How to choose a good restaurant when you're travelling

As a global traveller, you are continuous going to new places, learning new languages and cultures. It is part of the travelling journey. What is more exciting is that you get to enjoy the local cuisine! Therefore, it is always important to do some internet research or make use of apps that help you choose your choice of the day. This will minimise your chances of ending up in a regrettable situation.

Ask a local 

Whether you’re travelling for business, pleasure, or both..travelling is a journey. You start your morning with the usual, breakfast and coffee. Later, you don’t know where to eat and the hotel buffet just doesn’t look appetising enough. What do you do? You ask a local! Ask your concierge at the aparthotel you’re staying at, ask the serviced apartment host, ask the cab driver..ask, anyone! Ask where to go to experience the local cuisine or where the best restaurants are. Engage with the locals to have a better experience!

Before you go ahead and decide what to eat later in the evening, check websites or apps like Tripadvisor, Yelp and Foursquare. These websites have many selections of cuisine choice and many reviews. This will help you save time and unpleasant experiences.

 

Zomato app

Plan ahead 

An extra tip is to use restaurant apps. Top 3 restaurants application that you need to download and is free are Open table, Tastefull and Zomato. These apps have many hidden and very useful perks. You can search for your restaurant and the menu is available for your selection of taste. The apps work in all major tourist destinations.

 

 

Ben Thanh

Street Food Market 

Always ask locals if they have a street food market where you’re staying at. You’ll be surprised to see what they have in store for you! From local fresh fruits to freshly baked bread, spices and herbs, and stalls that cook the food right in front of you! You pay less and you can taste so many different cuisines. You’ll definitely get your money’s worth.

 

PS. Tips for tips

Okay, you found an amazing restaurant and the bill comes..now what? Back at home, you know everything. You know the restaurant, the people, where to go and what to tip. It is different when you go abroad. Not all around the world uses the “tipping” system. For example, in some countries, the tip is known as a service charge and is already added to the bill. And in other countries, it’s not added automatically, some require you to leave between 10% to 15% of the bill. If you don't know, search online, or just ask the waiter, politely, how it works here.

 

“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta

 Travelling to new places becomes a new journey and a new life experience for you. It can be the food, the language, the religion and the people you meet along the way. You can enjoy the best coffee prepared by the lovely barista, a delightful wine tasting course or an amazing dinner served by the polite waitress. All these experiences become your memories. Do a little online research, engage with the locals and enjoy the journey.

 

By: Corina Ng Wu

 

Reference:

(Travel Stack Exchange, 2018)

(Durack, 2015)


EyeForTravel Amsterdam 28-29 November 2018

With the great success of the EyeForTravel Europe summit in June 2018, the next conference now will be held at the Hotel Novotel Amsterdam City, in the capital of the Netherlands. The purpose of the EyeForTravel Amsterdam, held on the 28th and 29th November, is to discuss the European travel trends of the last two quarters of this year and inform about next year’s trends, which will be focused on "the next generation of data, technology, payments and distribution in travel", as mentioned by EyeForTravel. There will be plenty of time to network with over 300 attendees and to consider new partnerships before entering the new year. As the EyeForTravel Amsterdam 2018 event date is in a few days, we will give you an overview of what to expect.


Who is this event for?

This event is the place to be for travel and service suppliers, OTA’s, CFO’s, CEO’s, managers and everyone else who is active in the European hospitality and travel sector. It is for those who want to improve their relationship with their loyal and potential customers. Still thinking whether to attend? Ask yourself this question: do you want to lead your company the customer-centric way? If yes, then this is the event to attend.

What can I do at the EyeForTravel event?

During the EyeForTravel event, split into 2 days, professionals will speak about diverse topics covering trends and practices in Smart Travel Analytics, Technology, Distribution and Partnerships, Marketing Analytics, Revenue Management and Travel Payments.

During the first day of the conference, the keynotes will focus on keeping loyal customers in the digital age where competitors can easily have access to them via different digital platforms. With easy access to mobile digital platforms, UI is crucial to delivering the best UX to create an impact on loyal customers, another discussion will be about on how to integrate AI mixed with human emotions into social media strategy and keep or attract customers.

On the second day, the scheduled keynotes will focus on digital transformations, incorporating AI within the company and mixing it with analytics, and how a traditional company keep customers loyal through customer-centric behaviour.

During these days, companies like KLM, Deutsche Bahn and lastminute.com will give insight about the before mentioned keynotes. Besides these keynotes, other companies will cover more topics including Blockchain, transforming dead data into useful information, GDPR in relation to loyalty and the experience economy. All this information has the purpose to take companies to the next level through implementation of the provided tips and become more profitable. Not to forget, there is room to connect with other attendees during network breaks and lunch sessions. At the end of the first day, EyeForTravel will hold a bigger network event - did we already mention something about a boat party?

Attending the EyeForTravel Amsterdam event will enrich you with the know-how to work on your company's growth, customer loyalty and the KPI’s for next year. Besides that, you can go home with new connections and business relationships to excel with your company. You still have a few days to head to the official website of EyeForTravel for more information about the conference and the schedules and get your hands on your ticket.

By Santa Alcantara


References

EyeForTravel Amsterdam 2018 Brochure


5 tips to reduce jet lag

Being a global nomad allows you to travel the world. You're constantly on the move. Switching from one place to another and switching from one time-zone to another. It can be really exhausting to adapt our biological clocks of our bodies every time we're on the move. Especially after long hours of flight, we become restless, and it's more difficult to fall asleep. We all know the inconveniences of jet lag. We've gathered 5 tips to make your life a little easier and jet lag a little more bearable.

