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November 14, 2014
Global pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca has begun a study that will attempt to quantify the impact that the stresses of frequent business travel has on its employees, according to a recent article in Business Travel News (BTN), a sister publication of Incentive

Specifically, the company is "researching the effects of travel on its employees' well-being and whether there is a link to recruitment and retention," BTN reported last week. "The company's travel team hired the U.S.-based consultancy tClara to attempt to quantify 'travel friction' caused by such stressors as traveling during personal time, enduring long flights, and crossing multiple time zones, especially in economy class."

Unsurprisingly, early results suggest that the impact is greatest on the most frequent air travellers. The research is also looking at ways to lessen the impact, beyond the obvious (and expensive) solution of allowing more travellers to move up out of economy class into economy-plus or business class. But companies like American Express are looking at other, more work/life balance-oriented solutions as well. 

For a more in-depth look at this issue and what AstraZeneca and tClara are doing, see BTN's article here.