This year’s Business Travel Show featured presentations and panel discussions with experts from across the industry. We’ve collated our highlights for those who missed the event.
Keeping business travellers healthy, happy and motivated is crucial, which is why it’s important for travel managers to view their programmes through a human lens, as well as a purely financial one.
Avoid Business Travel Fatigue
Psychologist Lucy Rattrie has worked with burned-out business travellers and says it can take months for them to recover from the psychological effects. Putting someone in a meeting on three or four hours’ sleep is not only tough on them, but it’s also unlikely to be productive for the company. And if employees are working in front-line healthcare or transport roles, for example, travel burnout becomes a risk to life. With this in mind, it’s important to always try and seek a balance between the cost to the business and the needs of the employee.
Retain Employees by Prioritising Their Needs
Elizabeth Lloyd of BP Lubricants says it’s easy for travel managers with large programmes to dehumanise travellers. She urges travel managers to look at the values and behaviours of their company and be honest about what they want to achieve from a business perspective. She also highlights changing demographics. What used to be seen as glamorous business travel might not be so desirable today.
This is especially important when you consider that employees will switch jobs for a travel programme that improves their personal welfare – Corinne Béranger from Amadeus shared research revealing 39% of travel managers felt their organisation was taking active steps to improve traveller wellbeing.1
Put Wellbeing on the Agenda
Work out the business case for a welfare programme. Use internal stats and external benchmarks to work out the cost of burnout, stress and medical absences on your organisation and how they could be prevented by reviewing travel options and being prepared to make changes. This robust argument will have more sway with executive boards than an argument based on traveller preferences alone.
- Business travel fatigue is real. The effects can take a long time to overcome and could put lives at risk.
- Businesses must strike a balance between saving money and their travellers’ needs.
- A robust business case will help get leadership buy-in for your wellbeing programme.