Limit caffeine intake
Caffeine is stimulant that can give you an energy boost to go through the day. This substance is highly addictive and can be found in coffee, tea and energy drinks. As a business traveller, you’re always on the go, attending different meetings and you are more prone to be exposed to beverages containing caffeine. Sebastian Beaton from Barista Del Caffe explains in his article, "The Health Benefits of Coffee: Is coffee good or bad for you?", that caffeine works by blocking the neurotransmitter adenosine, which is responsible for inducing sleep. Too much caffeine can cause sleeplessness, especially if taken later in the day. The caffeine effects can take up to 6 hours to wear off. That's why it is advised to not consume caffeine 6 hours before going to sleepThe Mayo Clinic states that 400 mg of caffeine a day should be enough for healthy adults. That is roughly 4 cups of coffee,10 cans of cola or 2 energy shot drinks.

Avoid alcohol
One of the most common mistakes we make while travelling is drinking alcohol to relax during the long hours of flight. A survey revealed that 42% of Singaporeans avoid alcohol completely to try to adapt to a new time zone. Drinking also causes dehydration to the body and if we drink too much it may also lead to a hangover. The combination of a hangover with jet lag can be extremely bad especially when you need to be fully functional for meetings the next day. So, avoiding alcohol is the best option to prevent dehydration and hangover on top of jet lag.

Be active
Doing some light bodyweight exercise can help to stretch our muscles to reduce cramp and relaxes your body. The most recommended exercise for better sleep is yoga, where you can practice prior to bedtime or in the morning. Yoga doesn’t require any equipment -just a yoga mat- and you can easily find a video for a yoga tutorial online. The same survey mentioned previously also revealed that 45% of Singaporeans do exercise or take in fresh air before a flight to try to avoid jet lag.

 

Sleep better
Waking up in a different time zone can be really challenging if you didn’t sleep properly. Adjust your sleep schedule to shift your bedtime or awakening time to help your body's internal clock move closer to your destination's time zone. Do this ahead of time, at least 3 to 5 days before your trip. If you arrive in the daylight, expose your self to natural sunlight for 15-30 minutes right after you wake up. This helps our body to feel more awake. It is best to avoid taking naps during the day, this will slow down the adaptation of the biological clock. If you really need to take a nap, don’t nap more than 20 minutes. If you arrive in the nighttime, set the stage for a good night's sleep: dm your lights, eat lightly and do an activity that relaxes you.

Stay hydrated
Spending long hours on a flight can cause serious dehydration, the oxygen and humidity are way lower in the cabin. For example, men can lose up to 2 litres of water on a 10-hour flight and women can lose up to 1.6 litres of water. Our body consists of 70% of water, we need to consume plenty of liquid to stay hydrated. Therefore, it's highly recommended to drink a glass of water every hour to prevent dehydration. When someone is dehydrated it has a significant impact on the overall health and mood. Which consequently reduces the cognitive functions of the brain and increase tiredness and fatigue.

It's impossible to completely eliminate jet lag, but this can be reduced following these simple tips. Don’t forget these useful tips for your next trip: Limit caffeine intake, avoid alcohol, be active, sleep better and stay hydrated!

By Yan Yue

 


Relocating with family

Are you one of those people that need to relocate because of Brexit? Or have you simply gotten an opportunity to work abroad or elsewhere? How exciting! But now the headache starts. It’s one thing to relocate on your own, but it’s another thing to relocate with your family. Here are some FREE tips that you need to make your relocation smoother.


1. Break it down gently to your kids about the relocation
You and your partner have known for a while about the relocation, it is time to share the news with your children. Relocating to another city or country might not be perceived as a positive opportunity, especially by children in the age between 10 up to 15 who have their friends and roots in their hometown. On the other hand, this adventure could sound exciting for them - going to a new place and exploring a new environment. It is important to let your children know it is not a holiday because this time they will not come back after a few weeks. Try to put a positive spin on this new adventure and explain the benefits they will gain with this relocation.

Your kids will learn way more about a new culture and language and make (more) new friends. Remind them that they will be still able to contact their friends via Skype, Facetime, email via a phone call or other social networking sites. Show the kids the location where they will be living on Google Maps, or any other location map, and try to create the feeling that the family is going on an adventure together. Lastly, involve your kids in all the stages of moving away, especially if they’re grown enough. They’ll appreciate it.

2. Resolve important issues before leaving
So, the bomb has dropped and now it is time to solve issues that are still left. Are you and your partner on the same page about the relocation? What can you do both to make it comfortable for all to relocate? Does your partner have to give up his or her job? A suggestion for your working partner is that he or she tries to arrange an agreement with the employer to work remotely.
What about the kids who are halfway through their school year? Will I take them out during the school year, or should they relocate once school is over? Also, searching for information about different (international) schools with similarities in your kids’ current school curriculum will prevent your kids from falling behind in their studies.

3. Checklist for the move

Now that the kids are up to speed and important issues are resolved, it’s time to get things rolling by making a checklist! Ask yourself what are the things that need to be resolved for the move itself? Which organisations need to have your new address? What do I need to move? Speed up your packing and save time by setting up different boxes with each their own purpose: throw away, give to charity, sell, or to keep will help. Furthermore, is the accommodation already provided? Or do I need to get a temporary serviced apartment? See if your new employer could pay your stay in a curated and professional serviced apartment, for the time being - a nice thing of this all it is fully furnished with the needed amenities! Once you have THE family house, make everything revolving around the colour of the wall up to the furniture, a family affair! To make all of you feel home in the new house, having key items from your previous home will help to adjust to this new place.

