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May 5, 2020

TripActions Celebrates Business Travel Wellbeing Day

How often do you feel and think your best while traveling for business? Our community wants it to be the best possible.

Today marks the first global Business Travel Wellbeing Day, which encourages the industry -- from business travelers to travel managers to travel companies -- to rethink what it means to feel and think our best while traveling frequently for work. The initiative is spearheaded by The Business Travel Wellbeing Community, which is a mix of researchers, scientists, psychologists, and travel industry veterans who came together to shift the narrative around well-being and where it intersects with business travel.

An Opportunity to Realign

This is a particularly good time to be rethinking how you can best support your business travelers’ physical health and mental resilience. The corporate travel and expense community has a unique opportunity in today’s ecosystem to take a bigger part in travelers’ relationship with wellness on an individual and organizational level.

Although executive leaders, travel managers and road warriors are always eager to get out on the road, it’s increasingly important that they do so in a way that supports their health, safety, well-being and productivity.

As duty of care policies are rethought in a data and user-driven corporate travel ecosystem, a more holistic and comprehensive approach to health and well-being is important.

Research consistently shows that exercise, rest, and nutrition help alleviate stress and anxiety, boost brain activity and productivity, and foster overall physical and mental resilience. Travel managers and organizations do their part in supporting and touching base with business travelers regularly. Especially since well-being plays an integral role in the productivity and capacity for insights that business travelers have on the road, so they can best leverage those critical in-person connections to build relationships, close deals, and drive growth.

How to Prioritize Business Travelers’ Health & Well-being

The shift towards traveler health, resilience, and productivity starts with a conversation between travel managers and their traveling employees. People in a leadership role need to ask, "What do you need? How can we best support you?" and then integrate that feedback into actionable changes that help employees feel supported and empowered to make the best decisions for their health. There are a few ways for making that happen:

1 . Host Focus Groups

Focus groups are intense periods of conversation and study where travel managers and business travelers can get together to discuss what’s working and what’s not. It’s not possible to optimize travel programs if it’s unclear what isn’t working. It’s critical to create space for these discussions leads to long-term benefits in terms of business travelers’ resilience as well as program adoption rates.

2 . Create a Template for Pre- and Post-Travel Check-ins

The next step in crafting a travel policy designed to meet the needs of your business travelers is creating a regular cadence of communication in which issues can be resolved in real time. We recommend checking in with business travelers before and after they travel with two questions:

  • Before an employee travels, check that they feel fit to travel because they’re the best judge of their health. If they say, “I don’t feel fit to travel,” then support them.
  • After an employee travels, ask how they are feeling. Not “How was the trip?” The question was always whether the investment was worthwhile, if the employee made the connection or won the bid.

3 . Partner with a Modern TMC

It’s important to ensure that your TMC is designed to streamline the booking, reporting, expensing and support processes. By taking advantage of advanced, AI-powered technology to make these processes as efficient and seamless as possible, business travelers are able to quickly take care of the logistics so they have more time to invest in health, wellness, and productivity.

Last month founding partner of the BTW Community Matt Holman joined the TripActions podcast and shared how organizations can build a culture of health at home and on the road. Subscribe to Open for Business: A Corporate T&E Podcast Powered by TripActions to listen to the full episode and receive updates on our weekly conversations.

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