If you travel on business a lot, you know that the quality of your trips — which airline class you book, what kind of hotels you stay in — can make a big difference in whether you enjoy the experience or not. And now a new survey of road warriors confirms that too much of the wrong kind of travel can quickly lead to burnout — and a desire to spend less time on the road.
The survey — conducted for American Express Global Business Travel, Airlines Reporting Corporation and tClara — explored what it calls traveler friction, defined simply as “the wear and tear caused by business travel.” Friction creates heat, and heat creates burnout: The survey found that 15 percent of the 757 business travelers it polled “are nearly burned out on travel.”
“Half want to travel significantly less in two years; two-thirds believe they could find a good job that doesn’t require much travel, and eight in ten are interested in job offers from firms that have very favorable travel policies. Most importantly, eight in ten said that a new firm’s travel policy would be at least as important as the new job’s pay and responsibilities,” the report noted.
The key to retaining traveling employees and keeping them on the road, the report said, involves nothing more than some simple adjustments to company travel policies.
The survey presented respondents with a list of 24 possible changes that companies could make in their travel policies, and participants most frequently settled on four of them:
- The ability to take non-stop flights where available
- The option to choose more comfortable or convenient hotels
- The allowance of business-class travel on flights more than six hours
- Additional paid time off following a long stretch of travel
Two-thirds of the respondents said that if companies adopted their four most preferred policy changes, it would have a significant impact on their desire to stay in their jobs, and they estimated it would increase their productivity by 44 percent.
“This study is significant as it quantifies what for so long we’ve intuitively known: that frequent business travel can also be wearing. But what is most interesting is that it’s not trip frequency that matters, it’s the trip quality,” said Lauri Reishus, VP and chief operating officer at ARC.
The survey participants all spent at least 35 nights away on business over the previous 12 months, and reported annual incomes exceeding $50,000. You can download the full report here.
Readers: About how many trips to you take per month on average? Does that feel like too much, or just about right? Please leave your comments below.
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