Ways of working

Airport angst: solving the challenges of mobile working

Staying connected when you’re working is vital – whether you’re responding to new opportunities, solving problems, juggling meetings or replying to emails. So if you throw jetting between countries into your day, your productivity and motivation can take a hit.

Counting the cost. When you’re struggling with the airport Wi-Fi, hunting for a seat in a busy café or balancing multiple devices in a cramped airport lounge, your work isn’t going to be at its best. In fact, a CWT study revealed that business travellers can lose nearly seven hours of productive time due to these stress factors.

Our own Great Big Survey found that workers are uncomfortable completing the most basic duties, even in an airport lounge. Just 46% said they’re happy responding to emails when sat in an airport lounge, while only 32% were comfortable making phone calls there. A mere 23% said they were happy carrying out their main work tasks in this environment.

Finding solutions. As companies become more mobile and global, our access to the internet – and its many cloud communications and document-sharing tools – is critical. It’s unsurprising that Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) estimates that solving our remote tech issues could boost the productivity of business travellers by as much as 32%. So before setting up to work in an airport, make sure your location has a great internet connection and experiment with tools that work offline too.

Reducing travel stress is another part of the solution. This means ensuring that the journey is organised and booked in advance, and that a work strategy is put in place for those hours in transit. Transforming the journey into a useful working period can help you stay focused. Keeping busy and completing tasks along the way can also stop the feeling of ‘losing’ hours.

Planning for productivity. Putting this plan in place doesn’t have to be as tricky as it sounds, either for the company or for the employee. For example, you should make time for rest and recuperation to ensure you’re alert and mentally sharp for a meeting. You might arrange a conference call to go over the brief for an upcoming project or for a final redraft of an important business document. But all of these steps require similar levels of planning.

If your employee is the one travelling, make sure your whole team is aware. Removing the fear of unexpected queries and emails makes it easier for them to section that time off. It also means assigning a budget to ensure they not only get from A to B, but do so feeling content and well-rested.

For more complex business tasks that require connectivity, there’s nothing like a designated work space where you or your employee can find peace and quiet away from airport travel. We’ve introduced Regus Express work spaces at airports all over the world, with desk space, efficient Wi-Fi and meeting rooms. And with more Regus business lounges available than ever before and on short-term, scalable pricing plans, it’s never been easier to ensure a productive journey.