Australian business travellers are ignoring their own health when away from home, new research suggests, and fare worse than their overseas counterparts.
Travel management platform CWT polled 100 business travellers each from 27 countries around the world, including Australia, about their lifestyle routines while away from home.
More than half (57 per cent) of the Australians polled admitted they either do not exercise at all or do less exercise when away on business than they would at home, and more than a third (39 per cent) confessed to eating less healthily.
Australia fared poorer than the global average: Across the 2,700 people surveyed from 27 countries combined, 36 per cent said they eat less healthily while away on business. Across the APAC region, that figure was even lower at 27 per cent.
Only a third of Aussies said they work hard to maintain a healthy lifestyle and routine while travelling for work — well below the 52 per cent who do so from across the APAC region.
On the flipside, many business travellers actually said they are more health-conscious on their work trips than they are at home. Globally, 38 per cent said they actually eat healthier while out on the road, and 26 per cent said they work out more.
By region, APAC reported the healthiest routines while travelling, while Europe fared the worst.
“Sticking to your regular routine on business trips can be challenging for various reasons, such as limited options or tight schedules,” said Michael Ryan, CWT’s Australian managing director.
“You’re focused on your work and trying to make the most of your trip, so you don’t have time to search for a gym or affordable healthy eating options if they’re not easily accessible.”
Mr Ryan said that employers can do their part to help facilitate healthy lifestyle option for employees when travelling, or when travelling themselves.
“By creating travel policies that factor these things in, such as allowing travellers to stay at hotels with fitness facilities and ensuring their meal allowance is enough to cover healthy food choices, companies can create a much better travel experience for their employees,” he said.
Research by the company published in July this year found that the vast majority (86 per cent) of business travellers enjoy their experience overall, despite just over half having experienced mishaps, most commonly related to delayed or cancelled flights.
Meanwhile, a separate UK poll last year by other companies in conjunction with Kingston Business School suggested that business travellers take more risks while on the road than they normally would at home, including higher alcohol consumption, taking risky road travel or eating in less hygienic establishments.
It comes as Goldman Travel Corporation said that travel in and of itself is increasingly becoming a workplace incentive that employers are using to motivate their workforces.
“Travelling for business encourages employees to consider new ideas and perspectives. Progressive employers see an opportunity to encourage employees to get out of their comfort zone and seek inspiration and innovative ideas from the destinations they visit, the experiences they have, and the people they meet,” its joint managing director, David Goldman, said.
“This results in inspiration and ideas that they can bring back to their place of work.”
He said that hotels, convention centres and resorts are increasingly designing their spaces to facilitate idea generation and discussion, and events such as Sydney’s Vivid are inspiring both bosses and their staff to think outside of the box.
Adam Zuchetti is the editor of My Business, and has steered the publication’s editorial direction since early 2016.