A recent study published by the Harvard Business Review states that for every $1 a company invests in business travel, $9.50 in revenue is generated, 30 percent of which is pure profit. Additionally, 81 percent of executives stressed that economic slowdowns actually require more contact with clients, not less.
Now, if only there was a way to generate this kind of return that didn't involve running through airport security and sleeping on lumpy hotel beds. But maybe there is. Most stress related to business travel, according to the Harvard Business Review study, is owing to three things: lost time, surprises, and routine breakers (e.g., eating meals at a different time, altering your workout routine, or changing your bedtime). Further, female business travelers are more affected by stress than are their male counterparts, especially when it comes to lost luggage and faulty connections.
Below, I put together a list of my top nine things road warriors should do to help them feel less stressed on the road, which will in turn boost your company's bottom line:
1. Airport VIP Club membership
Depending on how often a road warrior travels for work, I recommend investing in daily airport VIP club passes or yearly airport VIP club passes for your travelers, which range from $35 to $50 for day passes to around $450 for annual membership.
2. Seat upgrades on long flights
Providing upgrades on flights from economy to premium economy or business for road warriors will ensure that they are well rested and in a good frame of mind. Additionally, many travelers request lie-flat seats these days.
3. TSA PreCheck / Global Entry
Rushing to make a flight is one of the biggest stressors relating to business travel. With programs such as TSA PreCheck and Global Entry (depending on your requirements), going through airport security becomes simple instead of laborious.
4. Access to hotel amenities
Being away from their normal routine can leave business travelers feeling out of sorts and stressed, according to the Harvard Business Review. Providing access to fitness centers, in-room Wi-Fi, dry cleaning or laundry services, early check-in, or late checkout could help take the edge off while business travelers are in their "home away from home".
5. Expedited baggage handling
Seventy-nine percent of travelers report stress because of lost or delayed baggage, so why not eliminate the uncertainty and pay for baggage to be expedited and eliminate an issue before it arises?
6. Free checked baggage
And because so many travelers are concerned about their luggage, and carrying on a bag isn't always an option when you're traveling for work, why not pay to check bags?
7. Healthful options
Many travelers report stress because of a lack of a healthful lifestyle when they're traveling for work. If your company has some fiscal wiggle room, allowing business travelers food per diems that are large enough to allow for healthful eating options would definitely help business travelers have a better quality of life, and be less stressed, on the road.
When they're on the road, business travelers crave connection to their loved ones. In-flight or in-room WiFi easily allows travelers to utilize communication programs such as Skype or email, helping them to stay connected and feel less stressed.
9. Air miles status match
Leverage approved status on one airline to attain status on an airline on which you do not have status.
By maximizing your investment in business travel and keeping everyone stress free, you will see increased profits flow to your bottom line.