Surviving the Work-Travel HybridPosted: July 11, 2009
I spent this past week at a work offsite in Minnesota. I should also add that I spent the better half of last weekend apprehensive and anxious about the prospect of leaving my husband for 4 full days. While some spouses may relish in the time away, my husband and I have become more and more attached with the years. In truth, we’ve only been married 2.5 years and yes, I suppose in the grand scheme of things, this might be considered “the honeymoon period,” but so bummed was I by the prospect of being alone, I actually cried when he left me for work the morning of my flight.
The truth is that once I had arrived in Minnesota and settled into the hotel, my time was so packed with activity, I scarcely had time to take a dump, let alone spend quite as much time as I would have liked on the phone talking to my hubby. Over time I’ve realized that there are some really cool perks to traveling for work and lessons learned from my experiences that might benefit others:
- You Don’t Need to Drink to Have a Good Time: I stayed up with the best of the partiers, listened to amusing tales, and got to know people I never see due to geographic location or work schedule. In the end, it allowed me to form relationships that most likely will prove invaluable in time. Self-awareness is king here. I know that one lick of alcohol makes me sleepy and sloppy – neither of which I need spilling over into my work life. (no pun intended)
- It’s OK to Get Annoyed by Your Co-Workers: Everyone needs to decompress and in intense away business situations, where you’re forced to be with a lot of the same people all of the time, it becomes even doubly important. Mingle in and out of groups, if your situation allows, and use it as an opportunity to reach out to others and get to know others. Sometimes all you needed was a little diversity in your social setting. Besides, this solution is much more socially acceptable than punching someone.
- The Bed at the Westin Can be Your Alter: Don’t know if you’ve ever stayed at the Westin, but if you haven’t, I highly recommend spending a night on one of their king size beds and spending it alone. It will be the best night of sleep you’ve ever had and you can be as greedy as you want with the pillows and hog all the space on the bed you want without feeling the teensiest bit guilty. Btw, their bathtubs aren’t too shabby either. And after a long day of intense meetings followed by dinner small chat, it’s a nice release.