4. Cross-cultural awareness
Don’t end up standing in a windstorm! Coming from sunny California for example and moving to Sweden could be a big shock for all of us. So be aware, online information will only get you that far. Try to connect with locals or expats in that neighbourhood through forums or Facebook groups before leaving. This could help you to settle in faster and help you get acquainted with locals and the surroundings. Also, if you’re moving to a country with another language, get a book or an app to learn the basics of the language. It’s a fun exercise for you and your family!

5. Plan your goodbyes

Don’t you just hate goodbyes? Especially doing it repeatedly? Here’s an idea! Throw a house cooling party! Invite all your friends and family and say your goodbyes all at once! Also, house cooling parties are an excellent way of getting rid of some stuff that you don’t want to take to your new place. For the kids, arranging other activities with their own friends is a positive idea and on top of that, buy a notebook for the younger kids so they have a place with all the contact information and pictures of their friends. For the older ones, they can still easily connect with their friends through social media and different chat apps.

 

 

 

Last but not least, as a wise person once said:

 

By Santa Alcantara


References

- https://www.fidi.org/blog/parents%E2%80%99-guide-moving-abroad-kids

- https://www.fidi.org/blog/global-assignments-and-expat-children-advice-parents

- https://www.fidi.org/blog/preparing-kids-relocation

- https://www.fidi.org/blog/6-tips-expat-office-cultures

- https://www.fidi.org/blog/cross-cultural-awareness

- https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/teen-angst/201512/moving-the-family

- https://www.nesgt.com/blog/2017/05/how-to-deal-with-relocating-your-family

- http://premierevanlines.com/blog/5-tips-family-relocation

- https://squarecowmovers.com/moving-and-packing-101/7-things-to-consider-before-relocating-your-family/

- https://www.grace.com.au/relocating-family-work/

- https://www.furnishandfinish.com/tips-relocating-family/

- https://traveltips.usatoday.com/useful-tips-family-moving-relocating-25892.html

- https://www.allied.com/moving-resources/moving-preparation/family-relocation-timeline

- https://www.forbes.com/sites/jacquelynsmith/2012/06/21/is-relocating-for-a-job-the-right-decision-for-you/#21b4a3136e7f

- https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/job.4030110507


Doing business in Paris

Paris - for tourists it is the city of the Mona Lisa, the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe. Wander around in the historical streets, surrounded by the beautiful Parisian scenery and great ambience. Start your day with a delicious French baguette with jam and a café au lait. After a satisfying retail therapy session in the stores at the Champs-Élysées, go for a delicious pastry at the well-known Ladurée tearoom. End your day with a scrumptious dinner at the many luxurious restaurants Paris has to offer and take a quick look at the Eiffel Tower, because it is unbelievably stunning at night. For tourists, this is what a typical day would look like; exploring the city and visiting the landmarks. But for businesses, Paris is so much more.


The region of Paris, Île-de-France, is Europe's biggest economic area with the highest GDP in the European Union, surpassing other European countries (IAU-IDF, 2018). The region is the core of Europe's technological developments and hosts many corporate headquarters of major firms (IAU-IDF, 2018). Not only companies are headquartered in Paris, but also international institutions such as Unicef, UNESCO, and the OECD (Paris Digest, 2018). It is Europe's second-biggest region for leading international companies (IAU-IDF, 2018).

The region is internationally praised for its outstanding infrastructure, education, science, and technology (IAU-IDF, 2018).

Situated outside Paris, La Défense is Europe's largest business district (Paris Info, 2015). The skyscrapers in the district are not what you would expect in a city noted for its historical buildings and medieval architecture. Nonetheless, La Défense is home to over 3000 companies, including many multinationals, and has over 300,000 daily visitors (Paris Attitude, 2017).  Not only renowned for its business activities, but the district is also popular with tourists for its modern architecture. The iconic Grande Arche monument located in La Défense is a door-shaped building where you can see the Champs-Élysées, the Louvre, and the Arc de Triomphe (Prompt Guides, 2018). The designer, Johan Otto V. Spreckelsen, originally intended the monument to be a "window onto the world" where people from different nationalities could come together to talk (La Grande Arche, 2017).

When you're planning to go to Paris for work, it is best to stay in the well-known areas that have sufficient facilities for business travellers. The La Clef residences are perfect if you're looking for a local and luxurious stay. The La Clef Louvre is located in the 1st arrondissement close to important places such as the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe. The La Clef Tour Eiffel is located in the 16th arrondissement in a beautiful historical area close to the Champs-Élysées. Generally, staying central in areas such as Opéra, Concorde, Champs-Élysées and Notre Dame are best suited for business travellers (CTM, sd).

Food will not be a problem for you in Paris. Haute-cuisine restaurants such as Pierre Gagnaire, Le Cinq, and L'Arpège serve some of the best dishes in Paris (The Mouth, 2015). For other alternatives, try local restaurants and brasseries such as Brasserie Julien and La Coupole (Time Out, 2018). Do not worry about how to get to the places if you do not own a car, the Paris public transport system (metros, trains, trams, and buses) is the most perfect way to travel through the city (Paris Info, 2015).

