How I Travel: Warren Johnson

26 Apr 2024

Warren Johnson is the CEO and Founder of W Communications

For most, traveling overseas is a once- or twice-a-year affair. But then there are the frequent fliers who are literally living out of suitcases, jetting off at any given moment – for both work and leisure. In this issue, we speak to a handful of jetsetters who let us in on why and how they travel. In addition, they share tips and tricks on making the most out of a tight schedule and packed itinerary.

Tell us about yourself, what you do, and how many times on average do you travel for work and leisure in a year.
I am the CEO and Founder of W Communications, a global independent communications firm that blends commerce and creativity through its corporate and consumer offerings. We specialize in sectors across hospitality, real estate, finance, technology, FMCG and more.

Given that we have a global presence in markets across Singapore, UK, New York, Paris, and the Middle East, I tend to travel around different time zones a lot for work – and while doing so, try to find time to incorporate some leisure travel to neighboring countries too.

What are the main reasons for your work trips? Can you tell us how you manage and organize your schedule to ensure you get work done within a limited amount of time?
As a global independent firm, it is essential for me to stay connected with our local teams to ensure they are provided with the right support and guidance from me.

I also make use of such trips to meet our clients and partners to deepen our relationships, and keep each other updated on business updates, identifying ways which can help us grow together. I also see traveling as an opportunity to explore new market challenges and identify potential growth areas that I can work together with our local teams on to stay ahead of industry trends and demands.

To manage and utilize my travel schedule effectively, I make sure to time my trips to the respective countries with key local events, whether for an industry or client event. I’d then set out objectives that I’d like to achieve – i.e: Attending a trade conference to share insights on the need for agile communications in today’s fast paced business landscape, while utilizing the time before/after to meet other business leaders onsite.

If I were to be in Asia, I’d also make sure to keep some spare time at nights (when the other part of the world wakes up), to catch up with work that requires my attention there.

How do you maintain your energy level, especially if you have a packed itinerary? What kind of leisure activities to you usually fit into your schedule?
I play a lot of tennis and it’s great that people I meet happen to be into that sport too. Some of my business meetings do in fact take place over a game of tennis – again reiterating my point on how I like to utilize time efficiently – keeping physically fit over business discussions. 

(Related: How I Travel - Kelvin Lim)

When traveling for leisure, what destination do you find yourself always returning to and why? Can you also share some of your bucketlist destinations?
There are two finds from last year that both enter my favourite hotels in the world which I will be returning to:

  • Patina in the Maldives, owned by Capella.
  • Passalacqua in Lake Como, sister to The Grand Hotel Tremezzo

I was lucky enough to do two actual bucket list trips with each of my sons earlier this year – traveling under the northern lights in the Artic Circle. I then went with my other son to the US for the NBA All-Star Game!

Any important tips/advice that your personally follow to make sure your travels – whether for work of leisure – are stress- and hassle-free?
I always book at least two rest days on any trip to explore and to work from somewhere new with a different perspective. I love traveling so I am never keen to keep trips short.