British Airways has compiled this list of suggestions for being productive when travelling on business

  • Use ‘downtime’ intelligently: An aircraft is still the one place where you can get a bit of quiet time. Use it to catch up on all those nagging little things you never manage to get to. You’ll get off the ‘plane with a feeling of accomplishment. Use this time to think strategically or creatively about an issue. However using the time in the air to try and bang out the presentation you’re doing the next day will only add to your anxiety. No matter how hard you work you’ll still feel unprepared.
  • Relax, but don’t go overboard: While air travel can provide valuable catch-up time, it is also a good chance to relax and de-stress without any interruptions. Take in a movie and chill out, but don’t spend all night watching box-office hits. You’ll be exhausted the next day. Enjoy a glass of the Burgundy, but don’t overdo it.
  • Seize the shortcuts: Online check in saves you time at the airport and using the BA app to save your boarding pass to your ‘phone means one less piece of paper to lose. If you’re flying to a trade show and know your baggage is going to be overweight, you’ll save yourself time and money if you pay for the excess luggage online before you get to the airport.
  • Take up the power: How do you spot the seasoned business travellers in an airline lounge? They’re the ones charging up their phones and devices. British Airways’ customer satisfaction scores rose when they increased the number of charging points in their Heathrow lounges. Few things are more irritating than trying to return a call and running out of power. Carry a power bank in case of emergencies. In some countries your phone and other devices can be confiscated if you are not able to turn them on.
  • Plan realistically: After an 11-hour flight across one or two timezones you’ll be good for a few early morning meetings, but may fade towards the evening so try schedule your big presentation earlier in the day. If you’re travelling across more timezones schedule some time to catch up on your sleep. You’re not doing anyone any favours by bungling things because you’re exhausted.
  • Be inspired: See what you can learn and take back from other cultures. One business traveller suggests ensuring meetings last no longer than 30 minutes with standing meetings, rather than letting the participants get too comfortable in their ergonomic chairs. Some social media platforms now offer walking meetings.
  • Take advantage of the perks: Joining loyalty programmes such as the Executive Club or On Business will ensure you and your company get something back on the travel spend. As the rewards accumulate, benefits also extend to lounge access and other perks that will make your trip more comfortable and productive. On Business is British Airways’ loyalty programme for SMEs and works parallel to the Executive Club, its programme for frequent flyers. This means that on a single flight, both the company and individual traveller can accumulate rewards towards redemption flights.