Business Travel and Wellness Survey Results | TravelPerk

19 Mar 2024 · 9

Can business travel improve your personal and professional growth? Here’s what 4000 people had to say about business travel and wellness.

Business trips can be fun, but did you know they can also help you improve your mental health, grow your career, and even get promoted?
Many people are familiar with the benefits of business travel for companies. Company offsites can help teams get motivated and develop stronger relationships. They’re a great way to improve retention and attract new staff. And building face-to-face relationships with clients can lead to more sales and new revenue streams.
Research has shown that business travel can , impact a company’s performance, and increase sales. In a , 58% of business leaders said having a strong travel culture was very important to their organization’s performance today. 
But the upsides don’t stop there—besides helping companies meet their business goals, business travel is also highly beneficial for individual employees. TravelPerk’s data show that business travel has a measurably positive influence on employee wellness and career growth.
We conducted an online survey of 4000 business travelers from a range of ages and industries, across four countries: the UK, the US, Spain, and Germany. We aimed to learn about the impact business travel has had on their personal and professional lives. Check out the results below:

Key takeaways from TravelPerk’s Business Travel Wellness survey

  • 40% of travelers say corporate travel is great for their personal and professional growth
  • 25% of Millennials say that traveling for work has helped them get a promotion
  • 1 in 5 travelers feel more productive at work when they get back from their trip
  • This number is even higher within the Gen Z demographic, with 23% of 18-24 year olds feeling more productive at work after a trip
  • 43% of travelers say business travel has helped them develop new skills, 31% feel more passionate about their jobs, and 23% say it has helped them find more purpose
  • 21% of 25-34 years old say business travel has helped their mental health

Slow travel is in, and day-return trips are declining

Since the COVID-19 pandemic ended, there have been changes in the way business travelers take trips. One of these changes is taking fewer short haul day-return flights (flying somewhere and then returning on the same day.)
Travelers are becoming more mindful of how long they choose to stay in destinations, and are opting to take longer trips. This can be linked to several factors: traveler wellbeing, sustainability, and travel disruptions.
In 2019, 19% of short-haul flights (under 2 hours) booked on the TravelPerk platform were day-return trips. In 2023, this number has halved to just 9%. An increasing number of people are adding an overnight stay to maximize their time in the destination and reduce their impact on the planet.
Wondering why so many organizations love business travel?
In the UK, there was another important reason for taking longer trips: 21% of UK travelers said they were extending their trips to stay

Business travel can have a positive impact on mental health

Business trips and new travel experiences can provide a welcome break from the routines of regular work and family duties. It’s no wonder many travelers find them beneficial for their mental health.
Along with other wellness measures (like physical activity, healthy snacks, staying hydrated by carrying reusable water bottles, paying attention to sleep patterns and travel health), even frequent business travel can make up part of a self-care routine.
Business travel contributes to happier workforce

Business trips are great for professional development

Not only does business travel have a positive impact on travelers’ personal development and happiness, it can also have a positive effect on their careers.
Business travel wellness survey growth and productivity
In Spain, over half of travelers (52%) thought business travel was great for their personal and professional growth, while 42% of UK travelers said one of the top perks of business travel was meeting and connecting with new people.
40% of travelers said business travel helped them forge stronger professional connections. This percentage was even higher in Germany (44%), the US (42%), and Spain (41%). 
Business travel helps people grow their careers by:
  • Attending relevant industry events like , seminars, and training sessions
  • Networking in person with people in their industry to build stronger relationships
  • Pursuing new opportunities and meeting business goals
In addition, among travelers from all countries surveyed, 43% said business travel helped them develop new skills. This number was higher among German (44%), Spanish (45%), and US (46%) travelers. Most workers find upskilling key for their career growth. that while 74% of employees think developing worker skills and capabilities is important, only 34% are happy with their organization’s initiatives.

