It should come as no surprise, but your employees are stressed out about work. In fact, stress awareness studies show that 83% of Americans feel stressed about their jobs. And, when combined with the stresses of traveling, your traveling team members are particularly at-risk for experiencing the ill effects of workplace stress
What can you do as an executive to help limit stress and promote wellness among your travelers? Here’s a look at some of the health risks related to travel, as well as ideas for de-stressing business travel and your workplace as a whole.
Travel-Related Health Risks
The side effects of business travel can be pointed and painful. In fact, about 70% of frequent business travelers experience gastrointestinal issues, trouble sleeping, mood swings, disorientation and similar issues. These side effects can certainly hurt a team member’s performance at work, but they can also augur more serious health issues down the road.
Long-term health risks for frequent business travelers include accelerated aging and the increased likelihood of heart attack, stroke and deep-vein thrombosis. Business travel is a necessity for many companies. But employees are among your most valuable assets. Executives are left to strike the difficult balance of sending their best team members on the road while also caring for their health and wellness.
Ideas for Limiting Stress and Promoting Health
April is Stress Awareness Month, which makes this the perfect time to address the health and wellness of your traveling employees. Here’s a look at 5 specific things you can do to make the workplace less stressful for travelers:
- Approvals: Make sure a business trip is absolutely necessary before sending a team member out on the road. The best way to save money on business travel and to lower the stress levels of your employees is to approve only work travel that is absolutely necessary.
- Schedules: Do you have the right travel technology and tools in place? New technology can help you track how often specific team members are traveling, and it can even help you calculate an ROI for those trips. If an employee has been on the road week after week and his or her ROI is starting to slip, it might be time for a break.
- Flexibility: Traveling employees are typically high-level, experienced and accomplished. So feel free to give them some added flexibility. Make it clear that they can work from home on a Friday after working abroad all week, or let them come in late the morning after taking a late-night flight. These small steps toward flexibility can make a big difference over time.
- Policies: Your company must have the right travel policy in place. Modern travel policies are comprehensive and they address a company’s specific priorities — among which should always be the health and wellness of team members who are working away from the office.
- Training: Make sure your team members are equipped to take care of themselves while traveling. As part of travel policy training, share tips and insights for eating right, staying in shape and getting sleep while away from the office.
The benefits of helping your team members de-stress are plentiful. Less stress leads to less absenteeism, lower health care costs, lower turnover and increased productivity. Which is to say: Your investment in helping team members de-stress can pay big dividends.
Business Travel That Pays Off While Promoting Wellness
Your travelers are often your most highly valued team members. Taking care of them and promoting their health and wellness just makes common sense.
At JTB Business Travel, we are a comprehensive corporate travel agency that focuses on common sense with every service we provide and every recommendation we make. We know that your company’s travel is an investment that demands a return, and we also know that your travelers are highly valued team members whose wellness is of the utmost importance. We can help your company travel effectively while promoting the health of team members.
Contact us today about our common sense approach to business travel.