Travel is an inevitable and necessary part of many people’s roles. For all businesses, the need for face-to-face meetings will involve travelling at some point in time. This can, sometimes, be stressful and tiring.
Business Aspects Magazine spoke with travel health and management experts, ExtraVitality, to discuss solutions for reducing the impact of business travel.
Founder of ExtraVitality, Kathy Lewis, explains, “Most organisations’ business policies could be developed to take into account the financial, social, environmental and health impacts of travelling for business. They can measure the cost of business trips, employees’ unproductive use of time and links to illness through stress or fatigue”.
“ExtraVitality shows organisations how to maintain the social impact of business travel and sustain profitability, all while improving employee wellbeing”, continues Kathy.
Some advice for organisations include;
Alternative to Travel
“Know when it is more profitable to hold face-to-face meetings and when return on investment could be greater via Skype, video calls or teleconferencing”, Kathy explains.
“According to the Harvard Business School, face-to-face meetings can generate 400% to 2,000% return on investment. So it’s important to use the most appropriate communication channel for your meeting”.
“Know when to increase flexibility while reducing the frequency of business travel to manage your resources better”, advises Kathy. “Combining meetings into one trip is one approach. Another, is to allow employees a more flexible and often lower cost ticket such as an open return or fully flexible ticket”.
“This will allow them the opportunity to finish business on a productive note and rest up when, or before, travelling back to work”.
“Plan travel to avoid congested peak periods or to meet clients when you’re in ‘zone’ wherever possible. If travelling by air, consider the effect of time zone changes as well as a flight that allows adequate rest. This will enable employees to work effectively once they land”.
“Employees respond differently to travel so some will not be affected by jet lag. Others may suffer more with not being able to sleep on a night flight”, concludes Kathy.
Developing a policy that uses a combination of these initiatives and promotes a multi-disciplinary approach can lead to enhanced financial, social, health and environmental benefits. This, in turn, can help improve organisations’ corporate image and gain a competitive advantage.
It is important not to develop a policy which turns out to be a false economy by putting your employee’s health at risk, your client’s engagement at bay and reduces your return on investment.
For further information about how ExtraVitality can maximise your business travel, please call 0208 536 4100 or visit www.extravitality.co