What is the impact of business travel on mental well-being?

August 25, 2022

According to a recent study by Capital One, 88% of small business owners enjoy business travel. However, since this study, the world has changed significantly with new guidelines set for travel due to Covid-19.

The thought of returning to work for frequent business travelers can be daunting. However, Forbes highlights how Covid-19 will not kill business travel but will return with changes that focus primarily on shorter trips.

Before Covid-19, business travel was firmly on the agenda as a mental health issue in the workplace. In fact, it can seriously affect people's mental health and well-being.

A study by the International SOS Foundation has revealed that business travel contributes to behavioral changes in people in the workplace. These include depression, stress, and anxiety.

With the advancement of technology making accessibility to work while traveling easier, many workers treat their business trips as an office on the go. This has reduced the downtime needed for employees to shut down and take care of themselves.

However, there is also considerable stress in the process of traveling. Missing luggage, flight delays, and being away from loved ones contribute to bad experiences during business travel.


International business travel and mental health

In a previous study based on the correlation between business travel and mental well-being, 200 business travelers were interviewed, and 45% said they felt more stressed on business trips, while 31% felt emotionally drained. More than a quarter of respondents said they experienced more frequent mental health problems, such as anxiety and depression.

Along with the stress of fulfilling your role while on the road, the stress of traveling, and the lack of free time, business travel has physical health implications.

With the likelihood of shorter travel distances as Covid-19 restrictions ease, travel frequency could increase. More travel makes it more difficult to follow a balanced diet or exercise and get good quality sleep.

However, business travel is often considered essential for meetings, training, visiting clients, and winning new business. The problem is that while international business travel opens up opportunities, it also comes at a cost to wellness.


Safeguarding business health and continuity

In recent years, the importance of work-life balance has been emphasized, highlighting the importance of disconnecting from work. This raises the question of what steps organizations and businesses can take to try to protect employees who travel on their behalf. That is why, for example, essay services have become popular among students and among office workers - weekend tours.


But how does managing the risk of business travel stress translate?

There are several stressors associated with business travel. Some of these are common in other work situations, including sudden and unexpected workloads, unclear reporting lines and responsibilities, and rapidly changing circumstances.

However, they may also suffer from specific travel-related stressors, which include: lack of support from a partner, or another support network, isolation from family and friends, and jet lag.

As previously stated, these variables include a lack of sleep, a lack of exercise, and a bad diet. Symptoms of poor mental health may appear as impaired performance, poor concentration, and erratic emotional behavior.


Better support for business travelers

During this uncertain time, business travelers need more support to ensure that mental well-being is considered during return business travel. More organizations must consider implementing procedures to reduce mental health risks for business travelers.

This year, the mental well-being of remote workers has become more widely recognized as people adapt to social distancing and work from home. Along with this and the rise of mental wellness in the workplace, the impact of business-related travel needs careful consideration.

There are internal measures that companies and organizations can take to support employees, such as wellness programs and resilience training, counseling, and regular employee surveys.

However, they must also consider the conditions and quality of business travel and what practical support is available to improve the business travel experience and reduce the impact on mental well-being.

Here, the aim is to ensure that passengers get all the support they need to reduce stress and eliminate the uncertainties and inconveniences associated with business travel.





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