From delayed flights to long security lines to lost bags, business travel is full of headaches. To cure them, most business travelers must fend for themselves, relying on aspirin and catnaps in between flights. The most productive business travelers, however, have support from their employers, according to Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), which yesterday launched a new tool — the CWT Travel Stress Index (TSI) — to help companies measure and mitigate the financial impact of lost productivity incurred through trip-related stress.
“We have discovered that we can help our clients control and impact, on average, 32 percent of … lost time and productivity [resulting from trip-related stress],” says Vincent Lebunetel, head of CWT Solutions Group, Europe, Middle East and Africa. “By identifying which stressors are causing the most pain for a particular segment of travelers, we can recommend specific solutions to enhance the traveler experience and improve productivity. It could be advising on connectivity solutions for each stage of a trip or recommending a specific carrier based on on-time or lost-luggage performances.”
Using the TSI — which is based on “big data,” including data from 15 million air transactions — CWT can assess a company’s trip-related stress levels, benchmark them against industry averages and provide recommendations for reducing employees’ business-travel stress, ultimately resulting in productivity gains and cost savings. For example, CWT says, a company taking an average of 5,000 trips per year represents $3.3 million, of which $1.1 million can be saved through improved traveler productivity.
“By creating policies that are centered on people — their profiles, needs and their reactions to different stress triggers — companies can help travelers focus on the fundamental reason for their trip: doing business,” Lebunetel continues. “We encourage companies to view business travel as a strategic means to grow and compete effectively in the marketplace, while at the same time recognizing that business travel has an impact on a company’s most important asset — its employees.”
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