Business travel can impact mental health, especially if it is frequent or unpredictable. Employees who travel for business may experience:
- Jet lag
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Social isolation
- Difficulty maintaining work-life balance
- Stress from meeting deadlines and dealing with unexpected problems
A recent survey by Opinium on behalf of World Travel Protection found that the most common mental health implications of business travel are exhaustion (32%), stress (30%), homesickness (29%), and anxiety (28%).
Supporting employees who travel for business.
As the travel industry continues to navigate the new post-covid normal, employers should prioritise the well-being of their employees and take concrete steps to ensure safe and stress-free travel.
To promote a positive health and productivity, increased communication, pre-travel briefings, the use of travel apps and other measures can support and address the concerns of business travellers.
Strategies for travel support:
- Provide clear and realistic expectations. Employees should know what to expect in terms of workload, deadlines, and travel arrangements.
- Be flexible with work schedules. Employees who are travelling may need to work odd hours to accommodate time zone changes and meeting schedules.
- Provide support for social connection. Employees who are travelling may feel isolated from their colleagues and friends. Encourage them to stay in touch with their loved ones and to take advantage of opportunities to socialize with other business travellers.
- Be aware of the signs of stress and burnout. If you notice that an employee is struggling, offer them support and encourage them to seek professional help if needed.
Travel Risk Management Strategies:
Travel risk management includes identifying, assessing, and mitigating the risks associated with business travel, especially risks to the employee’s physical safety, mental health, and security.
Specific strategies to protect the mental health of employees include:
- Developing a travel risk assessment process. This process should be used to identify the risks associated with each trip and to develop mitigation strategies.
- Providing employees with training on travel safety and security. This training should include information on how to avoid common travel scams, cybersecurity, mental and physical assessments, how to stay safe in different environments, and how to deal with emergencies.
- Providing employees with comprehensive travel insurance cover and with access to travel assistance services. These services can provide employees with support and advice in the event of an emergency.
- By implementing these strategies, you can support the mental health of your employees, even when they are travelling for business.
Here are some additional tips for supporting the mental health of employees who travel for business:
- Encourage employees to talk about their experiences. This can help them to process their emotions and to feel less isolated.
- Be understanding and supportive. Remember that travelling for business can be stressful and demanding.
- Offer employees resources and support. This could include providing them with access to mental health professionals, employee assistance programs, or other resources.
By taking these steps, you can help to ensure that your employees have a positive experience when travelling for business and that they return to work feeling refreshed and motivated.
For more information on comprehensive travel insurance protection, contact AFA to chat with our team.
For more information on World Travel Protection and Mental Health – click here