The advent of technology like audio and video conferencing has enabled modern workers to connect with anyone, anywhere, simply with the touch of a button. As the mobile workforce grows and the telecommuting trends upwards, the business trip may seem like a needless luxury from a bygone era.
However, in a few distinct circumstances, the business trip can still be an asset to your career (and your company). The difficult part lies in getting approval from your superiors to travel. So, how can you convince your boss to let you travel? You simply have to prove why the business trip is necessary and how your travels will enable you to accomplish something that you cannot achieve from a remote location. Here are a few examples of business trips would be a valuable investment for your company:
Establishing a Relationship with a New Client or Customer
When you are establishing a relationship and building trust with a new client, face time is crucial. There are social cues and communication that takes place via your body language that simply cannot be conveyed virtually. Once a relationship has been established, it is easier to maintain from a remote location, but with a new client or customer, meeting face to face to build that foundation of trust is essential.
Touching Base with Remote Colleagues
If you work for a company with many remote employees, there’s a good chance you haven’t met some of your colleagues who you regularly work with on a day-to-day basis. Thanks to conferencing software and other technology, it isn’t necessary for your co-workers to all be in one place anymore.
That being said, when it comes to teambuilding and maintaining good working relationships with your colleagues, face-to-face time can be a valuable asset. Getting the whole team together in person at least once a year is a great way to ensure a strong team bond and facilitate a spirit of teamwork amongst employees.
Nurturing Your Bond with an Existing Client or Customer
Although it is easier than ever to stay connected with clients thanks to virtual meetings and video conferencing technology, it’s always good to touch base in person on occasion to re-establish trust and show your customer that you are still dedicated to serving them. A short business trip is a great way to nurture an existing relationship while bringing a new offering to the table for the customer to give your face-to-face meeting added purpose.
As the old saying goes, it’s not about what you know, it’s about who you know. And while you might be a hustler on LinkedIn, nothing beats good old fashioned face-to-face networking. Trade shows and conferences provide great opportunities for short business trips that will be valuable to both you and your company. You get the opportunity to network with leaders in your field while garnering industry knowledge and even gathering prospective leads and gaining new business through your marketing efforts.
Though you can find tutorials to teach you just about anything on YouTube these days, in the corporate world, there are just some things that should be taught via in-person instruction. Hands-on learning is an invaluable experience that is far more beneficial than any virtual training course you may come across. If a training opportunity pops up that will help you learn a new skill or enhance your existing knowledge base, you should feel comfortable embracing the opportunity to better yourself as an employee and provide additional value to the company.
Regardless of the circumstances, in order to get your business trip approved by your superiors, you need to prove how your company will benefit from allowing you to travel. Create a plan to establish how the ROI gained from your trip will be greater than the expenses of your trip. Keep your expenses low. Do your research and provide your boss with quantitative data to back up your claims that the trip will be a valuable investment for your company. By doing your homework and demonstrating the ROI offered by your trip to your boss, you are giving your boss everything he or she needs to approve your travel.