How to support your employees that travel regularly
July 28 2022 - Travelling for business can be a demanding process, especially for those employees that are out on the road more often than not. Policies surrounding business travel have typically been relatively basic - outlining budgets, transport options and any dangers or threats surrounding the destination. However, employees that travel regularly face a whole different set of risks that many employers donít even consider.
Studies have shown that frequent business travellers are at higher risk of developing chronic illnesses such as obesity and high blood pressure, as well as more likely to suffer from mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. The identified causes of these risks are an improper diet, lack of exercise, disturbed sleeping patterns and alcohol or smoking dependencies in some cases. With these concerns in mind, how can employers support employees who travel frequently on behalf of the company?
Encourage proper nutrition
Cost-effectiveness is, of course, an important factor in business travel but it shouldnít outweigh the physical and mental wellbeing of your staff. You can encourage business travellers to eat a balanced and nutritious diet by providing an appropriate food and drink allowance. Alternatively, you can book accommodation with cooking facilities to give them the option of preparing their own meals. To allow this, you could move away from booking hotels and opt for corporate accommodation in cities such as London that offer more functionality.
Provide exercise facilities
It is ultimately the choice of the employee if they want to exercise while they are away on business, but your choice of accommodation should provide such facilities where possible. Exercise is an effective way to boost physical and mental health, which can help to elevate performance and motivation. Furthermore, exercise can promote better sleeping patterns and quality which are key to lowering the risk of long-term chronic illness.
Maintain work and leisure balance
It can be easy to fall into the habit of working all day when youíre away on business, but this can lead to heightened stress levels and further disrupt sleeping patterns. Ensure that your employees are taking the personal time that they need around their work commitments, whether it be sightseeing, exercising or exploring the local area. Work-life balance is important in the office, and itís just as important while youíre away on business.
Maintain communication and support
Solo business travel can be a lonely place for employees, particularly on extended or frequent trips. Encourage feedback and communication from your travelling staff to ensure that any concerns are dealt with. Isolation can increase the risk of mental health issues such as depression, so be sure to offer support or change travel schedules if there are any worrying signs.