Recently I thought about what people might envision when they think about what others actually do when they travel for their job. For me, the tasks on each trip vary—sometimes its non-stop meetings, sometimes it’s looking at real estate, sometimes it’s spending time with our team and many times it’s a combination of all three and more.
No matter what I’m doing for work, though, time on the road tends to be incredibly productive for me. I love working with people, but I also love working in a quiet, solitary environment (especially if I need to make something, like a piece of writing).
Hotel rooms are the closest thing I see to a private office, so I take advantage of the solitude when I can. As I’ve mentioned before1, I have a habit of dragging the hotel desk in front of the windows so I have some sort of view and natural light while I’m working.
I’m mildly obsessive about my workstation, preferring things to be minimal and organized. Below is what my desk looks like this morning, complete with a free banana (and peanut butter packets) from the hotel, free hotel coffee (why not?) and a torn-out magazine-page mouse pad (glass-top desks mess up optical tracking).
So, there you have it. Outside of meetings, working on the road looks, well, pretty normal and quiet.
One thing I’d like to do more of is scheduling time to see or do fun things in the cities I visit. Good restaurants are an easy win because I have to eat anyways. Other attractions, though, I find hard to make time for because travel, time changes and fitting as much location-specific work in as possible make me more tired than normal. Also, I tend to miss my wife on long trips, so getting home almost always seems better than adding more time away.
1. You can read the original post about window seats here.