Business Travel Stress, Defined

Business travel stress is caused by a number of reasons. Just being out of the office can make communication and keeping up with ongoing projects a challenge. Some travelers cope well with the challenges of working on the road. Others, not so much. A recent survey by Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) polled more than 6,000 frequent business travelers from nine global corporations, and found that stress tends to fall into three categories.

Time lost when a traveler might be working but instead has to stand in a security line can add stress. Thinking “If I was in the office right now, I could be doing something productive” adds more stress.

Surprises caused by an unscheduled event that disrupts travel is another. Major storms with a cascading effect on airports not even in the affected area commonly add “Will I make my connection?” stress.

Routine breakers that cause an inability to stick to regularly scheduled home activities count too. Activities that are easy to do at home like exercising, watching television or surfing the web add stress when not done on the road.

The biggest stress factor of all? Lost Luggage.”Losing one’s baggage requires replacing the lost content, often in a short space of time. This presents multiple uncertainties under tight deadlines, which produced considerable stress,” Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT) said in an Executive Travel article.

Coming in at number two on the list of 33 possible stress triggers was being without an Internet connection, or having an unreliable one. Third place was having to fly in coach on a medium or long-haul trip, followed by flight delays, inconvenient arrival or departure times, having to stay in a low-category hotel, inconvenient hotel locations, and last-minute travel.

[Photo Credit: Flickr user Samuel Rönnqvist]