Business travel have many advantages: making contacts, dealing with the customer directly or learning from the experiences of other colleagues in the industry. Travelling for business on a regular basis also has its disadvantages: it affects health and leads to negative social side effects. But, to what extent are corporate travellers aware of how these trips affect them?
Work has a direct effect on your personal life and if your profession also requires you to travel, as it does for sales representatives, the consequences are even greater. To investigate the subject and learn more about the effects, Captio, a business travel expense management platform, has conducted a study on how people's personal lives are affected by business trips to see to what extent travellers feel their trips affect their personal lives. To do so, they have asked more than 200 business travellers.
Firstly, 54% of the business travellers who completed the survey say that they are quite affected by business trips. Why? The main reason is the difficulty involved in balancing work and family life. Secondly, it is complicated to follow a healthy lifestyle. Because meals at after-work bars are not generally part of a healthy diet. As a result, in the long term other consequences of frequent business trips include being overweight and higher blood sugar levels.
Besides the physiological effects, such as jetlag, there are also less evident but still significant psychological and emotional impacts. Disorders such as 'travel disorientation', which is the result of constantly changing location and time zone, are a reality. Furthermore, the journey itself is also a source of stress.
Finally, there are social effects that also affect relatives and friends. Distance, loneliness and the responsibilities the other member of the couple has to assume can have negative effects on the relationship.
To combat the effects of constant business trips, you can use these suggestions:
- Adapt to the new schedule a week before the journey
- During the trip, try to eat as healthily as possible
- It is also important to drink a lot of liquid because fatigue causes dehydration
- Plan well ahead to avoid stress
- Communication with your family is essential before, during and after the trip
Stress, the main factor
Stress is widely associated with business travel but, even so, a large majority of those who took the survey say they feel little or no stress as a result of their business trips.
The causes of stress for a person on a business trip include irregular timetables, changing plans and lack of predictability. Another important factor is the difficulty involved in making the trip and working day compatible, since travellers often have to carry on doing their everyday office work.
The best part of business travel
Despite the effect on personal life, almost half the professionals say they enjoy business travel 'a lot' or 'quite a lot'. What they like most is visiting new places (57.1% of those taking the survey), followed by opportunities for professional development, having direct contact with customers and suppliers, and networking. On the other hand, time lost in transit, spending time away from home and not being able to see the sights during the trip are the aspects they most dislike.