Over the past decade, business traveler well-being has evolved into a critical topic – and for good reason. When it comes to corporate travelers, well-being can be affected by long-haul flights, time zone adjustments and the emotional demands of navigating unfamiliar cities.
All these contribute to the complexity of maintaining one's mental well-being. In this guide, we'll delve into the concept of business traveler well-being, offering insights, tips and strategies to help business travelers stay healthy and productive while on the road.
What is business traveler well-being?
Corporate well-being is a multifaceted concept that encompasses physical, mental and emotional health. It involves carefully maintaining a state of internal and external equilibrium while navigating the challenges and opportunities that business travel presents.
This differs from corporate traveler safety, which primarily focuses on ensuring one's physical security during trips.
How to preserve corporate well-being
There are four key elements to maintaining corporate business travel well-being while on a trip. These include:
1. Travel with purpose
Define clear objectives for corporate trips to maintain focus and reduce stress. This involves a collaborative effort between the business traveler and the travel manager.
The traveler should communicate their goals for the trip, whether it's attending a conference, meeting with clients or exploring new business opportunities. Simultaneously, the travel manager should ensure that the trip aligns with the company's overall objectives and policies.
The benefits of this include:
- Clarity of purpose reduces ambiguity and anxiety.
- Both parties understand the trip's significance, making it easier to prioritize tasks.
- Aligned objectives contribute to cost-effective and productive travel.
2. Travel comfortably
Opt for comfortable travel arrangements, from seating on flights to lodging choices. This might also be included in travel policy and out of your control. Typically, with higher comfort comes higher productivity. Comfortable travel arrangements are essential for business travelers. This encompasses several aspects:
- Seating on flights – if your travel policy allows, choose seats that offer extra legroom or comfort features. For longer flights, consider premium cabin classes for better recline options, more space and enhanced amenities.
- Lodging choices – select accommodations that prioritize comfort and convenience. Look for hotels with comfortable beds, quiet rooms and the necessary facilities for relaxation and work. Use the Booking.com for Business filters and reviews for this purpose.
The benefits of this include:
- Physical comfort leading to reduced fatigue and stress
- Increased comfort often translates to higher productivity
- A comfortable stay can contribute to a better overall travel experience
3. Travel safely
Familiarize yourself with safety guidelines and follow them diligently on personal and corporate levels regularly. Here's how to ensure safety:
- Personal safety – check safety guidelines for your destination, such as local laws, customs and emergency contact information. Carry necessary identification and travel documents securely.
- Business safety – comply with your company's safety policies, whether it's regarding travel insurance, safety protocols or emergency procedures. Regularly check in with colleagues or superiors to maintain communication and update on your whereabouts.
The benefits of this include:
- Ensuring safety reduces the risk of accidents and unforeseen challenges
- Compliance with company safety policies demonstrates responsibility and professionalism
- Being prepared and vigilant enhances your confidence and reduces stress
4. Travel smart
Plan your itinerary to minimize jet lag and maximize efficiency. Efficient travel involves smart planning to make the most of your trip. Here's how to achieve it:
- Minimize jet lag – adjust your schedule before departure to align with your destination's time zone. Stay hydrated during the flight, avoid excessive alcohol or caffeine and take short walks to reduce the effects of jet lag, both on and after your flight.
- Train over plane – whenever feasible, consider train travel over air travel for shorter distances, which can be less taxing on the body. According to recent studies, opting for the train over air travel is also significantly more sustainable.
The benefits of this include:
- Minimizing jet lag enhances your alertness and overall well-being
- Efficient use of transportation reduces travel-related stress and expenses
- Being well-prepared allows you to focus on your business objectives
Tips for corporate traveler well-being on the road
Here are some practical tips to keep you feeling your best while on the road:
- Keep healthy snacks on hand to maintain energy levels.
- Stick to a balanced diet, even when dining out.
- Monitor your sleep schedule and prioritize rest.
- Don't skip breakfast; it's the most important meal of the day.
- Seek accommodations with a fitness center for convenient workouts.
- Maintain contact with friends and family for emotional support.
- Increase mobility with stretching exercises during long flights or drives.
- Stay hydrated throughout your journey.
- Keep necessary medications easily accessible.
- Take time for leisure activities to relax and recharge.
