News // 16 May 2017
Why Health & Wellbeing Are Essential For Corporate Travel Policies
The Business Traveler: Fitter, Happier, More Productive
Business travel can have a negative impact on employee health and wellbeing, but Beyond Business Travel Account Manager Michelle Rennick believes that including a health and wellbeing programme in corporate travel policies can mitigate the risks.
Finding time to work out, eat well and place focus on health and relaxation can be a challenging task for anyone. If you add business travel into the mix, it often feels near impossible.
However, if frequent travelling is part of your job, it is imperative that you make every effort to adjust your health habits while away from home. Recently Columbia University studied 13,000 people who were part of a corporate wellness program. They found that those who regularly travel for work were more at risk of developing high blood pressure, obesity and elevated cholesterol levels. Researchers also reported that longer journeys lead to higher health risks.
In recent years a buzz has developed around corporate wellness programmes, as it is widely accepted that the success of any company depends heavily on the productivity and work performance of its people.
Google offer an education programme to staff, which includes classes in management, public speaking, mindfulness, kickboxing and parenting. Employees can also shower, get their laundry done, get massages and even swim at the office.
Online retailer Zappos offers free fitness classes, gym memberships, nap rooms and marathon reimbursements, while Progressive Insurance provides private, comfortable lactation lounges to help ease the transition for breastfeeding moms.
However, it can be difficult to include business travellers in wellness programmes, because of the challenges they present. Mobile workers sometimes struggle to avail of programme provisions, while their needs and stress factors can easily be overlooked.
The best corporate wellness programmes consider the challenges presented by regular air travel, hotel stays, and restaurant eating. If not properly managed all these can negatively impact employees on the road.
At Beyond Business Travel we believe in putting travellers first and our mission statement is: ‘Making sure you are at your best no matter where you are in the world.’
We assist clients in developing programmes which ensure travellers are looked after, free of considerable strain and benefitting from regular diet, sleep and working patterns. We work to identify triggers for stress levels that could have long-term health implications and strive to improve the quality of life, particularly for frequent flyers.
6 Ways To Improve Health & Wellbeing For Business Travellers
1. Be Prepared. Have a checklist of items that you need for your journey—including any business materials such as files, hardware and presentation equipment. Find out if you will have Wi-Fi access at your hotel or event venue. Plan what you can work on easily while traveling to limit how “catching up” when you’re back in the office.
2. Create An Itinerary That Limits Stress. Avoid complicated journeys and opt for direct flights when available. Don’t schedule flights with tight connections and double check the location of your hotel or business meeting, researching nearby restaurants, local transport options and facilities before departure. Try to plan a day at home after returning from a longer trip, so you can catch up and re-energise before starting back to work.
3. Pack Smart. Pack efficiently and where possible, avoid lost luggage worries by taking carry-on baggage only. Keep your wardrobe simple with a number of matching items, in case of accident or spillage and check the weather before you pack. Invest in travel toiletries to save space and make sure you remember the essentials.
4. Travel Comfortably. Wear comfortable clothing with layers and avoid heels if you have a lot of airport walking. Pack headphones, earplugs, reading material and a travel pillow in hand luggage, especially for long-haul flights.
5. Exercise And Stick To Your Diet. Try to stick closely to your normal diet and exercise routine, taking advantage of the hotel gym, pool and fitness classes. Drink plenty of water and don’t always indulge in unhealthy conference / meeting food.
6. File Expense Report Immediately. Store all your business paperwork and receipts safely and if possible file your expenses on the road, or immediately on your return to the office.