How to Do Virtual Meetings While on Business Trips

Posted By
Adam Grant

Business trips are a great opportunity to break routine, while still putting your best foot forward professionally. From the fresh surroundings, to interacting with industry mates, or making deals happen, there can be lots of enthusiasm attached to packing a suitcase and getting to work.

However, none of this means you’re off the hook from your usual day-to-day working commitments. Chances are, you will still be expected to participate in certain virtual meetings with supervisors and/or co-workers.

Doing a video call from the road is tricky, as it is tough to determine exactly how you will be able to make them happen – there are many unknowns. That said, you can still successfully log on to an online meeting platform and fulfill your obligations. All you need to do is be prepared.

Find a Spot with Immaculate Internet Connectivity

Anyone who has to travel for business knows that you are not guaranteed high-end Internet connectivity wherever you go. Certain hotels will boast about their free Wi-Fi, but this doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be any good. Then you have big conference halls with hundreds, maybe even thousands of people trying to share the same network.

To see that the virtual meetings you attend while on business trips remain well-connected, invest in portable Internet boosters. While they may not always be a slam dunk, these products have the potential to get you out of serious connectivity binds.

Select a Proper Background

While video conferencing solutions for business theoretically make it possible to participate in an online meeting from beside a pool or on the 16th green, doing this is not a good look. Firstly, it could send the wrong impression to a coworker, or hinder the focus of them and you.

More often than not, the best bet is to conduct team video chats from a hotel room, or a business centre at said hotel, or the facility in which your conference is taking place. If none of these spaces have adequate lighting, or a distraction-free backdrop, consider using a very straightforward virtual background.

Schedule Yourself Accordingly

Video conferencing in business occasionally requires mastering a form of schedule-making gymnastics. To minimize how often you have to ride this pommel horse, really zone in on how you balance virtual meetings with the in-person ones conducted on business trips.

You can’t be two places at once, and trying to do so will only stress you out. Always leave a tidy gap of time between any business networking appointment you have on your trip, with any back-home video call commitments. This will give you wiggle room if a meeting starts late, runs long, or if the next one requires you to travel back to your hotel to get online.

Focus on the Conversation at Hand

Business trips always have a lot going on within them. Because of this, it is easy to get into a virtual meeting and struggle to focus on outside matters.

Yes, when you travel for business, one of the occupational hazards is getting too engaged with what’s happening in front of you. But this doesn’t mean you have a free pass to be disinterested or unhelpful during unrelated video chats with the team back home.

If you schedule yourself properly (like we spoke about above), you will have the time to put an in-person conversation to rest, and collect your thoughts for the virtual one up ahead.

Keep an Eye on Time Zone Differences

Flying out to business trips in different regions, countries, or even continents is very exciting. So exciting, in fact, you may forget that your clock is no longer the same as those at the office.

To get around this, turn to whichever method you use to remember something important. Here, write yourself a note that will constantly remind you to not schedule an online meeting for 3 a.m. someone else’s time.

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Adam Grant

Adam has been a professional, published writer for more than 20 years. He has experience writing about technology, business, music, news, as well as many topics in-between. When not banging away at the keyboard, Adam spins vinyl, obsesses over sports, and takes his dog on giant walks.