WorkTime - business travel

April 22, 2024

10 min read

Business travel and its impact on employee productivity

New place, new impressions, and tons of inspiration! This is what comes to mind when we hear about business trips. And only those who regularly travel by air on business matters know how stressful and challenging it can be. Does business travel have so much value if the employee's health is the price of business growth? This article is a must-have for a better understanding of what is going on with your workers before, during, and after their one more business travel.

We are WorkTime, a producer of employee monitoring software, the only non-invasive on the market. We can help you measure your employee productivity during business travel in a very gentle way. Look how.

Before getting on board…

Every employee is unique, with different needs, physical/mental health, and approaches to traveling by air. Some can be delighted with upcoming business travel opportunities, but some can be scared just thinking about a plane. Even preparation for business travel can be a stressor for the employee. Hence, it’s highly important to consider a variety of factors before employee business travel.

Business travel: there are always two sides

According to the survey by TravelPerk, 40% of respondents claimed that business travel boosted their personal and professional growth. What are the other pros of employee business travel?
  • Business travel helps develop new skills necessary for career growth;
  • Traveling is beneficial for meeting new people and building new connections;
  • Business travel increases employee engagement;
  • Going abroad helps find new purposes;
  • Higher chances of getting a promotion.
  • Indeed, business travel growth is one of the biggest employee benefits. Still, there is also the other side of the coin.

    Traveling can be risky. Employees often face security, safety, and medical problems during work-related trips.

    Anyway, employees feel insecure outside their regular workplace. Travelers often visit unfamiliar places, which can make them targets for criminals. There are risks for the employer, too. 1. The employee business travel expenses can increase significantly in case of illness or injury. 2. The business owner can face legal and financial consequences related to the misbehavior of the traveling employee. 3. There is a risk of losing commercially sensitive data, reputational damage, or loss of equipment (caused by airline issues or hypothetical theft).

    Facing the aftermath of frequent business trips

    Physical health

    Regular flights are harmful to physical health. Get ready to face these risks if you are often on board:
  • Tired legs. Sitting for a long time results in reduced blood circulation;
  • A shortage of oxygen because of low pressure can lead to shortness of breath;
  • Low humidity level causes dehydration;
  • Risk of acoustic trauma because of sudden changes of pressure;
  • Exposure to rising radiation levels;
  • Effects on immune systems because passengers are exposed to germs, bacteria, and viruses;
  • Frequent business travel by plane can lead to rapid aging. Chronic jet lag disrupts gene expression, resulting in faster aging.
  • Mental health

    The survey conducted by YouGov and NexTravel showed that business travel negatively affected the mental health of 22% of respondents. Moreover, 21% were stressed even just thinking about the upcoming trip. Employees come across a range of stress triggers related to business trips. Here you can see the most common ones:
    WorkTime - stress trigger ranking

    Source: MetLife and AXA Study

    And it is only part of the full list. Just imagine the level of stress the employees have before, during, and even after the business travel!

    Some people are so afraid of flights that they pray to stay alive every time the plane takes off.

    Worries and fear of flights are not the only negative effects. The study by MetLife and AXA found that numerous factors related to regular business trips can cause severe mental health problems. What are these issues?
  • Loneliness and isolation. Business travel can be long-term, so employees stay far from their friends, family, and relatives for a long period.
  • The guilt of leaving family members for long. It’s hard to cope with this feeling anyway.
  • Mood swings caused by a disruption of circadian rhythms and chronic jet lag.
  • Excessive level of stress. First, a person feels stressed while preparing for a trip. Then, stress arises because of adapting to a new place. And at the same time, the employee must stay productive to handle the workload when traveling! Finally, the worker is under stress on the road back home, resulting in fatigue after the business travel is over.
  • Flying too often can lead to business travel burnout, stress, anxiety, and numerous health issues.


