News // 25 September 2019
How to keep stress levels low during a business trip
By Clive Wratten
Chief Executive Officer, Business Travel Association (BTA)
As rewarding as travelling can be, certain elements of the logistics can get tiresome. Booking the best flights and accommodation, fighting your way through the airport ’experience’, being away from home for days on end and encountering delays can take the enjoyment out of travel.
Imagine a business traveller having to live this repeatedly in a short period of time – it’s like Groundhog Day and you’re Bill Murray going through the motions. Eventually it takes a toll and physical and mental burnout is likely. This is where working with a travel management company (TMC) to limit these negative impacts is worth its weight in gold.
Embedding guidelines into corporate culture
A TMC is your outsourced partner who manages your corporate travel requirements and your traveller’s needs. Coming in all shapes and sizes, TMCs work with both SMEs and giant multinational corporations.
As well as taking away the time and effort needed to ensure the best or most cost-productive trips are booked, TMCs help clients work to policies that adequately consider duty of care and overall traveller wellbeing.
Embedding duty of care guidelines into the corporate culture, as well as into such policies will help corporates to ensure they are doing everything possible to support their travelling workforce.
Occupational health specialists advise that time away from home and loved ones has an enormous impact on travellers’ wellbeing.
Recognising duty of care and traveller wellbeing
The next generation of business travellers rightly value their wellbeing more and are keener than ever for their employers, who are legally bound to look after workers when travelling for business, to recognise its importance. Beyond the legal obligation, there must be a sincere commitment from corporates towards traveller wellbeing.
Furthermore, occupational health specialists also advise that time away from home and loved ones has an enormous impact on travellers’ wellbeing, which should not be overlooked.
As the UK’s authority on business travel, our aim is that traveller wellness and wellbeing remains high on the agenda. We work hard to create partnerships that allow our TMC members to offer their clients more products that enable them to look after their biggest asset – their employees.
A well-managed wellbeing programme paired with a strong travel and duty of care policy enables staff to feel happier and therefore more productive.
Top tips for business traveller wellbeing
In my many years travelling around the world I identified some coping strategies to keep stress at bay during a business trip. Here are my top three tips to help you:
Sleep: sleepiness, poor cognition, foggy thinking and a lack of alertness can significantly impact your productivity, which is exacerbated when travelling across multiple time zones. Adjusting your bedtime for a few days prior to a long-haul trip can help you to be more in sync with your destination, minimising the effects of jetlag. Seeking light on arrival at your destination can also help to adjust your body clock.
Eat well: choose meals carefully, look at menus online beforehand to identify healthy options. On arrival at the restaurant stick with those choices, it will pay off in the long run by providing sustained energy! Also, resist the urge to drink alcohol. Its negative impact on your wellbeing when travelling should not be underestimated.
Exercise: use the hotel gym or ask the concierge for walks/running routes near your hotel. Plan to include exercise in your daily schedule. If waking early due to jetlag, make the most of the time with an exercise session, it will lift your mood and helps to raise endorphins and offset stress.
More on the BTA: Representing a diverse range of travel management companies – from global companies to small independent specialists and top regional agencies – and their clients, partners and industry associates, BTA is the authority on business travel. Originally founded in 1967, it acts to lobby those who have an impact on the business travel community, together with promoting the activities of its members as the best in quality and value to the business traveller. Beyond Business Travel is delighted to be a new member of the BTA, joining in September 2019.