Employee wellness should be a priority for all organizations, and in the mobile workplace that wellness extends beyond the office. Business travel is an essential part of most companies’ success: Harvard Business Review research shows that for every $1 invested in business travel, a company earns $2.90 in profits. However, it’s important that those profits not come at the expense of your employees’ wellbeing. Use these business travel tips to help your employees stay healthy and sane on the road:
Health hazards of frequent business travel
There can be substantial health risks associated with regular travel. Jet lag can lead to impaired immune system responses, higher likelihood of cardiac disease, short-term memory impairment, and even more rapid aging. If the body’s circadian rhythms are interrupted, that can lead to mental health issues. Many people find it difficult to get adequate exercise out of town and find it impossible to cook their own healthy meals. The combination of low activity levels and a reliance on high-fat, high-salt restaurant foods can cause weight gain, fatigue, and a host of other negative side effects.
7 ways to reduce your employees’ travel stress
- Book your employees in hotels with gyms. If you run step competitions within your organization, be sure that your remote and traveling employees are eligible to participate.
- Consider offering reimbursement for exercise classes employees take while traveling.
- Allow employees to schedule an additional night in their hotel so they can rest before or after work meetings.
- Offer a travel gift pack including face mask, earplugs, and travel pillow to facilitate a restful flight.
- Use a streamlined travel expense app that allows for automatic expense entry. Harvard Business Review found that post-trip paperwork can be the most stressful part of the trip.
- Offer assistance with trip planning that prioritizes direct flights to minimize stressful layovers. If connecting flights are necessary, encourage the employee to avoid tightly scheduled layovers that will create worry.
- Avoid booking redeye flights.
- Provide employee education programs on stress management and healthful strategies for business travel.
- Make sure employees have a portable wifi device so they have the freedom to work while they’re traveling and can rest and recuperate as soon as they arrive at the hotel.
When your employees travel for work, they willingly putting their health and well-being on the line for the benefit of your business. Employee wellbeing and employee engagement go hand-in-hand; by making business travel easier and healthier for your employees, you can see better productivity and better business results.