Traveling for work gives employees greater purpose and increases passion for their jobs

Our data show that business travel creates engaged, happy employees. 
Business travel wellness survey passion and purpose
Increased employee engagement and happiness at work is beneficial for both employees and companies—highly engaged business units are 23% more profitable on average, .
Employee engagement and wellness programs help prevent burnout
Increase employee well-being with these
TravelPerk’s findings are in line with two previous academic studies which found that employees can find business travel enriching (Gustafson, 2014; Ye & Xu, 2020). In one of these studies, employees shared that having leisure time included in business travel allowed them to experience and learn more about the culture and destination (Ye & Xu, 2020). The other study found that employees felt business travel could have a positive impact on their identity (Gustafson, 2014).
Taken together, these findings suggest that business travel should be arranged with employees’ well-being in mind.
Dr. Charlotte Russell
clinical psychologist and founder
, The Travel Psychologist

5 ways to use these findings to improve employee wellness

So how can your company use these findings to get even more payoff from your business travel programs?

Give travel opportunities to different people within your organization

While many companies have , they may want to consider distributing travel opportunities among different levels and departments, rather than keeping them as an exclusive perk for senior team members.
Our data show that Millennial and Gen Z employees find business travel especially helpful for their mental health and productivity. prefer spending their money on experiences rather than possessions, so they’ll likely find business travel to  be a particularly meaningful incentive. 

Encourage travelers to make the most of their trips

Traveling slowly can ensure optimal outcomes and help your employees maximize their time away. For example, spending an extra night at a destination can help travelers avoid jet lag (especially if they’re taking long-haul flights through different time zones), so they’ll be well-rested for that important conference or sales pitch the next day.
Avoiding layovers, long hours of waiting, and unhealthy eating/unhealthy food is also key. Careful travel planning can help and avoid health risks.
Although slow travel means longer stays, this doesn’t necessarily have to be more expensive. When you book with a business travel management platform like TravelPerk, you’ll have access to in more than 150 countries worldwide.
Some of these rates even include extra benefits like free gym access, free WiFi, and waived amenity fees—so travelers will really be able to get the most out of their trip.
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Encourage train travel

If you’ve already started to plan longer trips for your business travelers, why not include train travel in those plans? 
Traveling by rail instead of by air has many benefits. For example, it may help your company save money, and it’s better for the environment. Traveling from London to Madrid emits 118 kilograms of CO2 by plane but only 43 kilograms by train,
Many train services now offer free WiFi, making the train an effective space to get work done. And train stations tend to be located in city centers, so they may be more convenient to hotels and event venues than the airport. This can save time and travel stress when arriving at a new destination. 

Create a travel policy and communicate it clearly

Our findings show that companies are increasingly encouraging employees to travel slowly and make the most of their trips. Still, it’s important to make sure all business trips meet objectives and remain within budget. To do this, companies must have an effective business travel policy.
Business travel policies tell employees what they can book and what they can’t. This ensures trips stay cost-effective and eco-friendly. But enforcing a can be challenging without the right tools.
Using corporate travel management providers and platforms like TravelPerk, you can directly within the software. Travelers can filter options that are within policy, and your company can also set up approval flows, so nothing out of policy gets booked without being approved by a line manager or designated travel manager.. This way, employees can book their business trips autonomously with no need for micromanagement.
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Consider adding a personal wellness budget

According to our survey, 44% of travelers say business travel has benefited them by allowing them to explore new places, while 21% like extending their business trips to have some leisure time.
As a business travel incentive and a further contributor to employee wellness, why not consider creating a “bleisure” initiative? Companies can create a personal wellness budget, so travelers can enjoy some leisure activities, such as yoga classes or sightseeing, during their trip—especially if part of the trip falls on a weekend.

Business travel: The key to increased employee wellness and business success

It’s clear that business travel is a win-win proposition. Travelers return rested and refreshed, having learned new skills and made new connections. And businesses benefit from sales opportunities, increased employee engagement, and stronger teams.
By taking longer trips, travelers will have more opportunities to enjoy the benefits of business travel. With TravelPerk, you can easily manage and streamline your business travel programs for maximum effectiveness, so your travelers can enjoy more time away at reasonable rates. .
Woman riding train

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