Although travel is often perceived as glamorous: road warriors know glamour is hard to find when travelling for business.
As referenced by Gert Kriel of FirstRand at ABTA’s May Forum recently, corporate travellers say the most stressful part of their business travel is the fact that they lose the daily references that make them who they are. At home, people get up, have coffee, bring their kids to school, and do other routine tasks. All of this falls away when travelling. You sleep in a different bed, keep different times, eat different food and even watch different things on TV. This makes travel extremely disruptive.
Fortunately, companies are starting to take note. Whereas employers used to think travellers simply needed to accept the fact that travel was part of the employment contract, they now recognise that frequent travellers are burning out more easily and are not as productive as non-travellers. Companies are starting to look at ways they can assist the traveller and reduce traveller friction.
1. Personalise Business Travel
One of the ways companies are reducing traveller friction is through personalisation. This doesn’t have to consist of major initiatives: simply letting the traveller choose which seat he or she would prefer (aisle, middle or window) can make a significant difference.
Allowing travellers more choice when it comes to hotels is another way to reduce the stress and offer more personalisation. By giving the employee some freedom, the company shows they are more conscious and aware of what the traveller wants.
2. Stay Connected
Staying connected to the office and to home is key to reduce stress when travelling for business.
Of course, it’s important to be able to touch base with your family when away on business, but staying connected with your team at the office is equally important. Let them know how your meetings are going and make sure you keep your team idea flow going.
Road warriors often feel quite isolated when away as if they’re living in a bubble. This can not only create loneliness, but can also lead to dangerous situations. If something happens – even a minor pickpocketing incidence – people can become panicked when they feel disconnected and make the wrong decisions.
3. Combine business and leisure
Taking an extra day at the end of a business trip can help travellers feel more relaxed. They can go and see the city, have a spa day, or go down to the beach for a day to unwind a bit.
Each corporate trip tends to blend into the next without travellers even remembering where they were. All they remember is the boardroom, the hotel and the airport. Taking that extra day to have a bit of fun and explore the destination is important.
It’s crucial to remember that wear and tear is a real thing for road warriors. They should never feel bad to let their company know how they’re feeling, and look for ways to make their business travel just a bit more comfortable and less stressful.