As I am a Chair and NED, I no longer have an office to go to and work from home mainly. But that means that I do a lot of travelling to meetings and to the businesses I chair, their shareholders and stakeholders.

Last week, I posted about the advantages and disadvantages of working on a train. I was grateful to receive many helpful comments regarding working on a laptop on the train.

But there was a consensus amongst you of not working on trains. So, given the amount that I travel, both short and long distance, I thought it would be interesting to share the ways that I use my travel time and perhaps hear from you about what you most usefully do. And as, this week, I am taking four Inter City train journeys, this is very topical for me.

If you do not work while travelling, the most useful thing to do is use travel as a means of building a good work/life balance and to contribute to your wellbeing. Travel is, in my view, perfect for that.


I like to walk where I can. I am not a great podcast or music listener and I do not like to wear headphones when walking. I like to be able to hear and sense what is going on around me. And that allows me to look around at my surroundings, look up at buildings, listen to the sounds around. It is a good way to lose yourself in your thoughts and interests.

Bus/Tube/Tram/Light Rail:

I always carry a paperback book with me. I keep one on the go as this is valuable time to lose yourself in a book. I much prefer a real book to a Tablet but that is personal choice. There is much research that reading, especially fiction, can reduce stress levels, and promote a state of calm in a manner similar to meditation, and engaging with narratives can improve cognitive function, reducing levels of cognitive decline. I also read a newspaper to ensure that I am up to date with current affairs and news. I catch up with my trade journals from the fields I work in, and, every fortnight, Private Eye magazine gets me through a few journeys successfully. These shorter journeys are perfect for reading and relaxing. It is not advisable to take work calls on a short public transport journey. It is just too difficult to chat generically without potentially tweaking the interest of a fellow passenger.

These journeys, and longer ones, are perfect also for puzzles and crosswords. I am not a great cryptic crossworder but I try and do The Times Concise Crossword every day and the General Knowledge Crossword every Monday. I also have a book of collections of such crosswords which are very good for passing the time and stimulating the brain.

Longer Journeys – Trains and Planes: Despite the debate on my post last week, I do like to work on a train or a plane. I find them very useful especially for reading Board papers and committee papers, and making my notes for the meetings ahead. I have taken the advice and have very kindly had supplied to me an Ocushield Screen Protector so that I can use my Laptop whilst discouraging prying eyes.

But, if you can, these journeys are also perfect for resting and refreshing yourself ready for the business ahead. I like to read my book, do the crossword, look out of the window, and get my head back and have a nap. I am quite fortunate at being able to sleep almost anywhere so I will often doze off on a long train journey or on a flight. It helps with my equilibrium and helps me not to be quite so stressed by all the travel.

I am a fan, especially with my work balance, of using travel as productively as possible. That is not just for work, but for rest, stress relief, relaxation and enjoyment.  I do so much travelling, that I have to make it work for me and my work/life balance.