Tips for Scheduling Employees Who Are Frequent Travelers

May 17, 2017 | 382 views

Tips for Scheduling Employees Who Are Frequent Travelers

Tips for Scheduling Employees Who Are Frequent Travelers

What’s a surefire way to add confusion to your schedule? Add in time zone changes for the employees who are frequent travelers in your business.

 

When you have a team that travels regularly to make sales calls, you need everyone to be aware of their whereabouts and their availability. But, tracking their meeting times and travel dates can quickly get messy without a proper plan in place. Here are a few tips for how to add frequent travelers to your schedule.

 

Choose a Home Base

Before you get started adding employees to your schedule (or letting them add in their schedules themselves), choose your home base. Decide which time zone you’ll call home and require that all employees enter in their trip times, meeting times, etc. in using that time zone instead of the time zone they’ll be in.

 

For example, if your home base is in Seattle, Washington, but your employee has a meeting at 10 a.m. in New York City, he’d enter in his meeting time as 7 a.m. because Seattle is three hours behind New York City.

 

Require Location Based Notes

Even though your employees might know the times of the meetings, it’s important that they also know where in the world the employee is. When an employee is unwinding in his hotel room after a long day of meetings, he does not want to have to be answering the phone until past 8:00 at night because no one knows he’s on the opposite coast.

 

Require location based notes, or require the employees to schedule in their time off if they’re traveling. This way, everyone knows when it’s no longer acceptable to call or disturb them.

 

Keep Arizona in Mind

Arizona is a little bit of a rebel when it comes to Daylight Savings – they don’t participate. This can make meeting times a little more confusing for frequent travelers.

 

In the Spring and Fall, keep the date when you’ll change to Daylight Savings in mind. Then, adjust as needed for Arizona. In the winter, Arizona is on PST. In the summer, this state is on MST. It’s confusing, but important.

 

Maintain a Centralized Communication Plan

One of the best ways to keep communication on the same page when people are traveling frequently is to use a chatbot, such as Slack or Group Me. These apps work like a larger, more organized group text message. Notes can be sent directly to individuals or to an entire team.

 

These apps are especially helpful when working with people who are on-the-go. You can fire off a quick message to someone instead of making a phone call or wasting time on an email. You can also connect faster and easier no matter where the person is in the world, without worry about disturbing them while they’re off from work for the night. Employees can also update their status with where they are in the world, so it’s easier to see at a glance if they’re unavailable.

 

Get Your Schedule on the Same Page

Working with frequent travelers doesn’t have to be confusing or overwhelming. Get your schedule on the same page by setting up your home base time zone and asking your team to be conscientious about inputting meeting times, locations and availability around that time zone. Doing this will make things a little bit clearer for everyone in your office, eliminating potential delays in relaying information and keeping your team moving forward in harmony.

 

Author Profile Jon Forknell is the Vice President and General Manager of Atlas Business Solutions, Inc., a software marketing company specializing in employee scheduling software, including ScheduleBase employee scheduling software, and other business software solutions. In the past, Jon has been recognized by the U.S. Small Business Administration as a SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year. Atlas Business Solutions was named as one of Software Magazine’s Top 500 Software Companies in 2004 through 2007 and again in 2010, 2013 and 2014.

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