a flight; afterwards carve out time to work in a distraction-free environment (if no such place exists, bust out those headphones).
Take a break
This one may seem counterintuitive – isn’t this supposed to be about work?
Employees who frequently travel for work are more susceptible to burnout - a major enemy of productivity. It comes back to the adage of quality over quantity. If you’re in a leadership role, encourage employees to ‘sign off’ or catch a power-nap in the airline business lounge while waiting for a flight, rather than feeling the need to constantly be on the clock. If you’re the employee doing the traveling, evaluate your energy level and decide if trying to squeeze in 20 more minutes of work makes sense, or if your time would be better spent taking a break to refresh your mind before the next leg of the journey. Likewise, consider reserving the first portion of your flight for a work block; then, set aside the remainder of the flight to recharge your batteries so you can be on your A-game when you land.
Since 2012 more than 546 million hours have been tracked by Time Tracker customers of all sizes. Concur clients can easily track time alongside expenses and entries can be exported to TimeTracker for fast invoicing, online payments and reporting. To learn more about how Time Tracker can help your company streamline timekeeping and expenses in Concur, visit the Concur App Center.