Paris is a city with enough to explore. From the Eiffel Tower to La Défense, the city is filled with impressive monuments, buildings, and great food. With its grand business environment, it has enough facilities to accommodate business travellers. The Parisian way of life will surprise you and hopefully charm you. Bon voyage!

 

By Melisa Kirdi


References

CTM. (n.d.). Business Travel Guide to Paris. Retrieved from Corporate Travel Management: https://www.travelctm.com/resources/insights_blog/business-travel-guide-paris/

IAU-IDF. (2018). Paris Region Key Figures 2018. Retrieved from IAU-IDF: https://www.iau-idf.fr/fileadmin/NewEtudes/Etude_1437/KEY_FIGURES_2018-HD.pdf

La Grande Arche. (2017). History. Retrieved from La Grande Arche: https://www.lagrandearche.fr/en/history

Paris Attitude. (2017, November 13). Where are the main business districts in Paris and its suburbs? Retrieved from Paris Attitude: https://blog.parisattitude.com/en/business-districts-paris-suburbs

Paris Digest. (2018). Paris business. Paris business trip. Retrieved from Paris Digest: https://www.parisdigest.com/paris/business.htm

Paris Info. (2015). Paris La Défense. Retrieved from Paris Info: https://en.parisinfo.com/transport/73252/Paris-La-Defense

Paris Info. (2015). Public transport Paris. Retrieved from Paris Info: https://en.parisinfo.com/practical-paris/how-to-get-to-and-around-paris/public-transport

Prompt Guides. (2018). Paris Attractions: La Défense. Retrieved from Prompt Guides: http://www.promptguides.com/paris/attractions/defense.htm

The Mouth. (2015, January 30). The 20 Best Bites of Haute Cuisine in Paris. Retrieved from Paris By Mouth: https://parisbymouth.com/the-20-best-bites-of-haute-cuisine-in-paris/

Time Out. (2018). The best brasseries. Retrieved from Time Out: https://www.timeout.com/paris/en/restaurants-cafes/the-best-brasseries-brasseries


São Paulo - a new addition to the business capitals of the world?

Besides the delightful architecture, a broad assortment of great restaurants and vivid nightlife, São Paulo is often not seen as a go-to tourist destination when thinking about Brazil, especially in comparison to Rio de Janeiro. However, São Paulo is definitely one of the most important business cities in Latin America. We'll explain why you should consider São Paulo as a candidate for your next business trip!


First and foremost, São Paulo is the financial centre of Brazil. The state of São Paulo is the richest state of Brazil, and, interestingly, if São Paulo were a country itself, it would have an economy that would surpass countries like Belgium. In 2015, São Paulo ranked 12th in startup ecosystems in the world according to The 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking. Right now, the city has more than 2,700 active startups and is the only Latin American city that holds this title. Therefore, São Paulo is by far the most developed business city in Brazil. Many organizations house their headquarters in Sao Paulo, such as the leading retailer in Europe Carrefour and video-on-demand provider Netflix.

As mentioned before, São Paulo has a lot of entrepreneurial opportunities. Issues in the country influenced many people to become problem-solvers and look for solutions by themselves. National and international conferences and summits are held in São Paulo almost every week and gather big crowds of creative and motivated people. It is the ideal place to start with your business idea.

Did you know that São Paulo is a massive metropole? And when we say massive, we mean it is huge! According to the World Factbook, 2018, the city has over 21 million inhabitants. In fact, São Paulo has more inhabitants than the Netherlands. This means that you have a broad potential client base to provide service or products to, or, in general, do business with.

For regular travellers, São Paulo also has great options for accommodation. Many of the hotels are currently focusing on business travellers, due to the increasing popularity of the city amongst them. Therefore, many accommodation facilities are adapted to a business traveller point of view, catering to their needs. Additionally, São Paulo is considerably cheaper than other business cities of the world. In comparison, in London or New York, you are likely to pay double the price for the same type and quality of a hotel room.

Brazil, in general, is the most racially diverse countries in the world - 43% of its inhabitants are mixed-race. São Paulo has actually one of the largest immigrant populations in Brazil. This means a lot of diversity inside organizations. You can hire people with different cultural backgrounds, different worldviews, different solutions to problems and ways of working, all due to the diversity present in the city. In result, the recruitment possibilities in this metropole are broad and diverse.

Infrastructure in São Paulo is generally speaking modern and well taken-off. The public transport is well-arranged but, unfortunately, does not reach every part of the city. However, transportation alternatives such as Uber work perfectly fine here and are much faster and, naturally, convenient. Also, the prices of Uber are considerably cheaper than ones in Europe - in São Paulo, for certain trips, you will pay less than 3 euros. São Paulo has 3 airports in the area, and São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport has many international connections. The largest harbour of Latin America, Port of Santos, is located just outside of São Paulo. Due to the well-developed infrastructure,  transportation is not difficult to arrange.

Last, but not least, São Paulo has the ideal weather throughout the year. As businesspeople, we often end up suited-up for our meetings or just for daily work. Luckily, the summers are hot but not extreme for you to melt away in your suit, while winters are rather cool but not freezing. The seasons in São Paulo are perfectly balanced and quite comfortable and pleasant for anyone who does not enjoy extreme climate changes.

São Paulo has a lot of opportunities for local and international business innovation and development, and soon it might gain a spot amongst the largest business centres of the world, such as London, Hong Kong, and Frankfurt. However, for now, it proudly holds the title of the largest business hub of Latin America.

