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EURES (EURopean Employment Services)
News article19 May 2023European Labour Authority, Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion2 min read

How to stay productive when travelling for work

We all have had this problem – we go on a work trip for a few days, but upon our return we are greeted by an inbox full of unread emails and pending tasks. Here are a few tips to stay productive when travelling for work.

How to stay productive when travelling for work

Keep a detailed to-do list

While you are travelling for work, changing flights and taking taxis, you can easily forget about important tasks. Make a list of everything that you need to do before and during your work trip. That way, you will be sure that you have not missed any tasks.


There is nothing wrong with asking a colleague to take on some of your tasks while you are on the go. Just do not forget to brief your colleagues in detail, so that they know what to do while you are away. Having someone take care of simple tasks on your to-do list can make a big difference for your workload.

Make the most of your small breaks

Even if your work trip agenda is packed, you are bound to have some downtime. It may be at the airport terminal, on the coach or in lunch breaks between meetings. Make use of these moments to check your emails and stay on top of ongoing tasks. You can get a lot done during these 15-30-minute breaks, which will significantly reduce your workload when you return.

Manage expectations

Do not hesitate to give your colleagues or clients the heads up that you will be travelling and, thus, having limited access to your emails. Let them know that they cannot expect a quick reply from you while you are on the go. Remember to set up an out-of-office message indicating when you will be away and the date of your return.

Do not forget your work devices

Make sure you have all the devices, like work phones and notebooks, needed for you to do your job remotely. You may not need your laptop for your trip, but it will come in handy when you want to do some work from the hotel, for example.

Set clear boundaries

If you are chairing your work meetings, make sure to set clear timeframes and agendas for them. Unstructured work meetings can easily run for much longer than needed. Setting clear boundaries for your work meetings will increase your productivity, helping you make the most of your trip.

Set aside time for rest

Of course, you cannot be working all the time. Work trips can be exhausting as they often involve travel and jetlag. Make sure to set aside time for rest. After all, the best way to stay productive is by resting efficiently.

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