How to combine work travel and a healthy social life
When work travel is a big part of your job, it’s crucial to find ways to maintain a healthy, active social life on the go. It’s easy to fall into a habit of going from town to town and hotel room to hotel room with nothing but Netflix for company, but in the long run that can take a very real toll.
It’s important for both companies and individual workers to consider ways to maintain employee wellness, especially for those who spend a lot of time away from home.
Loneliness, boredom and fatigue can all set in all too quickly, and as well as the immediate impact on your mental health, this can have a profound impact on productivity at work. Luckily, these days there are tons of ways to meet new people and attend events even if you don’t know a soul for miles around.
Here, we look at six ways to maintain a social life when you’re on the road for a lot of your week.
1. Combine working out and work travel
Instead of joining an independent gym that is only available in your hometown, choose one with lots of branches all over your territory, like Pure Gym in the UK of FlyeFit in Ireland. If work travel means you spend most of your time either behind the wheel or behind a desk, it’s essential for your health to get active when you have the chance.
As well as burning calories, you’re likely to make friends with those who take the same kinds of classes as you, whether it’s yoga, weights or spin. If you have a regular schedule for your work travel, try to hit the same classes each week so that you become a familiar face – and don’t be shy about inviting those you become friendly with for a coffee after the class.
2. Use sites like MeetUp, Eventbrite and GirlCrew
Look online for events that interest you in the areas you’re visiting – MeetUp, Eventbrite and GirlCrew are just three popular examples, there are loads! There’s a group for you no matter what your interests include; from book clubs to brunches, hiking and cycling, art groups, fine dining, language exchanges, video games and more.
MeetUp is mainly based around hobbies, Eventbrite has a mixture of commercial and community events many of which are free, and GirlCrew is specifically aimed at women who want to make more female friends.
Don’t let work travel deter you from pursuing your passions. The best part about the sites above is that you can start your own event or group of your own. If you can’t see anything related to your hobbies and interests, create one and as host of the event you’re guaranteed to meet a bunch of new people.
3. Find like-minded business travellers at networking events
Networking events are ideal places to meet with people from across your industry, including those who live locally and others there for work travel like you.
To find the best networking events for you, look up industry associations in the area, check out the local Chamber of Commerce website, or ask your colleagues which ones they find useful. Networking events are often combined with learning opportunities, like a seminar over breakfast.
When you meet new people at a networking event, you’ve already got something in common so it’s easy to strike up a conversation. This is a great way to break up work travel with some socialising, and has the potential to bring a bunch of opportunities your way too – your new contact might be the key to a lucrative new client or even a job offer in the future.
For a more informal networking session, ask your colleagues or clients who are based locally if they’ll spend an evening showing you around – they’ll know the best restaurants and bars in town.
4. Don’t be afraid to date
If you’re single, doing a lot of work travel can make it seem like you just don’t have the time to put into finding someone special. Don’t let this be the case. If anything, being in different towns week to week only increases your opportunities to meet someone.
Once you’re off the clock, let your hair down and get out there. Pack one date-worthy outfit, and give yourself the chance to wear it. Download a dating app, watch out for singles nights, go to a speed-dating event or if you’re really brave, ask to be set up on a blind date.
You might meet the one, but even if you don’t, you’ll likely meet some cool people who can help you get to know the best local spots for food and a drink.
Time to get out there…
A good social life is really important to staying happy and healthy. We know that it can be a challenge when you do a lot of work travel – but life on the road doesn’t have to be boring, we promise.
These tips should help you get out there and make some new friends and go to lots of fun events. Implemented across the whole workforce, they may even improve your employee engagement, so if you’re a team leader, share the link with everyone on your team.
If you put these ideas into practice when you’re on work travel, leave us a comment below and let us know how it went.
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