 

By Wilson Gomes


References

  • Compass. (2015, July 27). The 2015 Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking. Retrieved from blog.startupgenome: https://blog.startupgenome.com/the-2015-global-startup-ecosystem-ranking-is-live/
  • Henry, Z. (2015, September 21). 3 Reasons Why Sao Paulo Is a Hub for Business Innovation. Retrieved from Inc: https://www.inc.com/zoe-henry/3-reasons-why-sao-paulo-is-a-hub-for-business-innovation.html
  • Marshall, E. (2017, August 1). 7 reasons Sao Paulo is the world's top business hub. Retrieved from The culture trip: https://theculturetrip.com/south-america/brazil/articles/7-reasons-sao-paulo-is-the-worlds-top-business-hub/
  • The world fact book. (2018, September 26). Retrieved from CIA library publications: https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/br.html

Planning a perfect workcation

 

Deciding to go on a work holiday, in other words, working from another location than the office can be difficult when you have other parties involved such as colleagues or clients. At this point, they are required to be considerate with your schedule and the other way around. However, where there is a will, there is a way! If you plan your schedule correctly, you can still enjoy a holiday, meet your deadlines and work “closely” with your colleagues, thanks to this little thing called the internet. Have a read and take some notes before you start with your workcation!


Workcation permission

As the topdog, you won’t need permission to go on a workcation. As an employee, your supervisor needs to agree with your request. How to get your manager to agree with this, you ask? Keep reading, employees and even topdogs need a little advice. Is the Wi-Fi connection good at the place you’re staying? If not, this could become a deal breaker as you won't be that reachable for your colleagues for prompt work-related requests. Call and see if the place you are interested in has a stable and fast Wi-Fi connection. Or better yet, check their reviews online. If you find out the Wi-Fi isn’t that good, continue searching for a better accommodation. You might want to look into serviced apartments, these usually have great internet connection as the concept of serviced apartments started specifically for corporate travellers.

Planning on working while sipping on your coffee or beer at a café? Remember to check these for W-Fi as well. Additionally, keep the option of mobile internet in mind – perhaps there is a good deal available at your network provider for international calls and data plan.

Are there particular tasks for which physical presence is required? See if there is someone in the office to whom you could delegate task(s) to. This could be a trainee or/and a colleague who can switch a task between one another until you get back. For each task, mention to whom they can go for any questions and information that is needed for that specific task. Are there presentations involved? Provide your colleague with a template of a previous presentation. You need to ask and get a confirmation from these co-workers before pitching your workcation In return for helping you out treat your colleagues with a drink or dinner when you come back.

Furthermore, communication is key! Make clear what communication channel (e.g. FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype, Slack) is the best way to reach you and find the right “golden hour” (Every Time Zone) where you and your team members could come online to have meetings, whether this is through video or phone chat. Ps. Do a little research for which software has minimum glitches when you are in a particular continent.  Another thing that might be important, to stay on track while on workcation, is to incorporate an hour or more a ‘do not disturb’ mode to work on your tasks and not create a delay in your prioritized assignments.

Other questions you should bear in mind: are there certain software required for me to meet my deadlines? How do I make sure that I am working via a secured network? C

Once you have sorted out the above points and your working hours, pitch your request to your supervisor and adapt when necessary to receive a green light. Green light means it is time to book your workcation!

 

During your workcation

So, you have booked your workcation, congratulations!

How do I stay productive and motivated during my workcation? Once you arrive at your location, try to use one day to explore where you would like to work from. It could be at a café, the beach, swimming pool area, a room in your booked serviced apartment or at your family’s house. Check the network connectivity and the surroundings of your workplace. Is there a lot of sounds? Can you have your meetings there with minimum noise? Remember to change the scenery now and then to not end up in a slump and become less motivated to work.

Another way to enjoy your work holiday is to check what activities you could attend before, during, or after work hours. Can you swap a working day with a day on the weekend to do some activity that is not related to your work? By involving yourself in an activity you are interested in you might get more relaxed and productive to work on your assignments before or afterwards.

A workcation is handy when you’re in need of a change of scenery or a recharge. A balanced personal and work life can be more joyful (it is possible!).

 

 

By Santa Alcantara


References

- https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2015/06/workcations-new-office-trend

- https://www.wsj.com/articles/this-summer-how-about-taking-a-workcation-1435072989 

https://www.themuse.com/advice/wtf-is-a-workcation-hint-something-you-need-now

- https://www.themuse.com/advice/want-to-work-from-home-heres-how-to-ask-your-boss

- https://www.themuse.com/advice/vacation-checklist-4-steps-to-prepare-for-your-time-off

- https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/06/16/working-remotely

- https://remoteyear.com/blog/what-is-remote-work

- https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-facts-about-working-remotely-that-arent-too-good-to-be-true

- https://www.process.st/working-remotely/

- http://time.com/5333239/is-working-remotely-bad-for-you/

- https://www.toptal.com/freelance/how-to-work-remotely-and-still-be-the-best

- https://blog.weekdone.com/working-remotely-or-remotely-working/

- https://medium.com/swlh/effective-tips-for-working-remotely-23cc290a8c08

- https://skillcrush.com/2016/10/10/working-remotely-tips/

- https://auth0.com/blog/21-tips-for-remote-working/


Understanding the business side of Hong Kong

Hong Kong, the young metropolis and populous modern city located on the continent of Asia, has the highest population and employment density in the world, with approximately 7.1 million and 6.788 people per square kilometres. Known to be one of the world’s leading financial centres, Hong Kong’s service-oriented economy is characterized by its low taxation, practically free port trade and a well-established international financial market.


