Travel for work varies from business to business. Each traveller will face different travel requirements; some people may occasionally travel to attend meetings or conferences, whereas others will be required to travel more frequently, for example on a weekly basis. Certain people are more vulnerable to stress and associated burnout and the volume of travel can have a negative impact on the traveller’s wellbeing. Read this article for tips on stress management Motherhood Community.
What Causes Travel Burnout?
Corporate travel can be exciting and enriching, but it can also have its drawbacks, especially when the traveller is away frequently and doesn’t have time to rest. Common causes of travel burnout include:
Jetlag and disrupted sleep patterns
It is noticeable that prolonged flight can cause jetlag and disrupted sleep. Without enough sleep, you are likely to suffer a work.
Jetlag is a common occurrence especially when travelling long-haul and through different time zones. Sleep disruption and jet lag can easily affect your mindset and cause disturbance in the workplace and at home.
Loneliness and isolation
Whether only travelling for a few days or for a longer period, being away from family and friends can cause loneliness and feelings of isolation. Working in a time zone that is very different to that of home can also be difficult and result in the traveller feeling separated and lonely.
Poor diet and irregular eating
Convenience food and eating out is common whilst travelling for work, however these types of meals can be high-calorie and lacking in nutrients which can ultimately lead to the traveller feeling lethargic and sluggish. A poor diet combined with a lack of sleep is likely to affect your body and mind.
Lack of leisure time
When you travel for work, it can feel like no matter what – there’s no way to take care of yourself. Even when you try to relax or get a workout in, it feels exhausting because it’s always at the back of your mind that you need to do something else at any moment. Ultimately this builds up stress and anxiety, making everything more difficult.
Whilst away on business, travellers often feel a ‘sense of duty’ and that they shouldn’t take time to relax, explore the local area or take a workout. The lack of leisure and ‘me time’ can result in increased stress and anxiety.
Signs of Travel Burnout
Corporate travel can be stressful, especially if you travel frequently and don’t have the time to adjust to your new location before meetings and work begins. Some common signs of burnout include:
Headaches, stomach aches, and other physical symptoms
Burnout does more than wear down the mind;it can, also cause physical impairments such as headaches, digestion and stomach problems, thinning hair, lack of energy, and loss of appetite.
Mental and emotional exhaustion
Travellers may experience feelings of exhaustion, irritability, difficulty coping with everyday tasks and a lack of energy in both body and mind.
Alienation from work
Travellers may get frustrated with simple day-to-day work tasks and also may become more irritable with colleagues as well as family and friends.
Burnout can lead to an impaired ability to concentrate and a lack of creativity and enthusiasm. A result in lower efficiency and productivity can lead to a dissatisfaction with work.
How to Combat Travel Burnout
Whilst frequent travel may leave the employee feeling exhausted and isolated, there are several ways to combat burnout when travelling for business.
Keep hydrated and eat right
Dehydration can become an issue whilst travelling, especially on long-haul flights. Travellers are advised to drink plenty of water and avoid sugary drinks, alcohol, and caffeine—all of which can cause dehydration. Your body needs fresh fruit and vegetables but it’s easy to skip out on meals when you’re on the road. To ensure you consume the right vitamins, invest in healthy snacks like nuts or other dried fruit.
Carefully choose travel arrangements
Making the right travel and accommodation choices can dramatically help to reduce stress when travelling on business. Travellers should consider flight times carefully and ensure they have time to rest as well as being able to fulfil their work duties. Hotel selection is also important; those travelling should choose a central location close to where they need to be.
Strict rules around travel time and downtime:
Part of a company’s travel policy should include how much time a traveller is allowed to take off after a long-haul flight or working out-of-hours. Thisallows employeesto understand when they are expected to return to work and gives them sufficient time to rest, reducing the risk of burnout.
Training can be provided for frequent travellers to help build up resilience and understand coping strategies. It can assist employees with simple yet effective methods for managing health and well-being when on the road.
A routine is vital for maintaining good mental and physical health, especially when travelling. A wellness program can promote healthy habits such as exercise, a balanced diet, or even mindfulness – giving travellers the best possible foundation for their next trip.