Take good care of business travellers

Business travel is increasingly thought of as key to attracting young talent. However, companies do not always promote well-being when travelling for business. Programmes to promote good health are rarely implemented. Let’s see how taking good care of business travellers!

The primary reason for the importance of travellers’ well-being is reported by 72% of travel managers state as being talent attraction and retention. This was highlighted in a study published in 2019 by the business travel agency, BCD Travel. There does seem to be awareness of the critical nature of good welfare when travelling for business. However, only 11% of companies have implemented a well-being programme for travellers, showing a consistent lack of focus on this subject. The survey also reveals that 55% of business travellers believe that their company does have such a programme.

This mismatch between opinion and reality is also evident in other areas. Of the respondents, 90% believe taking leave after a long trip is essential, but only 17% of companies include this in their travel policy. Equally, 90% estimate that psychological support for travellers is necessary, whereas only 14% of companies have these kinds of systems in place.

The absence of initiatives in this area may be detrimental for several reasons. In the context of strong growth in bleisure travel, the extension of a business trip with a leisure stay, has seen an increase in risky behaviour. Sport, cultural trips and excursions of all kinds should be strictly supervised by the company.

Another survey conducted jointly by International SOS, the specialist in medical prevention and safety solutions, with Kingston Business School and Affinity Health at Work, emphasises that reduced alertness, either in the evening or during particular activities, is often the primary cause of accidents and other problems. It also mentions that the simple fact of travelling must be taken into account because frequent travel, alone, inevitably has an impact on stress and general health. Not only does this affect the comfort and well-being of employees, it also leads to a decrease in productivity. In 2013, HEC Carlsonwagonlit made a quantitative estimate by calculating the stress associated with the time spent travelling by air. The conclusion is far from negligible, since the loss equates to $662.

The work carried out by BCD Travel highlights areas for improvement. Of managers surveyed, 83% stated that flight upgrades are important. The same is true for hotels – 82% were in agreement. And 76% recommend avoiding travel during the weekend. This is all the more relevant when we know that 67% of travellers feel they are more engaged in their work because of their international travel.

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