 

On Hong Kong’s economic freedom. Hong Kong's economic freedom is among the highest in the world, topping the economic freedom index by the Heritage Foundation for 20 years. As a competitive financial hub and business centre, Hong Kong continues to be one of the world's resilient economies. The high-quality legal framework provides effective security of property rights and unequivocally bolsters the rule of law. There is little to no tolerance for corruption, and a high level of transparency enhances government integrity. The efficient practice of regulations and openness to global commerce uphold a dynamic entrepreneurial climate in Hong Kong. The linkage with mainland China is most visible with the finance and trading sectors.

The financial market. Positioning number one in the World Economic Forum's Financial Development Index, Hong Kong carries a substantial and well developed financial system, composed of an integrated network of institutions and markets which provide an extensive range of products and services to local and international clients and investors. Hong Kong's financial markets are portrayed as having a high degree of liquidity and operate under compelling and transparent regulations by the four financial regulators namely the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (HKMA), the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority (MPFA), the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) and the Securities and Futures Commission (SFC). The regulators oversee the banking, the Mandatory Provident Fund (MPF), insurance as well as securities and prospect enterprises individually, and help to maintain the financial stability of Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has a well-developed and dynamic exchange market, the development of which has been stimulated by the absence of exchange controls in Hong Kong and its favoured time zone area. The currency market in Hong Kong consists primarily of the sizeable and dynamic interbank market where wholesale Hong Kong dollar reserves are transacted among banking establishments.

Hong Kong’s stock market was the 6th largest in the world and the third largest in Asia in terms of market capitalization recognized at the end of the year 2016. Hong Kong is known for raising IPO (“Initial Public Offering”) funds. The insurance sector in Hong Kong is large and diverse. Hong Kong's insurance sector was ranked 4th for market penetration and 7th for insurance density ($4,719 per capita). The insurance sector includes 160 licensed insurers as of March 2018 and is mostly owned by organisations overseas.

 

So why do business in Hong Kong? Advocating free press, freedom of speech and abolishing economic barriers, such as tariffs, quotas and limitations on ethnic groups, Hong Kong maintains a list of non-restrictive rules and regulations and is accessible to the wide public. Some other significant advantages include the free flow of information, a skilled workforce, the infrastructure, taxes, geographical location, and a vibrant international lifestyle. The policy of minimum intervention towards the business industry makes Hong Kong a favourable region for doing business.

 

 

By Ismail el Kadiri


References

https://www.censtatd.gov.hk/m/o.jsp

https://www.heritage.org

http://www.scchk.com.hk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47&Itemid=67

http://hong-kong-economy-research.hktdc.com/business-news/article/Hong-Kong-Industry-Profiles/Insurance-Industry-in-Hong-Kong/hkip/en/1/1X000000/1X003UWM.htm

 


When you're in Geneva for business

Geneva is a central hub for a lot of business activity and trade fairs. In this blog, we want to talk about what you need to keep in mind when doing business here, especially if you want to become more successful in achieving your business goals while developing strong relationships at the same time. So if you are working for one of the multinationals looking to do business in Geneva or maybe a part of a smaller organisation looking to do international business at one of the events, you are in the right place!


 

First of all, why is Geneva so famous for its business activity and trade fairs? Geneva is a home to a lot of international organisations, and many other multinational companies hold one of their main headquarters in the city. These include the World Health Organization, World Trade Organization and the United Nations. Plus Facebook, HSBC Private Bank, Microsoft, and others. There are also many business events held in Geneva - you can always find one relevant to your industry and find out more information about statistics and trends or meet potential clients/suppliers. These events include the Geneva Motor Show, blockchain conferences, conferences about energy and the future of the Internet and many more. The main venue for such events is the PalExpo (Geneva Exhibition and Congress Centre) which can seat up to 2,500 people and is located next to the airport. All of these events make Geneva a busy business hub with plenty of activity happening in the area. Famously, Geneva (and Switzerland in general) is also known for its Swiss watches with some top businesses in the industry holding headquarters in the city, including Patek Philippe, Piaget, and Vacheron Constantin. The world’s largest physics research centre CERN, investigating the structure of the universe, is also located in Geneva.

 

What should you know when you have just arrived in the city for business? Geneva is the most important city in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, though French is not essential here - there is a huge variety of nationalities and languages in the city. Switzerland has four national languages - varying based on the city. In addition, each city has different cultural norms. Therefore, make sure that the person you are doing business with speaks your language or hire an interpreter. In Geneva, everything is easily accessible on foot, however, there is an effective public transport system as well if you’re looking for convenience or need to get somewhere faster. Geneva is an expensive place to stay (rated as the second or third most expensive place in the world for business travel), but some of the most luxurious hotels in the world are also located here, so the higher prices come with high quality. There are a dozen five-star hotels, even though it is a relatively small city. You could say they are “highfordable”! 

If you are arriving by plane and wish to take the public transport, you can make use of a special offer at a  ‘Unireso’ machine and travel by trains and buses for free for 80 minutes. The airport is located 4 minutes away from the city centre. The short journey can also be made by a taxi - they can be found just outside the airport.

Moreover, we have a few tips for you regarding the Swiss culture. Punctuality is important in Switzerland. Well, it is a little less important in French parts, like Geneva, but it is still highly recommended. In the French-speaking parts of Switzerland (including Geneva). small talk can be expected and sometimes a round of (non-alcoholic) drinks can be expected before getting down to business. The locals of the French part are also known as conceptual, analytical thinkers who try to use universal rules to solve problems. The Swiss culture values privacy, so it is better to avoid topics that are too personal. Try to avoid jokes on Swiss culture and humour when possible to avoid offending someone accidentally (works for most cultures, right?). Besides, business cards and gifts are appreciated at the end of negotiations.