- Pack wisely, with essentials and versatile clothing.
- Utilize wellness apps for meditation and stress relief.
Incorporating these practices into your business travel routine can significantly enhance your well-being and overall travel experience. By setting clear objectives, prioritizing comfort and safety and planning smartly, you'll not only reduce stress but also boost productivity and satisfaction during your corporate journeys.
Company attitudes toward corporate traveler well-being
Employers are increasingly recognizing the importance of employee well-being during business travel. Companies that prioritize their employees' health and comfort often reap the rewards of increased productivity and job satisfaction.
Business traveler stress and productivity
Stress is a common companion on business trips, but it doesn't have to hinder productivity. Strategies such as time management, setting realistic expectations and maintaining a healthy work-life balance can help mitigate stress and boost productivity.
5 strategies for improved corporate travel well-being
1. Plan ahead
Planning ahead is the cornerstone of a successful and stress-free business trip. Here's how to execute this strategy effectively:
- Itinerary – create a detailed itinerary that outlines your meetings, events and free time. This helps you visualize your schedule and allocate time wisely.
- Travel documents – ensure all necessary travel documents, such as passport, visas and travel insurance are up to date well in advance. Avoid last-minute rushes and complications.
- Packing – pack strategically, making a checklist of essential items that includes chargers, adapters, important work documents and any specific attire needed for meetings or events.
- Emergency planning – have a contingency plan in case of travel disruptions, flight delays or unexpected issues. Carry contact information for your company's travel support or emergency services.
2. Stay active
Physical activity is vital for maintaining well-being during business trips. Here's how to make it a part of your routine:
- Exercise equipment – utilize hotel fitness centers or pack resistance bands, workout clothes or portable exercise equipment to facilitate easy workouts in your room.
- Walking and exploration – explore your destination on foot whenever possible. Walking not only provides exercise but also offers an opportunity to discover the local culture and scenery.
- Workout apps – download fitness apps that offer guided workouts, yoga sessions or short exercises you can do in your hotel room.
3. Prioritize sleep
Quality sleep is essential for maintaining productivity and focus during business travel. Here's how to prioritize it:
- Sleep routine – stick to a consistent sleep schedule, even when travelling across time zones. Establishing a routine helps regulate your body's internal clock.
- Sleep environment – create a comfortable sleep environment by adjusting room temperature, using blackout curtains and reducing noise disturbances.
- Limit screen time – avoid screens (phones, tablets, laptops) at least an hour before bedtime, as the blue light emitted can disrupt your sleep patterns.
- Relaxation techniques – practice relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation or progressive muscle relaxation to calm your mind before sleep.
4. Healthy eating
Maintaining a balanced diet can be challenging while travelling, but it's crucial for well-being. Here's how to make healthier choices:
- Research dining options – before your trip, research local restaurants or eateries that offer nutritious menu items. Look for places that serve fresh and wholesome foods. This is also hugely relevant if you have any specific dietary requirements such as allergies or are looking for vegan options.
- Portion control – be mindful of portion sizes to avoid overeating. Opt for smaller, more frequent meals to maintain energy levels throughout the day.
- Stay hydrated – drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, especially during flights or in dry climates. Limit sugary drinks and excessive caffeine.
- Healthy snacking – keep healthy snacks like nuts, fruits or protein bars on hand to curb hunger and prevent unhealthy food choices.
Mindfulness involves being fully present in the moment and can be a powerful tool for managing stress. Here's how to incorporate it into your travel routine:
- Breathing exercises – practice deep breathing exercises to calm your mind and reduce stress. These can be done anywhere, whether waiting at the airport or before important meetings.
- Mindful eating – pay attention to the flavors and textures of your food. Eating mindfully can enhance the dining experience and prevent overindulgence.
- Meditation – dedicate a few minutes each day to meditate. Use mindfulness apps or guided sessions to help you relax and stay centered.
- Stay present – try to stay present in the moment, appreciating the sights, sounds and experiences of your destination rather than constantly focusing on work.
Business traveler well-being is a holistic approach to maintaining health and productivity during corporate journeys for both employees and companies. By incorporating the tips and strategies outlined in this guide, you can make your business trips more enjoyable, less stressful and ultimately more successful.