People are more likely to find happiness by spending money on experiences rather than objects. But does this thinking apply to business travel?

Can leaving the office to meet clients, go to conferences and visit other sites really make you happier at work?

According to research done by for Business, 30% of people would take a lower salary if it meant travelling more for work, showing how highly they value business travel. But is business travel the key to happiness at work? We’re going to look at the evidence and find out.

The downsides of business travel

We’re all familiar with the post business trip slump, when you’re tired and drained after a busy few days. For frequent business travellers, these problems can run even deeper. Over 70% of business travellers report increased mood swings, stress and gastrointestinal problems resulting from frequent travel. And, for business travellers flying over 85,000 miles a year, there is an increased risk from exposure to harmful radiation.

None of this sounds like it will make you happier at work

But even with these factors taken into account “work travel is more helpful than harmful” (source: HBR). So what is it about business travel that is so beneficial?

#1 Inspiring creativity and problem-solving

We live in the age of instant messaging and video conferencing. But relying too heavily on such technology robs us of the opportunity to broaden our horizons and think different. In fact, “people are often at their most creative and “cognitively flexible” when spending time in a different setting” (source: HBR).

Staying put in the office could inhibit our ability to problem-solve.

#2 Discover self-confidence through business travel

There are few better ways to build one’s confidence than to step outside the work comfort zone. While travelling for business you’ll inevitably end up in situations that are both unexpected and challenging. Cultural differences play a major role in such trips and if you’re willing to throw yourself into unusual situations, you’ll quickly find that you’re more than capable of dealing with them. And with business travel hacks, we can make our travels easier than ever before.

#3 We’re all adventurers at heart

The for Business study discovered that 62% of travellers are keen to undertake as many activities as possible when visiting a new location, proving that we’re all adventurers at heart.

Discovering hidden gems that aren’t listed on travel websites or simply stumbling across a new way to conduct business will raise your spirits considerably and create timeless memories you won’t find within the endless replies of an email thread.

#4 Indulge in a digital detox

Travelling for work provides breathing space that is easily lost during a day in the office.

Whether you find yourself enjoying a well-deserved drink in the hotel bar after a long day or exploring the sites during a break from meetings, you can take advantage of peace and quiet that will simply enable you to be ‘you’.

Our working lives are constantly interrupted by social media updates, new email notifications and instant messages, but business travel provides the opportunity to indulge in a digital detox. Why not leave your smartphone in the hotel room and reclaim your time while you can?

…just don’t go too far

Travelling far and wide for business definitely has its benefits. It’s capable of making us happier at work, but everyone has their limits. While too much of a good thing can be detrimental to our health, business travel continues to be important – not only for our work, but also for our personal development, growth and happiness.