Employee performance during business trips

Are you sending your best people on a business trip? Help them to be really productive.

Good old in-person business meetings are not going to disappear anytime soon. On contrary, the volume of business travel keeps increasing.

Yes, a lot of the communication nowadays happens through emails and video calls, and virtually all the companies are trying to minimize travel to keep their travel budgets as low as possible. But there are still many situations where the good old face-to-face meeting is just necessary no matter if you are a large corporation or a small high-tech startup. Anyone who has ever tried selling a complex solution, negotiate with a difficult customer, or talk to investors about raising more funds would agree that even the best telepresence robot would not do the trick.

vanveenjf-E-BoKIwq1eE-unsplashQuite naturally, companies are trying to keep the bill as low as possible. Most corporate travel programs focus on managing the direct costs of the trip and describe rules about how much money can be spent on transportation, accommodation or meals. But as we mentioned in the previous article, there is an even larger hidden part of the cost equation – impact on traveler’s productivity and ability to perform, but also health and satisfaction.

Travel is the antithesis of peak performance

Even if we set the employee wellbeing aside for now, sending a tired and jetlagged employee to a highly important meeting is hardly the right thing to do. For those situations you really need to be at the top of your game.

But the reality is that travel is the antithesis of peak performance:

  • Jetlag was shown to reduce productivity of at least 20%[1] or up to 39%[2]
  • Jetlag and fatigue increase risk of mistakes and accidents by as much as 70%[3]
  • Sleep deprived people are less creative and consistently avoid challenging tasks[4]
  • Sleeping less than 6 hours increases risk of dishonest behavior like lying, faking receipts, blaming other people for their own mistakes etc[5]
  • Lack of sleep was shown to decrease our capability to read social cues and understand our counterpart’s behavior[6]
  • 84% of North American (87% of APAC and 95% of LatAm) travelers believe the quality of their business travel impacts their business results[7]

The direct costs of flights and hotels can be dwarfed by the costs caused by the loss of productivity, and increased risk of unfavorable business trip outcomes – which is even more critical for the high-stake meetings.

But what can we do if the budget does not allow for paying for business class tickets and sending the traveler a few days earlier to adjust?

There are ways to minimize the impact of travel on productivity and mental capacity, without spending exorbitant amounts of money. This website will focus on the low- or no-cost “travel hacks” that will make your travel more productive and enjoyable, whether you travel for work or for vacation. Hecatee app distills this knowledge into simple actions perfectly timed for your own trip. Sign up for the pilot here.

[1] Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine
[2] Study by Airbus and Kayak.com
[3] The Relationship Between Sleep and Industrial Accidents, National Sleep Foundation
[4] Engle-Friedman, S. Riela – Self-imposed sleep loss, sleepiness, effort and performance, Sleep and Hypnosis
[5] Christopher M. Barnes – Sleep-Deprived People Are More Likely to Cheat, Harward Business Review
[6] Carmen M. Schroder – Sleep Deprivation and Emotion Recognition
[7] Sabre and GBTA – Frictionless Travel Report


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