Advertising
Advertising

7 Essential Tools Every Business Traveler Needs

7 Essential Tools Every Business Traveler Needs

From booking your hotel to making an airline reservation, it could be a tedious task having to deal with your travel itinerary. Most times, as a business traveler, you are consumed with so many other details about your business that it becomes necessary for you to find tools that will help make the task easier.

Avoiding the busy nature of traveling, it becomes important to consider using these seven tools to plan your next business trip.

Advertising

1. GateGuru

GateGuru gives you a door-to-door solution for your travels, such as receiving updates and alerts to any delays, gate changes, layovers, or time adjustments. All you need to do is input your upcoming trips and GateGuru automatically takes care of the rest. You can easily discover the food options at various terminals and even rent a car with this app.

2. Travel Ticker

Travel Ticker offers users the opportunity to get the best hotel deals. As a business traveler, you do need to understand the pros and cons of places you will be staying. Travel Ticker offers you a detailed comparison of a number of hotels and allows you to find the optimal choice which suits your needs and expectations. This tool helps you with your hotel choices.

Advertising

3. Wi-Fi Finder

When you are traveling it is important for you to stay connected. However, it can be difficult to find a Wi-Fi hotspot while you are traveling. Wi-Fi Finder is an app that helps you stay connected while you are traveling. With more than 650,000 locations in more than 140 countries, this tool will help you find both free and paid Wi-Fi while you are on the go.

4. Points

Points.com is a site where you can add up your reward points from different programs, such as popular airlines, pharmacies, and banks. You can either buy more miles or points to get more points. You can also exchange your miles with other users or redeem your points. If you are a frequent flier who has more miles built on a bunch of different airlines, you can use this tool to get a free flight.

Advertising

5. Expensify

It can be a huge pain keeping track of receipts when you are traveling. To have a full report of your expenses, Expensify will import your expenses straight from your credit card or bank account. This app makes putting together your expense reports seamless and easy. It doesn’t matter if it is cash or the money in your bank account, Expensify will log it in your expense report.

6. AllSubway

AllSubway is an app that doesn’t want you to get lost. Getting around in over 160 cities in the world becomes easy and less painstaking with AllSubway. Whether it is London or New York, this is one tool that will help you navigate your way through different subway systems with ease.

Advertising

7. XE Currency

XE Currency is an app that helps you convert your currency into the local currency you are in. With more than 180 currencies, this tool is free and easy to use, helping you know the latest currency exchange rates. Even when you are offline, the app stores the last updates exchange rates so you can still access it.

8. Yelp

If you are a food aficionado and are concerned about new diets or cuisine, you need this tool. In between your meetings and the business you accomplish, Yelp serves you excellent reviews and directions to the best restaurants around. With this app you can have the menus on your phone and know what you should treat yourself with at the end of the day.

Conclusion

Before you travel for your next trip, make sure you have these tools (or at least some of them) to make you itinerary easier to accomplish.

Featured photo credit: http://www.picjumbo.com via picjumbo.com

More by this author

20 Signs You’re A Charming Person Though You Are Not Aware 15 Signs Of Self-Absorbed People 6 Reasons Why You Don’t Love The Person You Cheat On, Even If You Claim You Do 15 Signs You’re Arrogant Though You Don’t Feel Like You Are 10 Reasons You Shouldn’t Hand A Smartphone to Your Children

Trending in Productivity

1The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It? 210 Best Time Management Books Recommended By Entrepreneurs 3What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating) 46 Simple Steps to Make Progress Towards Achieving Goals 5Secrets to Organizing Thoughts and Ideas (So You’ll Never Lose Ideas!)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

The Productivity Paradox: What Is It And How Can We Move Beyond It?

It’s a depressing adage we’ve all heard time and time again: An increase in technology does not necessarily translate to an increase in productivity.

Put another way by Robert Solow, a Nobel laureate in economics,

“You can see the computer age everywhere but in the productivity statistics.”

In other words, just because our computers are getting faster, that doesn’t mean that that we will have an equivalent leap in productivity. In fact, the opposite may be true!

New York Times writer Matt Richel wrote in an article for the paper back in 2008 that stated, “Statistical and anecdotal evidence mounts that the same technology tools that have led to improvements in productivity can be counterproductive if overused.”

There’s a strange paradox when it comes to productivity. Rather than an exponential curve, our productivity will eventually reach a plateau, even with advances in technology.

