From airline upgrades to fine dining on the company credit card, the world of business travel appears to be a life that ambitious corporate employees would strive for. However, things aren’t all as they seem when it comes down to the appalling health that people who regularly travel for business experience.
A December 2017 study by researchers from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and the City University of New York shows just how bad business travel can be for your health. It found that poorer behavioral and mental health outcomes increased as the number of nights away from home for business travel grew and that people who traveled 14 nights or more per month for business were most at risk for these symptoms. Higher blood pressure, lower high-density lipoprotein, anxiety, depression, stress, lack of lack of sleep and alcohol dependence are also the results of frequent business travel.
These effects also transfer to the companies themselves, as behavioral and mental health issues can cause reduced employee productivity and absenteeism, as well as possibly strained relationships with partners and suppliers.
Fortunately, there are some methods and techniques that companies can implement to reduce the negative health effects of their employees’ frequent business travels.
Create a Culture Focused on Health
Although decisions made around diet, sleep and other activities essentially fall on individual employees, companies can still provide support through education and training that emphasize healthy business travel habits.
In the office, companies can inspire better sleep quality habits by making a few small improvements within the workplace. In addition to helping regulate the body’s sleep cycles, natural sunlight can boost energy throughout the day and improve an individual’s ability to fall asleep. To try to expose employees to more sunlight, employers can occasionally open window blinds to help let light in the office or encourage employees to get up and walk outside for a few minutes every hour or few hours throughout the day. If employees are overworking late into the night, it may be difficult for them to turn their minds off and sleep, which is pertinent to a good night’s rest. Restrict work to office hours and set rules to prevent work from overflowing into employees’ home life.
In terms of diet, employers can encourage healthy eating by simply adding nutritional food choices in the workplace. Healthy food options can be offered at company meetings and events or provided in office cafeterias or kitchens. By offering healthy food options in the workplace, companies give employees the ability to discover new, nutritional and delicious meals and snacks that they may also want to have on their travels.
Offer Programs to Help Manage Stress
There are a variety of programs that companies can implement to help employees better manage the stresses of work and business travel.
Stress management training is one example. Employers can implement stress management training, which consists of a wide range of methods and tools suited to manage and control stress levels to enhance the daily performance and mood of individuals. By enrolling in stress management training programs, employees can learn to cope with their stress in a healthy manner and get on track to a more calm and manageable life. Stress management training courses provide the techniques and tools to recognize major sources of stress so that employees can be better able to cut that unwanted stress from their business travels before they get overwhelmed.
Cognitive behavioral therapy is also an effective and relatively quick way to treat stress in the workplace. Developed by psychiatrist and psychotherapist Aaron T. Beck in the 1960s, cognitive behavioral therapy helps patients change negative thought processes and behaviors to relieve the symptoms of mental health problems, such as stress, anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder. With approximately eight-to-20 sessions typically taking place over about six months, it’s a short-term therapy where exercises and goals are set to challenge participants and their existing way of thinking. Additionally, because cognitive behavioral therapy can be effective over a fairly short period of time, it’s useful for both employees and organizations as it may reduce absence levels or facilitate an earlier return to work for those who have been out of the office due to stress.
Making travel arrangements with the well-being of employees’ in-mind is also a great tactic for encouraging healthy business travel.
For starters, employers can choose business accommodations with access to healthy food options, like having nearby restaurants that serve organic foods or a grocery store that sells locally-sourced produce. Employees should also have access to decent exercise and fitness facilities. If it’s difficult to find accommodations with well-equipped fitness facilities in the area, companies could provide employees with memberships to national gym chains.
Companies can also reduce the stress that employees experience during their travels by booking services that can make the travel process a lot easier. Instead of having employees drive themselves to the airport and pay for garage parking or use unreliable taxi and ride-sharing services, consider booking them an executive chauffeured car service. This allows them to start their travels off in complete comfort, as they can fully rely on the professionalism, safety standards and service quality of a chauffeured transportation service provider.
At EmpireCLS, we do provide airport transportation, but our services are so much more robust than your typical chauffeured transportation company.
Focused on easing the travel process and making it as stress-free and hassle-free as possible, our dedicated VIP Airport Greeters service enables employees to speed through the airport with no delays, no stress and no inconvenience. Our expert greeters are highly trained to offer a professional, white-glove service that allows employees to truly enjoy the process of air travel when they go away on business.
The EmpireCLS VIP Airport Greeters service includes:
Business travel is necessary for many employees. Although frequent trips can be damaging to one’s health, there are initiatives and programs, like our VIP Airport Greeters service, that companies can put into place to lessen the effects that regular business travel has on employees.
Curious to learn more about how EmpireCLS’ VIP Airport Greeters can create stress-free business travel for your employees? Get in touch!