Business travel can affect travellers very differently, however, even for the most well-travelled businessperson, there may come a time when the novelty of living away from home, even if staying in luxurious hotels, could wear off. At it’s most extreme, business travel could even start to take it’s toll on physical and mental health. Which raises the question, can business travel become too much? Should companies have procedures in place which monitor how many business trips an employee takes over a given period?
Let’s first take a look at how relentless travel schedules could affect you.
Your physical health
It’s not hard to tell when business travel has started impacting on your physical health, we’re sure everyone has experienced some tiredness after a day spent travelling, or the dreaded effects of jet lag after a long-haul flight. You feel physically drained, your feet ache, your eyes feel heavy and all you can think about is catching up on some much-needed sleep! Over a long-term basis, the physical effects on your health can start creeping up on you, leaving you finding it hard to concentrate at work and in meetings, and feeling unable to keep up with your usual schedule.
Your mental health
Unfortunately, it can sometimes be a little bit tougher to spot the early warning signs of mental fatigue, quite often the symptoms are left too late until they feel overwhelming It’s best to be aware of these, so that you can take precautions to avoid reaching mental burn out. If you’ve ever felt unable to concentrate, or felt more withdrawn than usual, or perhaps you’re feeling emotional for no reason, then these could all be signs that your mental health needs some TLC.
What can businesses do to help their most frequent travellers?
When it comes to considering your travellers’ wellbeing remember that each individual is different; it’s impossible to say what is classed as too much travel, because every traveller has their own limits and will cope with travel differently. Indeed, some will love it and remain enthused and passionate about jet-setting around the globe!
That being said, we do not believe that a limit should be placed on travelling, instead we think it’s vitally important for employers to have a supportive and well considered duty of care policy.
A duty of care campaign needs to encompass both physical and mental health, and allow travellers to be honest and upfront with their direct managers if they feel that they need to temporarily postpone or reschedule a business trip due to extreme fatigue. It’s also helpful to communicate directly with your employees, and ensure they understand how best to look after their own wellbeing – physically and mentally – when travelling for business.
If you’re a business traveller and would like to know more about improving your own wellbeing, read our advice here. If you’re an employer and want to improve your duty of care campaign, find out more about duty of care here.