Business travel is not the glamourous perk many will have you believe it is. What is the response you get when you tell friends of yet another business trip you are about to embark on? You probably get some responses that suggest how lucky you are to stay in luxury accommodation and sip on a glass of wine in the airport business lounge. But for those you don’t go on many if any business trips it is difficult to explain why it may not be so great.
Researches at the University in Surrey, UK have published a study which looked at the more difficult nature of business travel. Yes, a lot of worldliness is acquired however, there are sacrifices made too and for some this can have a greater negative impact than for others.
Impact of frequent business travel
The study found three consequences of frequent travel – psychological and emotional, social and physiological.
- Physiological would be the impact of travel to ones health – jet lag, increasing risk of heart attack and stroke, dangers of deep vein thrombosis, exposure to germs. Jet-lag can affect sleep patterns, digestive system and mood with some travellers suffering the after effects for up to 11 days post travel.
- Routine is disrupted and with that exercise and healthy eating ‘fall by the wayside’, which then has a knock on effect to your wellbeing.
- Social impact – marriage can suffer, child behaviour maybe impacted as a result of domestic responsibilities being taken-up by just one parent and the stress this can cause.
- Psychological – the stress of air travel particularly going through passport controls, rushing to meet schedules and security worries. Lost-time while travelling also adds to our stress levels
Access to technology such as SKYPE makes it easier to keep in touch with loved ones offering some level of comfort to those who travel frequently and away from home for more than a night at a time.
Serviced apartments and their role in ‘happier’ business travel
- Routine – because they are often located within residential developments they have some resemblance to home with bedroom/s separate from the living area and apartment inclusive of a kitchen and dining area. Some have a dedicated desk or work station in the living area with free 24 hour internet connection. Separating sleep area from a ‘home-office’ can have a positive psychological effect on letting go of work stress before retiring to ones bed.
- Healthier eating – serviced apartments have well equipped kitchens with all the utensils and appliances to prepare healthy meals rather than eating out. With many super-markets now also offering a free click n’ collect service or delivery for a nominal fee, eating nutritious meals and reducing the sacrifice travel has on our diets is possible with a little organisation.
- Exercise routine – Some serviced apartments have a fitness room with free access to all guests. If cycling is your means of local transport or training, some serviced apartments will also organise a secure bicycle lock-up. Airline luggage weight restrictions and therefore being able to pack sufficient work-out clothing for the duration of a trip is sometimes given as the excuse for not getting exercising. Well, the good news is that serviced apartments have a washing machine leaving no excuse for having clean kit for each day of your trip. And, many have a balcony you can air your running shoes out on!
While frequent travel may bare some burden to our health and well-being, there are options available to help reduce the negative impact.