Having a job where you get to travel regularly is many people’s dream! However, it’s not always easy to keep your family life on track when you’re often on the other side of the world. So here are a few strategies to assist you.
Discovering new cultures, having original experiences, getting away from the old routine… There’s no doubt about it: travelling the world on business is glamorous and provokes envy among your peers.
Out of sight, out of mind?
And the other side of the coin? The inevitable repercussions for the organisation of family life and the atmosphere at home. It’s not easy to avoid frustration, incomprehension or sadness among your loved ones when you’re stuck in Tokyo on your spouse’s birthday or absent (again) from your little angel’s school dance performance…
What’s more, the one who stays at home usually has to bear more of the domestic responsibilities, which can lead to fatigue and a sense of having been abandoned, as well as possible harm to their own career development.
Strategies for coping better
What can you do to minimise the adverse effects on your relationship or on your children?
- Make communication paramount. It’s well known that, in a couple, it’s important not to keep your feelings to yourself. So make every effort to listen to one another and don’t be afraid of expressing your frustrations, needs and wants.
- Involve your kids in your trips. So that they feel less concerned by your absence, talk to them about your work, explain to them why you have to go, who you’re going with, etc. Show them where you’re going on a map.
- Make full use of technology to keep in touch with your loved ones. And be sure to use communication tools tailored to your children’s ages. A teenager, for instance, will be more at ease interacting via WhatsApp or Snapchat, while very little ones will find video calling apps like Skype much easier.
- Stay connected to family life. Send a small word of encouragement to your son before his football match, ask your spouse how their own projects are progressing… Even at the other side of the world, you can try to stay involved with day-to-day family life.
- Establish rituals. Give your kids a call before they go to bed each evening, send them a selfie from the other side of the world, get them a small gift… All of these things help show that you haven’t forgotten them.
- Bring your family over to you. And if you occasionally get the chance, you could extend your business trip with a few days’ holiday! Your loved ones can join you there and then everyone will be more enthusiastic about your business travel…