The sad and sick life of the business traveler

The sad and sick life of the business traveler
The sad and sick life of the business traveler Source: The New York Times

How many of us love to travel? Most of us get excited when we hear the word travel. However, this word is also linked to business travel depression. Business travel can be fun but when you’ve had too much of it, it can dangers your health and wellbeing.

Thankfully the research by Cohen, Hanna, and Gosling, which highlighted this issue. The research found that a portion of these travelers wanted to reduce travel but considered it out of their locus of control.

dangers of business travel
Effects of business travel on mental health

So, even if they want to reduce it, they alone will not be able to make any difference. The dangers of frequent business travel still persist and have also been linked to depression.

How is business travel different from leisure travel?

The travel patterns in business travel are completely different from leisure travel. During a business trip, you are supposed to be in constant contact with your clients and be available. Unlike traveling with friends and family for leisure, business travel rather is a cause of depression.

dangers of business travel
How is business travel different from leisure travel?

While booking a hotel, a business traveler will not have a choice when it comes to business travel. So, basically in these ways, a business trip is different from leisure travel:

  1. The purpose of the visit is completely different.
  2. You don’t get to have preferences when it comes to business travel.
  3. However, price is not a concern when it comes to business travel unlike in leisure travel where you look for ways to save money.
  4. During business travel, your location is mostly dependent on the location of your clients or business meetups.
  5. Your time convenience is hardly considered when it comes to business travel.

How does business travel cause depression?

People who think that traveling is always good, haven’t faced the actual trauma of always being on the run. The issue with business travel is that it can be burdensome when organizations don’t consider employee’s inconveniences.

dangers of business travel
How does business travel cause depression?

As per The Global Business Travel Association, business purposes made up of more than 500 million domestic flights in the US alone.

The reasons why business travels can be depressing are due to the following reasons:

  1. The constant jetlag which no one considers while scheduling a meeting.
  2. Organizations don’t let employees breathe. After they come back from one meeting, they immediately schedule another.
  3. Employees have to constantly stay away from their family.
How does business travel cause depression?

The glamour that we see in movies around business travel is not true. The media only shows the high and luxurious side of business travel. It’s not always necessary that you get to travel in business class or stay in the best hotels.

What can organizations do to reduce the dangers of business travel?

In their research, Cohen and others have listed out seven different measures that sum up reducing the dangers of business travel. Such as:

business travel depression
What can organizations do to reduce the dangers of business travel?
  1. Making use of information technologies to communicate rather than face-to-face communication.
  2. Set a limit on the time frame an employee stays away from their family.
  3. When possible try to bundle the trips into one visit.
  4. Set a minimum resting period.
  5. To reduce business travel depression, use as much ground travel means as possible.
  6. Favor flights with fewer or no transits where the employee might have to wait.
  7. When booking for your employees, try to opt for a high quality of service. For instance: first-class seats on flights or trains.

How do we change our perception?

Social media has painted a false picture of the actual nature of business travel and the dangers it projects in human health. Constant business travel causes not just physical but also mental signs of exhaustion like depression.

Perception of business travel

Firstly, we are not always aware of these extremes. While looking at it from a bigger perspective, business travel doesn’t mean fun and relaxation, it’s the opposite. So, painting the true picture of the darker side of this travel can help.

Furthermore, in order to stop people from falling into this pattern, we need to stop glorifying business travel. Hypermobility not only causes damage to human health but it has also been one of the leading causes of pollution.

Perception of business travel

In conclusion, employees do not have control over these business trips and travels. So, organizations need to employ the steps to minimize the danger caused by business travel. There are obviously healthier alternatives and businesses should make considerations when possible.