09 Mar The Long Term Impact of Business Travel
Business Travel: A Study of the Negative Impact of Long Term Business Trips
I’m a big fan of business travel, but I work for myself. This means that I have the freedom to book an extra day at the beginning or end of a trip – or even longer if I wish. But I was interested to hear about this report by researchers at the University of Surrey. It found that individuals who have to travel regularly on business either ‘flourish’ or ‘flounder’.
A new study, ‘The dark side of business travel: A media comments analysis’, by academics at the University of Surrey and Lund University, has been published. It analyses first hand responses on the impacts that frequent business travel can have on individuals.
The study is an in-depth analysis of the online public responses to media reporting on an earlier research paper titled ‘A darker side of hypermobility’. This looked at the different ways that frequent travel, or hypermobility, can affect individuals. It included its negative health, social and family impacts. This earlier paper led to global online media reporting on which the public was able to leave comments. This current study analyses the personal accounts left in these comments.
Flourish or Flounder
The new study highlights that individuals tend to either ‘flourish’ or ‘flounder’ in careers that include frequent business travel. The ‘flourishing hypermobile’ views frequent business travel as an integral part of their happiness and identity. However, the ‘floundering hypermobile’ experiences frequent business travel as a source of unhappiness that endangers their health and psycho-social wellbeing.
Findings in the report reveal that a large proportion of business travellers want to reduce the amount of time they spend on business travel. However, the research shows that these individuals do not take the necessary steps to reduce travel. They believe it’s not something they have the ability to control. The report concludes that it is up to organisations themselves to develop policies to help protect their employees from the darker sides of business travel.
Lead author Dr Scott Cohen of University of Surrey said: “As more and more people are required to travel frequently for work, the impacts of travel on the workforce is an issue of rising importance on the public agenda.
Lawsuits and Business Travel
“In the next 10-15 years it is very possible that we will see lawsuits being brought against companies who don’t take actions to help reduce their employee’s business travel.”