Busi­ness Travel

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Many peo­ple find the idea of busi­ness travel to be a nice respite from the day-to-day of­fice job but, for those who do it fre­quently, it takes a toll. Are you a part of the glam­orous world of busi­ness travel but are find­ing less than glam­orous?

“Life work­ing in a global busi­ness is char­ac­ter­ized by con­stant switch­ing be­tween time zones, in­for­ma­tion ex­change and lots of travel. Yet de­spite the glam­orous im­age that comes to mind when we think of jet-set­ting busi­ness trav­el­ers, the re­al­ity is any­thing but: sleep depri­va­tion, added stress and ill­ness are all com­mon pit­falls of fre­quent travel,” writes pro­fes­sor Se­bas­tian Re­iche, Pro­fes­sor of Manag­ing Peo­ple in Or­ga­ni­za­tions at IESE Busi­ness School.:

One of the ways to com­bat these pit­falls is to im­pose time lim­its on your day and your daily ac­tiv­i­ties.

“In a vi­brant global en­vi­ron­ment, em­ploy­ees are of­ten ex­pected to be avail­able 24/7, par­tic­i­pate in early morn­ing or late night con­fer­ence calls, and travel for their busi­ness meet­ings out­side of their work­ing hours,” says Re­iche.

He rec­om­mends hav­ing manda­tory va­ca­tion days and email and phone call black­out times. Re­iche also sug­gests that com­pa­nies con­sider travel times, travel di­rec­tion such East or West, as well as time zones be­fore book­ing you flights.

Com­pa­nies can also help em­ploy­ees by arm­ing them with smart tech such as sleep man­age­ment de­vices or ac­cess to nap pods.

Busi­ness travel can be stress­ful for em­ploy­ees and hav­ing these added ben­e­fits can make work­days on the road more pro­duc­tive.

1. En­cour­ag­ing or im­pos­ing work-time lim­its. In a vi­brant global en­vi­ron­ment, em­ploy­ees are of­ten ex­pected to be avail­able 24/7, par­tic­i­pate in early morn­ing or late night con­fer­ence calls, and travel for their busi­ness meet­ings out­side of their work­ing hours. All of this com­pounds the pos­si­bil­ity of dis­rupt­ing sleep­ing rou­tines. Some ways that firms can en­cour­age work-time lim­its in­clude: • E-mail and phone call black­out times • Manda­tory va­ca­tion days

2. Be­ing con­sid­er­ate of travel times, travel di­rec­tion and time zones.

• Travel di­rec­tion such East or West, and the num­ber of time zones to be crossed

• Through the use of flex­i­ble travel op­por­tu­ni­ties

• En­sur­ing tele­con­fer­enc­ing with em­ploy­ees around the world is mind­ful of lo­cal times.

3. Pro­vid­ing phys­i­cal so­lu­tions. • Pro­vid­ing em­ploy­ees with smart tech­nol­ogy to help with sleep man­age­ment

• An­other op­tion to look into is sleep or nap pods. Although they are con­sid­ered by some to be a prime ex­am­ple of ‘out­ra­geous work­place lux­ury’, sup­ply­ing em­ploy­ees with ar­eas to sleep or nap at work, such as Google´s nap pods, could be use­ful.

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