    The impact business travel has on employee productivity can be both positive and negative. Some employees claim they feel inspired and full of energy after working abroad. But what if the worker has to travel for business purposes too often? Considering all the negative aspects of frequent flights, it becomes clear that staying productive when you are less concentrated because of excessive stress, lack of sleep, personal matters, worries about the trip, and feeling unwell is impossible.


    We prepared a short questionnaire for your employees to understand the impact of business travel and find out their most challenging experiences during the journey. issues.

    What are your stress triggers?

    Please scale from 1 to 5 the main stressors you may face during your recent business travel, where 1—not at all stressful, 2—mildly stressful, 3—neutral, 4—very stressful, and 5—extremely stressful.
  • Lost/delayed Baggage;
  • Flying economy class;
  • Bad Internet connection;
  • Last-minute requested trip;
  • Different time zones;
  • Delays;
  • Length of the journey;
  • Traveling during weekends;
  • Lack of sleep;
  • Workload;
  • Problems with booking a hotel;
  • Language barriers and miscommunication;
  • Lack of security during the business trip.
  • How to reduce the harmful impact?

    Helping your employees travel easily, securely, and comfortably is a step towards maximizing the benefits of business travel. The statistics show that traveling with a corporate program or policy decreases stress and makes employees feel confident and prepared.
    WorkTime - Statistics traveling

    Source: MetLife and AXA Study

    Helping your employees travel easily, securely, and comfortably is a step towards maximizing the benefits of business travel.

    What can you do?
  • Ask your employees how you can improve their travel experience. It will work for understanding the business travelers' needs better;
  • Develop and implement a corporate travel policy. If business travel is commonplace for your company, then it’s better to consider all factors to enhance the experience and, as a result, the productivity of your employees when they are on a business trip;
  • Create a wellness program. Raising awareness of work-life balance while traveling will help them stay productive and meet the company’s expectations. Also, additional days off to recover after business travel are crucial for maintaining employee wellness;
  • Manage travel risks. Business travel accident insurance and travel risk training are necessary to prevent outcomes of travel-related issues.
  • Measure productivity with WorkTime

    Tracking employee effectiveness is vital, considering the impact business travel has on employee productivity. This way, you will detect whether your workers are overwhelmed with their business travel responsibilities or there is a problem with their performance. Your employees can also access their statistics. Analyzing their work style is essential for discovering ways to stay productive during business travel. WorkTime employee monitoring software helps to: 1. Monitoremployee overtime. If your workers do not cope with tasks and often overwork, it can be a sign of ineffective management. This way, they won’t have enough time to rest, resulting in a loss of productivity;
    WorkTime - overtime report
    2. Compare remote/in-office productivity. Thanks to detailed reports, you will see how your employee performs in the workplace and during business travel;
    WorkTime - in-office/remote report
    3. Set goals and observe employees' progress. Compare their performance before and after business travel to understand how it affects their professional growth.
    WorkTime - goals
    Sometimes, employers choose the same people for business travel. No doubt, they will be exhausted by permanent stress and fatigue. Thus, you can entrust this responsibility to someone else for the next trip. But if your workers cannot stay productive because of regular flights, maybe it’s time to replace business travel by airplane with a car or a train (if possible).

    How to stay productive on a business trip?

    These small tips will be helpful to stay productive and maintain your business travel motivation: 1. Plan everything before the flight to minimize the risk of unexpected problems; 2. Communicate with your boss concerning your workload and set up deadlines; 3. Find out all the necessary information about the place you will visit; 4. Benefit from effective time management. 5. Try to leave enough time for rest.

    Keep up with your employees

    Being on the same page with your employees and understanding their needs are keys to loyalty and high performance. Our non-invasive employee monitoring software will help you analyze critical factors affecting their productivity in a transparent and gentle way and create less harmful and more flexible business travel opportunities. Improve your team bonds, trust, understanding, and, of course, productivity with WorkTime. Try WorkTime for 14 days free now!

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