Traveling for work can be fun — you can put a dent in your expense account, check out the St. Louis nightlife, and wander freely throughout the day with no fear of reprisal. But communicating properly with those you've left behind can sometimes go awry. Over there on the right, you'll find examples of some mistakes that were actually made (and actually made the headlines). Don't do what they did — below are a few tools that will help you initiate and maintain some good old, high-quality human interaction while representing at the International Meeting of People Who Do the Same Thing As You.
After you've checked into the hotel, surveyed the mini-fridge, contemplated charging your company $9 for a bottle of water but decided against it, and arranged your business casual outfits in attractive piles on various pieces of furniture, the next order of business is to check your internet connection and check in with your office-mates. Once connected, an insufferably inept colleague asks you to resend a doc you've sent through 5 times already. Resist publicly chastising them and send the file for free. The knowledge that you're wearing a complimentary fluffy robe and slippers while sending it will mitigate some of the annoyance of the situation.
Who sends email anymore? OK, your dad still forwards endless streams of "funny" animal photos and panoramic landscape photography (that is surely Photoshopped), but at work, communicating via email can feel like communicating via carrier pigeon. Keyboard-to-text SMS is a perfect way to get your brilliant idea or your daily convention recaps to your supervisor in a timely manner. Sit back, hail the poolside waiter, and type like the wind.
Imagine a world in which nothing was flagged for follow-up. A world where being direct and to the point was the norm, and everyone you had to interact with either got on board or was left behind like a 1970s Chemistry textbook in a middle school's Obsolete Book Bin. IT'S REAL. Just IM with everyone you work with from your computer or mobile. This will come in handy when trapped in a boring presentation or standing alone, awkwardly, by a platter of sweaty cheese at a "mixer" in a hotel meeting room. You can IM Molly back in the office while you wait for the jugs of wine to be opened.
Voicemail is the personal assistant a lowly developer can afford. Through the magic of "telephonic technology" and "digital recording," you, too, can serve your customers', clients', and co-workers' needs when you are in back-to-back meetings (aka, checking out the hotel steam room/pool/hot tub) by setting up your voicemail. If you are important enough to manage a team, allocate voicemail to them (rub hands together evilly), and none of them will ever miss a call — even when they're not on Skype. You and your minions can also receive VMs as texts using SpinVox if you so choose.
Check out all of Skype's communication-enhancing features here, then download it for free and start communicating right.
Image by Alexandra Cannon, source photos via Getty