UK workforce struggles as cross-country meetings affect mental & physical health

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New research from Capita Travel and Events has revealed that a third of people in the UK have felt ill or suffered from a lack of sleep as a result of travelling for work.

The news comes from a survey carried out by Capita Travel and Events in support of its Unnoticed Impact of Business Travel report, which explores how the UK workforce feels about the culture of business travel, and if the practice of travelling 100+ miles frequently for meetings is taking its toll on UK workers.

Whilst some people do enjoy travel, these journeys can be draining, especially when it’s a common part of their working week. Whether they’re heading off to an early meeting and hitting rush hour traffic or arriving home too late to spend time with their family, travelling for work can affect life outside of their jobs.

Unfortunately, these impacts appear to be significant.

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33% of business travellers admit traveling to meetings has affected their sleep and 24% said that early starts/late finishes caused by travel has resulted in an argument with their partner.

The survey also revealed…

  • Almost half (47%) of business travellers get takeaways on the way home when travelling for work.
  • 41% of people end up working beyond their core hours when travelling for work.
  • 27% of business travellers said they had arrived at a meeting to find out it wasn’t necessary for them to attend.
  • One in six workers have said travelling to and from meetings affects their mental health.

Of course, some degree of business travel will always be necessary, but with Smarter working principles in mind, employees can be educated on how to avoid unnecessary travel, shift to better behaviours and make these journeys fit into their lives better to reduce the impact on their overall health.

Capita Travel and Event’s behavioural psychologist, Jonti Dalal-Small, has commented on the side effects which come with business travel and how these can be mitigated:

 “For many, business travel used to be thrilling – but for most people it’s now a real chore. Rather than be an adventure, it causes dread, uncertainty and all sorts of problems.

“Whether you enjoy travel is linked to whether you have a sense of purpose about your job. Our survey highlights how many people travel to meetings without understanding why the meeting has been called or why they are needed. “To support organisations overcome these challenges, we are the first travel management company to shift our business focus and introduce roles dedicated to understanding behaviour and improving travelling wellbeing. By making employee welfare a priority, implementing the principles of smarter working and reducing unnecessary travel, you can increase employee engagement and will see a reduction in expenditure too.”