I was envious this morning as a patient was telling me about all of the upcoming business trips he had coming up. As someone that works in a business that requires almost no travel, I may have a distorted view of reality of what business travel is all about.
When I asked my patient if he was going to have any fun on his trips, he gave me a look that could be described, at best, as odd. “Kevin, you don’t travel much do you?”, he asked. “It is absolutely miserable, I am twice as stressed out traveling than I am in any meeting.”
That got me thinking. Was it him or is business travel that stressful? Harvard Business Review tells me it is that stressful.
As someone that does not need to travel, I have always questioned if it was really necessary. According to an Oxford Economics survey, the Return on Investment of traveling is between 400% and 2000%
Maybe I should start traveling!
Now as they say, nothing in life is free. The cost of this great ROI is quite often stress on the traveler. The study identified the four most common areas of stress in travelers:
- Delayed or lost baggage
- Poor internet connections
- Medium and long haul economy flights
- Airport delays or layovers
What all of these issues really create is lost time. As the day to day office work accumulates stress levels rise. An international survey found that some managers, faced with a week or more of emails, would simply delete them all upon returning to the office.
Try a few of these tips to see if you can help yourself out:
- Always have a go bag packed. You know what you will always need on a trip; phone charger, toiletries, etc… buy extras of everything and leave these in your travel bag
- For men, a wrinked tie is a bad look…roll it up tight and put it in a toilet paper tube…no wrinkles
- Beat jet lag with excercise, hydration and sunlight.
- Download 30-40 emails to your laptop, take the time in flight to answer them … less work waiting for you on return is less stress!
While individuals can find their own ways to destress (hello, chiropractic!), companies can contribute in ways as well.
Ask your company about any of the following and see your stress levels shrink a bit:
- Allow for work from home day after long trips
- Paying for a spouse if the trip requires a weekend stay
- If luggage lost, allow employee to purchase enough of a wardrobe for a day or two
- Pay for access to business class lounges if you don’t automatically qualify
I think that everyone can agree that stress is very real and when a top executive is not working or is working at less than optimal firms lose money. If we can get everyone on the same page of reducing this stress, everyone will win.
Chiropractic is fantastic at reducing stress in the body. Consider seeing your chiropractor for an adjustment after business travel. Your body will thank you for it!