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.