Business Trips

Going on a business trip with colleagues can often seem to re-draw the automatic lines of office etiquette - you're suddenly in a situation where you're sleeping with your workmates (hopefully, just by snoozing next to them on the aeroplane), breakfasting with them, sometimes even sunbathing with them around the pool of the hotel.

But don't be fooled by the enforced intimacy of the trip into believing that work hierarchies aren't still in place - just because you've seen your boss in all their flabby glory around the pool, draped over an umbrella-ed cocktail, shouldn't alter your behaviour or respect towards them.

The safest course is often to avoid any hint of a compromising situation, right from the beginning of the trip so travel to and from the trip separately from your colleagues if possible.

Once there, if you feel claustrophobic by the round-the-clock proximity to your workmates, playing the exercise card (especially swimming where it's hard to be sociable while ploughing up and down the pool) is a blameless time-out option. Above all, be tolerant of whatever situation you find yourself in - whether in a strip club in Frankfurt or a karaoke bar in Tokyo.

If you are on a solo business trip, don't be afraid to dine alone in the hotel restaurant - but always look purposeful, absorbed and unself-conscious about your solitude. A book is a crucial accessory. Don't be tempted to hide away and get room service - do you really want to sleep in the same room as you ate your dinner in?

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