Stay Connected, Avoid Isolation by Converting Your Hotel Roo to a 'Zoom Room'
Today’s professional traveler packs for both comfort and connection — planning to conduct business both in-person and remotely.
Ideally, work-related trips can be planned so as not to completely disrupt family life and cause parents to miss a daughter’s dance recital or son’s football game. And because mindset impacts mood and positivity is linked with productivity, pre-planning matters.
Remote Work: Independence Not Isolation
Research indicates that when it comes to the perceived emotional toll of business travel, mindset matters. Mladen Adamovic (2022) investigated how employee cultural background influences the extent to which teleworking impacts job stress.
Studying 604 teleworkers from different countries, Adamovic found that telework only reduces job stress with employees who do not believe that telework will create social isolation.
He also found that employees scoring high in individualism have positive views about telework effectiveness.
This finding makes particular sense to people who have a robust offline social network, but are frequent traveling teleworkers.
In fact, many modern digital road warriors are not worried about social isolation, but actually seeking physical isolation in terms of finding productive space to work while on the road.
Because a remote office can be used to interact both personally and professionally. Here are some tried and true hotel room traveling tips.
Internet speed that is. Research this in advance, and in addition to checking the website, which might be outdated, call the hotel to ask about currently available plans.
Hotel chains have different Internet speeds, some vary by location, and some offer premium/faster service for a fee, although many hotel honors programs allow a free upgrade.
You will also need a room with a classy background — so clients and colleagues will see a seasoned professional.
Most hotel websites showcase sample rooms so you can check style, décor, and even artwork. Sure, you can spring for a traveling green screen in order to use high resolution virtual backgrounds (many of which are free online), but often, the real thing looks even better.
Many hotel room features double as studio-props.
The ice bucket provides a solid, steady foundation that will allow you to have your computer camera at eye level.
Just make sure you double check your angle on the virtual platform you will be using (don’t just rely on your computer camera) to make sure your shot does not include an unmade bed behind you.
Also, make sure the hotel phone ringer is off to avoid the disruption of the front desk calling to ask if you are enjoying your stay.
Obviously you can't smoke; but you can shine.
Natural light brightens up virtual meetings, so digital nomads should look for a room with a window that faces the sun during the times of day they are most likely to be interacting virtually; remembering to factor in any time change.
If meetings occur at night or in the pre-dawn hours to accommodate time zone issues, some travelers might (carefully) remove a lamp shade to maximize lighting.
But remember if the bulb is pink or yellow, you will be too.
A better idea is to BYOL (bring your own light). This no longer requires an old-school bulky ring light, unless you are driving instead of flying and can bring it in your car. Most camera-ready travelers use smaller versions that fit in any size bag and attach right to your computer.
Location, Location, Location
Ask for a room in a quiet area, and to the extent that you have a choice as to when to have important meetings, try to avoid Friday and Saturday nights.
Also make sure you don’t book the room by the elevator or your brilliant ideas will be regularly punctuated by dings and bells.
And avoid a room with an adjoining door, which can be significantly louder depending on the activity level of your next door neighbors.
The bottom line is that business traveling does not have to be lonely, it can be both productive and personal. With proactive pre-planning, you can avoid social isolation by staying connected offline, capitalizing on temporary physical isolation in order to conduct successful business remotely.
This article was originally published on LinkedIn.com
Wendy L. Patrick, JD, MDiv, Ph.D., is an award-winning career trial attorney and media commentator. She is host of "Live with Dr. Wendy" on KCBQ, and a daily guest on other media outlets, delivering a lively mix of flash, substance, and style. Read Dr. Wendy L. Patrick's Reports — More Here.
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