Advertising

So what does that mean for our personal levels of productivity? And what does this mean for our economy as a whole? Here’s what you should know about the productivity paradox, its causes, and what possible solutions we may have to combat it.

What is the productivity paradox?

There is a discrepancy between the investment in IT growth and the national level of productivity and productive output. The term “productivity paradox” became popularized after being used in the title of a 1993 paper by MIT’s Erik Brynjolfsson, a Professor of Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, and the Director of the MIT Center for Digital Business.

In his paper, Brynjolfsson argued that while there doesn’t seem to be a direct, measurable correlation between improvements in IT and improvements in output, this might be more of a reflection on how productive output is measured and tracked.[1]

He wrote in his conclusion:

“Intangibles such as better responsiveness to customers and increased coordination with suppliers do not always increase the amount or even intrinsic quality of output, but they do help make sure it arrives at the right time, at the right place, with the right attributes for each customer.

Just as managers look beyond “productivity” for some of the benefits of IT, so must researchers be prepared to look beyond conventional productivity measurement techniques.”

How do we measure productivity anyway?

And this brings up a good point. How exactly is productivity measured?

In the case of the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, productivity gain is measured as the percentage change in gross domestic product per hour of labor.

But other publications such as US Today, argue that this is not the best way to track productivity, and instead use something called Total Factor Productivity (TFP). According to US Today, TFP “examines revenue per employee after subtracting productivity improvements that result from increases in capital assets, under the assumption that an investment in modern plants, equipment and technology automatically improves productivity.”[2]

In other words, this method weighs productivity changes by how much improvement there is since the last time productivity stats were gathered.

But if we can’t even agree on the best way to track productivity, then how can we know for certain if we’ve entered the productivity paradox?

Possible causes of the productivity paradox

Brynjolfsson argued that there are four probable causes for the paradox:

Advertising

  • Mis-measurement – The gains are real but our current measures miss them.
  • Redistribution – There are private gains, but they come at the expense of other firms and individuals, leaving little net gain.
  • Time lags – The gains take a long time to show up.
  • Mismanagement – There are no gains because of the unusual difficulties in managing IT or information itself.

There seems to be some evidence to support the mis-measurement theory as shown above. Another promising candidate is the time lag, which is supported by the work of Paul David, an economist at Oxford University.

According to an article in The Economist, his research has shown that productivity growth did not accelerate until 40 years after the introduction of electric power in the early 1880s.[3] This was partly because it took until 1920 for at least half of American industrial machinery to be powered by electricity.”

Therefore, he argues, we won’t see major leaps in productivity until both the US and major global powers have all reached at least a 50% penetration rate for computer use. The US only hit that mark a decade ago, and many other countries are far behind that level of growth.

The paradox and the recession

The productivity paradox has another effect on the recession economy. According to Neil Irwin,[4]

“Sky-high productivity has meant that business output has barely declined, making it less necessary to hire back laid-off workers…businesses are producing only 3 percent fewer goods and services than they were at the end of 2007, yet Americans are working nearly 10 percent fewer hours because of a mix of layoffs and cutbacks in the workweek.”

This means that more and more companies are trying to do less with more, and that means squeezing two or three people’s worth of work from a single employee in some cases.

Advertising

According to Irwin, “workers, frightened for their job security, squeezed more productivity out of every hour [in 2010].”

Looking forward

A recent article on Slate puts it all into perspective with one succinct observation:

“Perhaps the Internet is just not as revolutionary as we think it is. Sure, people might derive endless pleasure from it—its tendency to improve people’s quality of life is undeniable. And sure, it might have revolutionized how we find, buy, and sell goods and services. But that still does not necessarily mean it is as transformative of an economy as, say, railroads were.”

Still, Brynjolfsson argues that mismeasurement of productivity can really skew the results of people studying the paradox, perhaps more than any other factor.

“Because you and I stopped buying CDs, the music industry has shrunk, according to revenues and GDP. But we’re not listening to less music. There’s more music consumed than before.

On paper, the way GDP is calculated, the music industry is disappearing, but in reality it’s not disappearing. It is disappearing in revenue. It is not disappearing in terms of what you should care about, which is music.”

Perhaps the paradox isn’t a death sentence for our productivity after all. Only time (and perhaps improved measuring techniques) will tell.

Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

Reference

Read Next