Depending on the kind of work you do, you might find yourself travelling quite a lot, either locally or internationally, or maybe even both. There are advantages to this, such as getting to see more of the world and being able to network with a greater variety of people, but there are also some disadvantages. These include jetlag, the usual airport hustle and bustle and being away from home for a significant period of time.
There’s also the matter of internet connectivity. When you’re on a business trip, you might have some trouble staying connected with your colleagues at your base or maintaining stable internet connections at certain times and in certain places during your travels. Fortunately, there are ways and means of keeping yourself connected as often as possible so that you can easily reach others, and be easily reached, when the need arises. Here’s how you can stay properly connected on your business trips.
When it comes to remaining connected on your travels, roaming is probably one of the first options you should consider. It’s a viable one, as it allows you to connect to data networks in other countries without having to change your SIM card or your phone number. After all, you’ll need to maintain a secure data connection at all times when you’re travelling overseas. This is in case you find yourself in a location where other wireless internet solutions are unavailable and you need to be in touch with colleagues or clients. Roaming can, however, be expensive, so make sure you’ve consulted your service provider regarding how much you’ll be charged. Check out the international roaming pages of South Africa’s top three mobile service providers, Cell C, MTN, and Vodacom.
WiFi is one of the world’s most prevalent internet solutions. Wherever you’re travelling, staying and working, make sure you have easy access to a reliable WiFi network. If you’re not too sure where the nearest WiFi hotspots are, then be sure to make use of mobile applications such as Wi-Fi Finder + Map, which you can find on the Apple Store, or Wi-Fi Map, which Apple and Android users can both use.
There’s another means of using Wi-Fi to your advantage while on a business trip, and is necessary if you urgently need to do some work on another device like your laptop. It involves activating your own personal Wi-Fi hotspot on your smartphone. Say you urgently need to send an email to a colleague or client and you’re not in or near a Wi-Fi zone. Simply turn on your personal Wi-Fi and use that to send the email from your laptop. Of course, using your personal Wi-Fi hotspot means chewing up some of your own data, so be sure to use it sparingly. That being said, it’s a great tool to make use of if you’re in a tight situation.
When you’re travelling, don’t forget the usefulness of mobile apps. Whether you’re using your own data or someone else’s internet connection, there are various applications that are necessary and extremely beneficial when it comes to travelling, conducting work and staying in contact with colleagues and clients. One example is Docusign, which enables you to safely draft up, store and sign important documents pertaining to your work while you’re on the go.
Then, of course, there are Skype and WhatsApp. With these apps you can quickly and conveniently send messages to relevant contacts, as well as contact groups. You can also make free international calls with these apps, and Skype can be used on both your smartphone and laptop. Be sure they’re downloaded on your devices and properly updated before you jet off.
If you’re new to business travelling you might think that a stable Internet connection and nifty mobile applications are the primary keys to maintaining connectivity. Don’t forget, however, that keeping your devices up and running on a constant basis is also crucial, as you never know when you might need to make or receive an urgent phone call. That’s why, along with all the necessary chargers you have for your devices, you need to bring a power bank for your smartphone just in case.
There are many to choose from depending on your needs, and you can use them to charge your smartphone when you’re in a public place and there are no plug points in sight. With a power bank you’ll keep your smartphone going so that you don’t miss out on anything important.
Make sure you’re properly connected and reachable on your next business trip. Organise roaming with your service provider, make sure you have WhatsApp and Skype installed, and take advantage of the prevalence of Wi-Fi. Also ensure you’ve packed a power bank to keep your smartphone up and running in case any important notifications come through.