Four tips for smart business trips

Say the word “travel,” and images of Caribbean paradises and exotic, fun-filled adventures come to mind. But say the words “business travel,” and a whole different set of scenarios come up: losing time during the journey, lost or delayed luggage, poor internet connections. One study listed these items—and flight delays on top of it all—as some of the top stress triggers for business travelers [1].

Yes, business travel is often stressful. But it doesn’t always have to be. Before you next head out of the office, ask yourself the four questions below. A few simple preparations can help turn a stress-filled experience into one that’s much closer to stress-free.

1. What are my must-haves?
This question could just as easily be, “What should I pack in my carry-on?” According to the U.S. Air Travel Consumer Report, 19 percent of flights are delayed, and nearly 3 out of 1,000 checked bags are lost or delayed [2]. More alarming for business travelers: more than 600,000 notebook PCs are lost or stolen at U.S. airports every year, with up to 69 percent of them remaining unclaimed [3].

In other words, if you need your notebook for a presentation or have sensitive data on it, make sure to carry it with you on the flight—don’t check it with your luggage. Options like HP Ultrabooks can offer professional-level performance in a form that’s small and light enough to keep with you on—and off—the plane.

2. How can I print?
This is a question many business travelers don’t think they’ll need to ask, until they do. Last-minute changes to presentations or data can often necessitate last-minute printouts. With HP Mobile Printing Solutions you can print straight from your smartphone or tablet in just a few simple steps, wherever you are [4, 5].  To get started, all you have to do is select your device, the network connection, and then the location of the printer.

As mobile devices continue to play a bigger role in business—in and out of the office—IT managers are faced with the growing challenge of keeping their data secure, while still supporting user productivity. HP has a comprehensive suite of secure mobile printing solutions to help overcome these challenges. HP JetAdvantage Private Print allows employees to print to office devices or public print locations, with the security features IT managers demand [6].

3. How do I connect to the office?
Just because you’re not working from the office doesn’t mean you don’t need to stay in contact with your team. From cloud-based enterprise applications to vital business data and coworkers, having a plan to keep two-way communication open is key to staying productive.

And one of the simplest methods of staying connected is making sure you’re always available online. Optional Qualcomm Gobi 4G LTE technology built into select HP mobile devices keeps you from having to search for, and pay for, Wi-Fi hotspots on the go [7]. Meanwhile, extended batteries like an HP Long Life Battery can provide up to 35.5 hours total work time when combined with the HP EliteBook 840 G2, even when you can’t plug in [8].

4. Will my stuff be safe?
With travel comes the possibility of loss or theft, especially when you’re carrying valuable devices like notebooks or tablets. And the impact on your business can extend far beyond the cost of the device. Of the $48 billion lost from the U.S. economy as a result of data breaches, it’s estimated that 28 percent resulted from stolen notebooks or other portable devices [9].

Basic physical security measures such as a security lock are important first steps. But if your device is lost, there are still several ways you can help keep your data safe.

While often overlooked, full disk encryption is one of the most effective methods available of deterring information theft.  It encodes all the data on a hard disk, rendering any business-critical information protected and unreadable, even if someone gains access to the physical device. Disk Encryption is a part of HP ProtectTools, and comes included with many HP business desktops, notebooks, and workstations. HP ElitePads also have the option of enabling HP Remote Secure Erase (RSE) to further protect your data by remotely deleting it in the case of theft or loss [10].

Business travel spending is expected to increase 6.2 percent this year, and the volume of trips globally is expected to rise to 490.4 million annually [11]. Asking the right questions now—before your next trip—is one of the best things you can do to make all those upcoming trips as stress free, and productive, as possible.

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