Here at Wink Reports, we sometimes travel interstate to meet with clients or attend conferences. As many of our team members grew up with parents that were away from home on business, we are familiar with the feeling of missing our loved ones due to work responsibilities. No matter how exciting the new city you are exploring, or how plush the hotel you’re staying in, it doesn’t take long for you to feel the distance between you and your partner, or that you are missing out on spending time with your kids.
Our Technical Director, HR Manager and Chief of Tantrums on the way to PyCon ;)
It’s hard to stay focused on work when you are missing people, especially for extended periods of time. As Wink Reports has grown, we have made it a company policy to accommodate our children and partners to travel with us on business. While this does require some forethought and planning, business trips with your family can have many benefits including:
- It’s great for work/life balance: Being able to spend extra time with your family that you would have missed out on otherwise by being away from home is an appealing benefit for many employees. This also gets rid of the guilt that people sometimes feel when they have to be away from their families. Family rituals such as bath time and eating together can continue when your family comes with you on business.
- You can save on travel costs: Since the business is paying for a room anyway, why not have your partner or kids sharing it with you? The same goes for your transport or air fare. For example, if you are planning a trip for a family of three, when you combine it with a business trip then your costs will reduce by one third. While you are working during the day your family can be off enjoying the sights and sounds of somewhere other than home.
- It’s good for your kids! When children are exposed to different environments, they receive stimulation and learn new skills such as organisation, responsibility, ownership and prioritisation. For example, a child can choose which toys they want to take along, and learn to pack them into a backpack or suitcase. Taking your kids out of their comfort zone and letting them respond to the world around them will broaden their horizons and enable you to share new experiences with them. Also, it’s nice to know that they’re not sitting at home being stressed by your absence.
- You can be more productive: The effect of happiness on productivity has been extensively studied. But put simply, happy employees are considered to be productive employees. So if you’re away working and having a good time because you’re in the company of people you enjoy, then you just might get more work done!
These are just a few of the benefits of having your family come with you on business trips. If you’re running a business and looking for novel ways to improve your employees’ performance, I would definitely recommend considering adding a family travel policy. I’d love to hear your thoughts on your business or startup’s attitude to work-related travel with partners or children, so feel free to drop me a line! ;)