Going away on business trips is more complicated for working people with families.
While there are numerous business and personal benefits for such people, they sometimes neglect their family lives.
Still,managers and employees that frequently travel for business can make up for the time they’ve been away.
In the next few paragraphs, we’re going to share some actionable tips for better bonding where one or both parents often go on business trips.
1) Spending quality time at home
If the nature of your job requires traveling, make an effort to be as present as possible when you’re at home.
Go to the office or work from home when your kids are at school, in training sessions, or when they’re doing extracurricular activities. If you adjust your daily schedule with theirs, you’ll have more time to spend together.
The more you commit yourself to your family, the more energy you’ll get from them. Spend weekends in nature, go on daily excursions, visit fun parks, go to aquaparks, and do as many activities as possible together. Children will cherish those moments as they’re growing up, especially if you often travel away for business.
Also, while you’re together, talk about your business trips. Tell them why you need to travel and let them express their feelings about you being away. Such communication will help them confront their fears while you’re away and they’ll cope with your trips more easily.
2) Frequent online communication
Speaking of communication, if one thing is easy to maintain today, that’s communication.
So, make sure to regularly communicate with your kids while you’re away from home.
Text them for good morning via WhatsApp, Viber, or any other handy app.
When they’re out of school, call them during your break, and make sure to wish them good night every single night. If your work obligations don’t allow you to have a video call in the evening, record a video earlier that day and send it to your kids. For instance, you can record yourself reading a bedtime story.
Also, you can make videos in which you’ll show them the place you’re visiting.
Tell them to send you their photos, videos, and ask them to write what’s generally going on. Busy parents that communicate with their kids that way commit more time to them than those being physically here, but mentally absent.
3) Writing letters and postcards
People don’t write letters that much these days. But this is exactly what businesspeople should do on their trips. If you write to your family about events that happened to you day after day, you’ll write a diary.
Depending on the duration of your business trips, you can send those letters to your kids and wife via snail mail or email. If you need to stay abroad for a month or so, sending a letter at one point is a clever thing to do. Your kids will be happy to receive a letter from another country, with an unusual stamp on it.
Sending these letters as emails can be an interesting thing to do. If you embellish them with emoticons and attach some photos, it will be easier for kids to read them.
For younger kids, short letters or your own bedtime stories will be enough. Older kids might look forward to detailed descriptions of the towns you visit and people you meet.
4) Bringing symbolic presents
Traveling away for business brings either daily allowances or salary raises.
Business people on the go spend a part of these additional earnings on travel presents for their children and marital partners.
You need to be careful with ostentatious gifts, though. Most traveling business people fall into the trap of making up for the lost time with their kids by buying them expensive presents.
The main issue with this approach is that it’s hard to put a limit on expenditure. As kids are growing, they’ll be expecting more expensive or bigger gifts. They should be happy because you’re coming back home and not because you’re bringing things.
That’s why those presents should be symbolic. Determine a limit for these presents – say, $10 or something like that – and stick to them. For instance, you can bring them a toy car or a present characteristic for the country in question from every business trip. It will have both educational and symbolic value.
5) Taking your family with you
Sometimes mixing business and leisure is a good thing to do. When your company has appointed you to represent it in a comfortable and children-friendly place, take your family with you.
That way, you’ll show them first-hand what your job looks like and why you have to travel a lot.
Apart from that, taking families on business trips will improve their cultural knowledge of different destinations. Your family members will get a chance to visit various countries and towns during such trips.
Also, thanks to globalization, they can get to know dozens of cultures in the same place. For instance, a couple from Paris can find a French governess in London to look after their kids while they’re in their meetings in that city. In line with that, it’s possible to arrange different combinations that will benefit the entire family on such business-leisure trips.
Combining business and family time is not easy, especially for business people that often need to travel for business. These employees and managers should spend as much time as possible when they’re not away. Also, they should communicate via various digital channels with their children during those trips. When feasible, they should take their families with them. On such occasions, they’ll have a chance to show them different parts of the world and even spend some time with their partner along the way.
Author Bio: Anne Harris is an HR specialist working for londongoverness.com. She recruits nannies, governesses and other childcare professionals, ensuring top-notch services for parents worldwide. In her free time she likes reading about education, and children’s welfare, as well as visiting sports events.