Stress Triggers for Business Travelers

October 8, 2012

cwt-stress-triggers-for-business-travelersWhat emerged from this survey is that the 33 stress triggers studied can be grouped into 3 main categories (which are not
mutually exclusive), based on the way they impact a traveler:


1. Lost time: situation in which work is difficult or impossible (e.g. Flying economy on long haul)
2. Surprises: when an unforeseen event occurs (e.g. Lost or delayed baggage)
3. Routine breakers: inability to maintain one’s habits (e.g. Unable to eat healthily at destination)


The main stress drivers reported by our respondents all have a “lost time” component and fall into at least one additional
category (surprise and/or routine breaker):


Lost or delayed baggage [79/100]
Poor Internet connection at destination [77/100]
Flying economy on Medium/Long haul [73/100]
Delays [72/100]


Furthermore, we observed significant differences in the stress perceived by the different demographic groups we studied. For
example:
Women report on average four points of stress more than men (on the most stressful factors, defined as scores above
60/100).


There is a cumulative effect of stress with increased travel frequency. A difference of four stress points is measured between  frequent (over 30 trips per year) travelers and occasional travelers.  Frequent travelers are more skilled at tackling surprises, but  more distressed by “lost time” events.  There is a high correlation among the demographic groups segmented by job seniority, age and trip frequency, creating similar patterns of perceived stress.  For respondents living with a partner, traveling during weekends and long stays (over 3 days) generate an additional 8 points and 4 points of stress respectively compared to those living alone. The same effect is observed when comparing respondents with and without children.  This research lays the groundwork that will enable us to build an overall measure of stress and to assess the corresponding productivity impact on an organization. Our ultimate objective is to provide recommendations to tackle the hidden costs of  business travel.

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