EVERYONE is guilty of ‘forgetting’ to call their Grandma back, or ignoring a call because they just don’t have the time. But a new study conducted by Carlson Wagonlit Travel Research has discovered two in three business travelers don’t even attempt to stay in touch with family while they are away working.
For time immemorial, people have had to travel for work: some to find manual labor, others to consult on the international security of a country. But at both ends of the working spectrum, business travelers often leave someone back home to hold the fort.
In the case of seven out of ten Singaporean business travelers, no effort is made to stay in touch with family or friends while away.
This has led to 49 percent of survey participants confessing that traveling for a job has caused home and relationship issues, often unfixable unless a resignation is made.
The study also found many businesspeople carry on traveling because the perks of the job outweigh the negative aspects of being away from home – until their marriage breaks up, or their children forget who they are.
Of course, a job is a job; it pays the bills, provides for loved ones and gives self-gratification to employees for carrying out good work. However, unsurprisingly, 82 percent of participants admitted to missing at least one big social event, such as a wedding or a child’s birthday, because they had to travel away on business.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. There are plenty of ways to help travelers and families stay in touch. Here are our top tips.
Use your telephone
There are a plethora of apps, free to download across Apple and Android phones. If you are worried about it costing a fortune to have a five-minute chat, fear not as apps such as Skype, Viber, Whatsapp and WeChat are all free to use. All you have to do it connect to Wi-Fi and hey presto.
If you are avoiding calling home because you don’t know who to call first, and you certainly don’t have time to call everyone, then start a blog. You can give out the link to the blog and collectively stay in contact with everyone.
Use social media
Facebook is a brilliant way to update others and be updated. But other social media apps, such as Snapchat and Instagram, offer creative and engaging ways to turn a “yeah my day was fine” interaction into a “look at this cute cat – it was the best part of my day” type of conversation.
If you miss an important event, make up for it
Sometimes work dictates you can’t get home for a birthday or soccer match, but if this frustrating occurrence happens, simply make up for it. But don’t let your words become more than your actions. If you know you are going to be away, plan your make-up way ahead and have it set in stone, so everyone can look forward to it.
If you can’t beat them, join them
When you can, suggest your family or friends come with you. Of course, make it known that you will have to be working for some of the time, but that there will be downtime too. It will make it more enjoyable for you also.