Traveling for any reason is usually stressful, it's especially so for business travelers. According to a new national survey conducted by On Call International, a travel risk management company, over one-third of American business travelers reported feeling more stressed than usual while traveling.
The survey also revealed how impactful the frantic, hectic, high-pressure nature of business travel is on perpetuating unhealthy workout, eating and sleeping habits. Some such habits include an unhealthy diet, lack of regular exercise and taking part in unhealthy vices – 16 percent of travelers said they drink more on business trips than they usually do, and 8 percent said they are more likely to smoke cigarettes.
"These results are concerning, and it is up to both business travelers and their employers to turn the trend around," Dr. William Siegart, chief medical officer at On Call International, said in a statement. "Organizations have a duty of care to ensure the health and safety of their traveling employees and should focus on mitigating the dangers of their travelers falling into unhealthy habits on the road."
In light of these findings, Dr. Siegart recommends organizations take an active role in preparing their employees for business travel, such as hosting pre-travel workshops that focus on reinforcing healthy travel behaviors and encourage travelers to identify and better manage their most frequent causes of stress.
"These best practices can also have a positive impact on travelers' overall, long-term health," Dr. Siegart stated.
While organizations should step up and be more invested in the health and well-being of their traveling employees, travelers should become more proactive and do everything in their power to make their trips run as smoothly as possible. Here are some tips for business travelers to help make the most of their time while they're away.
1. Plan ahead to save time.
Plan as many details in advance as possible. Try creating a travel checklist and check out programs for expediting the airport security process, such as Global Entry for international travel and Clear for domestic and international travel.
2. Use travel apps.
Use travel apps such as Yelp and Trip Advisor to help you find hotels and places to eat, CamCard to scan and save all the business cards you collected, and Expensify to capture and itemize receipts, mileage, and other expenses. This will keep you organized and reduce stress during your trip.
3. Clarify expectations with your supervisor.
In the days leading up to your trip, meet with your manager to set clear goals and objectives, and try to connect as often as possible while you're away.
4. Take advantage of downtime.
Spending every moment of your trip doing work only adds to the stress of travel. Use short lulls in your trip to unplug, recharge, and explore when possible.