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Corporations often require that their employees travel for overnight or more extensively to stay competitive. Although business travel may be good for the corporation, it can be taxing on the traveler. Frequent corporate travel has been shown to cause high degrees of stress as travelers must forego quality time with family or friends, disrupt their routines and skip full nights of sleep.

It’s a proven fact that healthier employees have higher work performance, so it is important to support your corporate travelers by promoting healthy travel habits and wellness programs.  Here are some ways to ensure that your employees sustain optimal health on the road.

Encourage Ideal Flight Times

Avoiding fatigue is one of the main difficulties with which your frequent travelers must contend.  Red eye flights, sleepless nights and absurdly early mornings deplete them.  A recent study conducted by GBTA showed that more corporations now allow business travelers the choice for flight arrival/departure times that match their needs.   This increases business traveler satisfaction and performance levels.

Offer Wellness Programs

Keeping employees happy and healthy on the road pays big dividends.  Interestingly, one of the best ways to support traveler health is back at the office!   Corporations have begun to recognize that wellness programs offered in-house can decrease employee turnover and yield a highly sought-after talent pool. Wellness programs help travelers to feel valued, and, in turn, their performance improves. Successful examples of wellness programs include:

  • Flexible work hours
  • On-site fitness classes
  • Healthy office snacks
  • Remote working days
  • Screenings and health assessments
  • Employee lounge
  • Reward for loyalty, performance, or meeting a physical goal

While some of these ideas are great, they may not be appropriate for all businesses. Travel managers can survey employees for suggestions to begin a wellness program or to revamp one that is already in place.

Promote Exercise on the Road

It is especially challenging to stick with any kind of a work-out schedule when travelers are suffering from jet lag, balancing a hectic schedule, and adapting to different time zones during business travel.  Emphasize to your travelers how important it is to exercise even on the road and make it accessible for them to do so by selecting hotel suppliers with fitness centers onsite. If the hotel is located in a well-lit and well-traveled area of the city, travelers might be inclined to take a walk or a run outdoors for exercise as well.

Travel Hacks to Stay Fit

When people are sufficiently motivated to look after their health, they will stick with it even during business travel. Travel managers can prevent travelers from backsliding while on the road by providing a list of helpful fitness and nutrition apps in the corporate intranet portal for their travelers to download.

Apps like BeachBody and Les Mills On Demand offer fitness routines that travelers can do anywhere without gym equipment.  Headspace has meditations to reduce stress. Nutrition apps like the CDC food app, GF (gluten free app) or Happy Cow (vegan-friendly app) help travelers identify healthy restaurants nearby.

Frequent business travel wreaks havoc on travelers’ diet. A change in types of food, food preparation, water and environment often play a role in how we feel.

Offer your travelers tips like these to stay healthy on the road:

  • Pack healthy snacks to avoid grab-and-go at the airport
  • Exercise (even if you do not feel like it)
  • Remain hydrated
  • Eat breakfast
  • Get enough sleep
  • Plan ahead whether it is for a dinner with clients or snacks in the office.
  • Partner with a colleague to help you stay accountable.
  • Utilize fitness & nutrition apps

Precautions While Traveling

Most corporate travel managers consider both safety and well-being bundled together as a part of their Duty of Care.  Your employees must understand how to stay safe in strange neighborhoods and hotels by using certain precautions. Business travelers should always have a smartphone with emergency contact telephone numbers, and a manager should know where employees are located at different times of the day or the night.

Traveler Health is in Best Interest of the Corporation

Because decreased productivity often is the result of deteriorating physical and mental capacity, it behooves the corporation to ensure, as much as feasible, that their employees remain as healthy as possible when they are away on business trips.  We hope these tips and strategies will help you promote healthy habits for your business travelers.