 

If you do want to explore the city for a bit of sightseeing and turn your business trip into a bleisure trip, here are some of the top things to do. Geneva’s Old Town has plenty to see and is one of the most scenic areas of Geneva. There are a lot of independent boutique shops, cafes, restaurants and the unique architecture will definitely keep your eyes wandering. Geneva’s Jet d’eau is an enormous water fountain, spouting water 140 meters up into the air - definitely worth a picture. Other good places for this are the Pont du Mont-Blanc and the Promenade du Lac. If you are into humanitarian work, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Museum displays all the work done by the organisation over the last 150 years. Moreover, Plaine de Plainpalais has one of Switzerland's biggest and best flea markets involving hundreds of stalls and all kinds of vintage (and not) things.

 

 

 

By Haris Wahid


References

https://www.timeout.com/switzerland/things-to-do/best-things-to-do-in-geneva

https://www.ausbt.com.au/the-basics-of-doing-business-in-zurich-geneva-switzerland

https://www.expatica.com/ch/employment/Doing-business-in-Switzerland-Swiss-business-culture_101552.html

https://www.heathrowexpress.com/news/travel-guides/2014/03/17/the-business-traveller-a-business-travel-guide-to-geneva

http://www.bbc.com/capital/story/20140520-the-art-of-the-swiss-deal


Useful apps for every business traveller

As carrying a laptop or documents around become more of a hassle for every business traveller, app developers are stepping up their game and eliminating the need for these as much as possible. We’ve rounded up some much-needed apps for you because we want to make your life just a bit easier. While there might be some apps mentioned that you might already know, you’re bound to find a new app that you haven’t tried yet. The following apps assist you in planning, organising and networking. We’ve also included some honourable mentions that are simply just handy and worth having them on your smartphone.


Staying organised:

Concur

Most stressful chore during business trips are the expenses. According to The Global Mobility Survey 2018, 17% of business leaders do not keep up with expenses made on business trips. Concur automates this process and benefits not only employees but also the organisations. These apps help make expense reporting simple, fast and accurate. E-receipts capture data directly from airlines, restaurants, hotels and other suppliers. Employees can also take photos of the receipts, saving time and hassle. You can also reconcile expenses with card integration. Organisations can directly approve or reject expense reports through manager access. Furthermore, you can even add car mileage to an expense report!

 

 

Tripit

Another app that keeps your business trip in order is Tripit from Concur. Tripit has the free version and pro version which is $49 per year. With the pro version, you can directly connect your Concur account with the app. Which, if you’re a frequent business traveller, is highly commendable. Don’t get us wrong, the free version is also up to the mark, but the pro version has much more features than the free version. With the free version, you can organise, selectively share, store travel documents, and add or edit your travel plans. With the pro version you get all of that and receive real-time flight alerts, locate alternate flights, find out when a better seat is available, get fare refund notifications, track reward-program points, share plans with your inner circle automatically and save money with VIP travel benefits which provide special offers on CLEAR and Loungebuddy. CLEAR is a biometric screening tool that scans your fingerprint to confirm your identification, allowing you to skip the long lines for ID check. Although, right now it only operates in the US. The Loungebuddy app is a revolutionary app that allows all travellers to access any of the lounges, for as low as $23, in the network without any membership fees, elite statuses or first class tickets required.

 

Asana

Asana is a project-based management app and the teams are organised around these projects. You can create a project with tasks and subtasks and add the team that is with you on the project. Furthermore, you can tag colleagues, add comments, attach files, descriptions and many more.  While you’re on your business trip you can create this as a project, keep track of your trip and meetings and what you’ve already done and still need to do. If your company uses this app, your manager can also keep track of your accomplishments and you can also follow your team’s progress. Asana is a great tool to manage projects and tasks.  

 


Vehicle Apps:

Google Maps

Although Apple Maps and Waze are two worthy contenders, Google Maps stands out with its features that the other two don’t have. Waze has too many ads and Apple Maps doesn’t have the feature for offline use like Google Maps does have, which could come quite handy if you’re data bundle isn’t up to par. It’s easy to use, gives you clear directions and a map view all at once, the background colour will adjust based on the ambient light in your car, and the offline feature allows you to download entire cities or neighbourhood on your device. Furthermore, its pins function is great for sharing your location or even saving your favourite places to visit on your next business trip. You can also add two stops to your route in case you have to do a pit stop on your way to your meeting. Moreover, the app can detect traffic jams and provide you with an alternative route. Lastly, whether you’re travelling by car or not and you need the closest gas station, restaurant or ATM, Google Maps will provide you with that information. The app allows you to search for the nearest banks, hotels, movie theatres, gas station, or even what type of restaurant you’re in the mood for.  

 

ParkWhiz

If you’re in the U.S. or travel there frequently for business, then ParkWhiz is the app for you. It can track down the perfect parking spot in 315 cities across the country and provides users with discounted parking in exclusive areas. The app allows you to choose from a parking lot, private garages and private venues. The app calculates the walking distance from potential parking spots to your final destination, provides you directions and parking instructions. This app is best for people who like to plan and book well ahead of time.

