By: BCD Marketplace Partner – Sanctifly
As global travel becomes again an integral part of modern business operations, long journeys, and layovers have become increasingly common for both employers and employees. While the opportunities for international expansion and collaboration are exciting, these extended travel experiences can take a toll on employee well-being. In this blog post, we will explore the effects of long journeys and layovers on employees and employers, travelers’ attitudes to physical activity, and their behavior whilst on the road, assessing the importance of fitness among business travelers.
Importance of physical activity and the Impact on Employee Well-being
Travelers are well aware of the significance of regular exercise, yet they encounter various obstacles when prioritizing their physical well-being. Establishing positive exercise habits yields long-lasting benefits for both the body and mind, ultimately influencing all aspects of life. According to feedback from business travelers, physical health ranks as the second most crucial factor influencing their travel arrangements, surpassed only by the needs of their spouse or partner.
“ Despite all positive effects of physical activity, only 2 in 10 business travelers manage to exercise regularly when traveling, although almost half sometimes manage to do so. A third of travelers rarely find time to exercise away from home ”
Physical Health: Long hours spent sitting during flights and layovers can lead to a range of health issues such as muscle stiffness, joint pain, and poor circulation. Extended travel can also disrupt sleep patterns, exacerbating fatigue and jet lag, which negatively affects employee productivity.
Mental Well-being: Frequent and lengthy business trips can induce feelings of isolation and stress, affecting an employee’s mental well-being. Coping with different time zones, cultural adjustments, and demanding work schedules can lead to burnout and reduced job satisfaction.
Productivity: Jet lag and physical discomfort can impair cognitive function, leading to reduced productivity and performance during work-related activities abroad. For employers, this can translate into lower ROI on business travel expenses.
In collaboration with BCD Travel, a renowned global corporate travel management company, Sanctifly conducted a comprehensive study to analyze the impact of their corporate program on employee well-being and productivity. The report surveyed employees from various companies with employee wellness programs and assessed the effectiveness of wellness incentives for employees during business travel.
According to the results of the travel buyer survey,
- 26% of business travelers express concerns about their lack of exercise while on trips.
- 25% of respondents expressed a desire for exercise gear in their hotel rooms.
- Surprisingly, only 10% of employers currently offer this option.
To enhance the physical well-being of employees on the road, companies need to focus on implementing effective employee wellness programs and strategies. A majority of business travelers emphasize the importance of having these amenities such as access to a hotel gym and swimming pool available in their hotel accommodations.
Embracing Technology for Fitness on Your Travels
Technology serves as a valuable tool for employees to prioritize their physical well-being while traveling. Currently, 58% of business travelers use various apps like Apple Health, FitBit, Strava, Peloton, etc.., for well-being and three-quarters are likely to apply physical health support tools and services provided by the employer. 45% of travelers already use mobile apps for adequate exercise, while another third express a desire to incorporate them into their routine. On the company side, 35% of travel buyers report that their organizations offer these apps, with an additional 25% planning to introduce them.
Recognizing the importance of employee well-being during business travel, Sanctifly offers a comprehensive corporate program tailored to address the challenges of extended journeys and layovers.
“ We are seeing a sharp rise in the average traveler airport downtime. In 2023, over 65% of searches in the Sanctifly App are by members with 3 hours or more to spend at the airport. Traditional airport lounges are full and not designed to deal with this 3+ hour demand. We need to provide more options, options that inspire movement and recreation.” Karl Llewellyn, Founder, Sanctifly
Sanctiflys corporate benefits program provides employees access to a network of 3500+ airport gyms, fitness centers, and wellness facilities at 175+ airports globally. With Sanctifly, employees can break the cycle of sedentary travel and prioritize their health and well-being.
Employees who utilized the Sanctifly program demonstrated higher levels of productivity during business trips. Engaging in physical activities and maintaining overall well-being positively impacted their focus and job performance.
The Importance of Employee Well-being Strategy
Implementing a comprehensive employee well-being strategy is crucial for the success and longevity of any organization. Not only does it contribute to the overall happiness and satisfaction of employees but it also has a direct impact on,
Higher Retention Rates: Companies that prioritize employee well-being tend to have higher employee retention rates, reducing recruitment and training costs.
Enhanced Brand Image: A strong commitment to employee well-being can boost a company’s reputation as an employer of choice, attracting top talent.
Drives Innovation and Creativity: A healthy and happy workforce is more likely to think creatively and contribute innovative ideas. By nurturing employee well-being, you create an environment that encourages collaboration, risk-taking, and problem-solving, leading to increased innovation within your organization.
In conclusion, the effects of long journeys and layovers on employer and employee well-being are significant and should not be overlooked. Companies with employee wellness programs recognize the importance of incorporating a comprehensive well-being strategy that addresses the unique challenges of business travel. By investing in employee health programs and providing wellness incentives, companies can create a supportive environment that promotes employee satisfaction, retention, and overall performance.
Take the first step in prioritizing your employees’ well-being and explore Travel Wellness solutions Here »