 

Parkopedia

Now, if you’re more of a worldly business traveller, then Parkopedia is the parking app you need. Parkopedia is used by millions of drivers and organisations. It allows you to find the closest parking spot to your destination, gives you the costs and whether there’s space available or not. Parkopedia claims to have over 60 million parking spots (including street parking, car parks and private driveways) in 75 countries.  The app features pre-booking service, real-time parking availability and the ability to pay online.

Uber

If you don’t have a car service booked or a taxi, then Uber can be quite useful to you. The app will use your current location to calculate the fastest route to your final destination and provide you with the costs before you choose the service. You don’t have to have cash on you because the charges go straight to your card. Additionally, you can track your driver in real time while they're on their way and while you are in transit.

 


Keep in touch apps:

Skype, Whatsapp and WeChat

Use these apps for keeping in touch with your loved ones while you’re abroad without the high charges. You can call, message and video call for free. You can host a conference meeting with video call for up to 10 people with Skype, video call, phone call and create group conversations with WeChat and Whatsapp.  WeChat is best for travellers who are in constant contact with people in China. WeChat is more popular there and is more stable than other social networks.

 

LinkedIn

Which professional doesn’t know about LinkedIn today? If you haven’t downloaded it on your smartphone yet, do it. LinkedIn is for anyone looking to grow their careers even further and it’s a great way to stay in contact with professionals such as yourself. You add connections to your network, private message them through LinkedIn or through the company’s contact information, and you have your resumé laid out for others to see.  You can also follow other companies as “interests” to stay up-to-date with them. LinkedIn has similar features as other social networks, but this one is specifically catered for professionals.

 

CamCard

CamCard is an app that helps you stay on top of your business cards that you most likely receive during conferences and networking. It digitilizes the information on the business card and adds the relevant information on your virtual Rolodex (your contact list). Therefore you’ll never lose another business card again! It digitalises a business card by using its optical character reader by taking a snapshot photo of the card and can digest the information in 17 different languages, including English, Chinese, Japanese, Russian and Swedish. It can also translate phone numbers, decipher social media handles and has a web interface where you can manage the contacts efficiently. It has two versions: the free version and the $3 premium version. The free version has full functionality but has a limited amount of scanning 200 cards.

 


Honourable mentions:

ClassPass

This app is the most flexible fitness membership there is! This app allows you to search for nearby gym classes, book classes, watch workout videos and build a community. You can choose from thousands of workouts such as boxing, yoga, spinning and much more. This app has 3 types of subscriptions, one of £35/month which is 27 credits or 2 or 3 classes, £55/month which is 45 credits or 3-5 classes and £105/month which is 90 credits or 7-11 classes. The amount of credits per classes depends on each studio. But not to worry, if you’ve used up your credits you can always buy more. This is a very worthwhile app if you’re an avid “workoutaholic” or like to stay fit and you’re constantly travelling. Especially since many gyms do not offer one day passes.

 

Google Translate

Not everyone you meet while abroad will know English, your language, or vice versa. That’s why, do us all a favour, and download this app. It will help you in cafe’s when you’re in dire need of coffee or beer, or with cab drivers. You can point your device’s camera on the text you want to translate and the app will provide you with a real-time translation on your screen. What’s even better is that you can download translation packages onto your smartphone meaning it will still allow you to translate without internet. It’s a practical tool and will save you and the barista a few minutes of trying to understand each other.   

 

These apps replace many other apps because they save you space on your smartphone and spares you the hassle of always switching to and from multiple other apps, therefore also saving you time. If you’re not convinced yet, download them and try it out for yourself. You can thank us later!

 

By Ronaly van der Biest


References

Harbison, A. (2017). Nine must-have apps for business travellers. [Blog] ICAS. Available at: https://www.icas.com/ca-today-news/9-must-have-apps-for-business-travellers [Accessed 29 May 2018].

Hanbury, M. (2018). The 22 best apps for business travellers. [Blog] Business Insider. Available at: https://www.businessinsider.nl/best-business-travel-apps-2017-3/?international=true&r=US [Accessed 29 May 2018].

Channer, R. (2018). The 10 Best Apps to Pack for Business Travel. [Blog] Entrepreneur. Available at: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/248287

McCallum, J. (2017). 10 great apps for business travel. [Blog] In the back. Available at: https://www.intheblack.com/articles/2017/08/22/10-apps-business-trips

Clearme.com. (2018). CLEAR - The fastest, most reliable way to fly through security.. [online] Available at: https://www.clearme.com/how-it-works

Loungebuddy.com. (2018). Airport Lounges: Reviews & Club Access Worldwide | LoungeBuddy. [online] Available at: https://www.loungebuddy.com/?source=homepage#howItWorks

Bond, J. (2018). Waze vs Google Maps vs Apple Maps: Which one works best?. [Blog] The Daily Dot. Available at: https://www.dailydot.com/debug/waze-vs-google-maps-vs-apple-maps/

Asana. (2018). About Asana; Features, uses, and product info. [online] Available at: https://asana.com/product

Purewall, S. (2016). 5 apps to help you digitally organize business cards. [Blog] MacWorld. Available at: https://www.macworld.com/article/3088655/ios-apps/5-apps-to-help-you-digitally-organize-business-cards.html

Concur.com. (2018). Expense Management Software, Travel Software & Invoice Software - SAP Concur. [online] Available at: https://www.concur.com/

TripIt. (2018). TripIt - Travel Itinerary - Trip Planner. [online] Available at: https://www.tripit.com/

Parkopedia.com. (2018). About Parkopedia. [online] Available at: https://www.parkopedia.com/about-us/