Can business trips reduce employee burnout?

Share post on

Throughout the years, ‘employee burnout’, ‘the great resignation’, and ‘quiet quitting’ have become hot topics within the HR space. 

As defined by Gallup, ‘quiet quitting’ refers to employees who do the bare minimum and are detached from their jobs. When surveyed, at least 50% of respondents reported burnout as the leading cause of quiet quitting. This phenomenon highlights that there should be more to work than just working.

In this article, we will be exploring the concept of burnout, its impacts on employee wellbeing and productivity, and how business trips, as surprising as it sounds, could be a salve to reducing employee burnout in your organization.

Understanding Employee Burnout

Employee burnout has become an epidemic in today’s workforce. With a staggering 82% of employees reported to be at risk of burnout, it is a widespread issue that organizations need to address to ensure employees are motivated and engaged at work. 

This leads to an important question, “what is employee burnout and why does it happen?” 

Employee burnout refers to chronic emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive stress from work. It is important to note that these symptoms often develop gradually over time. 

Some common causes of employee burnout include: 

  • Little to no work-life balance.
  • Repetitive and mundane work.
  • Unrealistic expectations or deadlines are set.
  • Unclear expectations on roles and responsibilities.
  • Toxic workplace environment with lack of support. 

Signs of Employee Burnout 

pexels alexander suhorucov 6457537

As a manager or HR professional, you might be worried about the increasing risk of employee burnout within your organization. 

Here are some employee burnout signs that you should be aware of to identify early stages of burnout: 

  1. Difficulty concentrating: Employees show signs of daydreaming during meetings, or are distracted throughout the day. They might also be forgetful and would often trail off from messages.
  2. Increased mental distance from work: Employees would avoid certain tasks, and show signs of irritation. Some may also arrive late to work or leave early.
  3. Reduced professionalism: Employees tend to work on personal tasks during work hours, show disinterest in upskilling, delay in completing immediate tasks, and are unwilling to communicate.

It is important to keep tabs and detect early signs of employee burnout as it can drastically impact employee engagement and wellbeing.

Impact of Burnout on Productivity

Employee burnout negatively impacts both individual and workplace efficiency. This includes: 

  • Decreased quality of work as employees are disengaged and exhausted, increasing the potential for errors and missed deadlines. 
  • Employees with low productivity and motivation tend to be less creative and innovative.
  • Disengaged employees can also negatively impact customer service and satisfaction due to their increased cynicism and lack of enthusiasm. 

Once you’ve recognized the signs and symptoms of employee burnout, it is important to address the underlying cause in order to create a healthier and more productive workplace culture for everyone.

The Rise of Bleisure Travel 

An unconventional approach to reducing employee burnout is business trips, which is evident in the recent rise of ‘bleisure travel’. 

Bleisure refers to a mix of ‘business’ and ‘leisure’. It combines the core purpose of work trips with an added splash of fun activities and entertainment throughout. Some common examples include sightseeing around town with colleagues, bringing family and friends along, and hosting business lunches at spots known for their cultural cuisine.

Benefits of Business Trips

By planning business trips,  both the organization and employees can reap these benefits:

Break from routine

As mentioned previously, performing monotonous and mundane tasks for prolonged periods can lead to employee burnout. Business trips provide a temporary release from their humdrum routines. Exploring new places, immersing in different cultures, and engaging in leisure activities can help reduce workplace stress and encourage team members to think outside of the box. 

Strengthen bonds and teamwork

When employees travel together for business trips, it creates shared experiences that help break down barriers and foster camaraderie. This is especially the case for remote teams struggling to build connections due to the distance. Facing challenges and navigating new environments while on work trips can also aid in strengthening bonds between employees and problem-solving abilities. 

Improve employee wellbeing

Business trips can be a great way to improve employee wellbeing. Experiencing different cultures during work trips opens up perspectives and creates personal growth. This can help rejuvenate employees and boost creativity once they are back to work.

Likewise, business trips can bring about opportunities for professional development. By attending conferences, workshops, or meeting clients, employees can enhance and develop their existing skill sets despite being out of the office.

Ultimately, business trips provide a multitude of benefits for your team which can help keep them motivated and engaged, reducing the risk of employee burnout. 

Things to Consider When Organizing Business Trips

In order to truly reap the benefits of business trips mentioned above, here are some things that you should consider when organizing one:

Increased costs

Organizing business trips can be costly. Transportation, accommodation, meals and other work benefits added up can take a toll on the company’s finances. 

It is important for employers to do proper budgeting or utilize travel management services to get the best deals at cheapest rates to make the most out of their business trip.

The additional burden on HR personnel

Business trips on the surface may look like an easy option to tackle employee burnout, however, there’s more to it. Some organizations choose to delegate business trip planning to their HR team, which is an additional burden on their neverending to-dos. 

With all the benefits that business trips offer, companies should strive to make business trip management easier for HR teams. Fortunately, by using corporate travel management services like TruTrip and proper planning, you can significantly streamline and reduce the effort needed.

Impacts on productivity

While your team is away on business trips, it is expected that productivity will be impacted due to factors such as time zone changes, travel logistics and lost work time.

To mitigate this, it’s best practice to inform relevant stakeholders on an upcoming business trip and ensure that everyone is on the same page. An all-in-one HR software like Omni can be a good method to streamline the process. 

Employee self-service portals empower employees to submit their own time-off requests without having to go through their managers or HR. With a few clicks, stakeholders are able to review leave requests and other team members are aware of who’s in and out during the week, making it easier for workforce planning. 

Tips to Maximize Your Business Trips to Reduce Burnout

pexels alexander suhorucov 6457493

Foster open communication

Maintaining an open-door policy with employees throughout the planning process fosters a sense of collaboration. This can be done by encouraging them to voice their concerns regarding potential productivity issues, travel arrangements, or even feelings of anxiousness. By doing so, employees will feel more at ease and enthusiastic about the upcoming trip.

Automate business travel

As mentioned above, planning business trips can be tedious and costly. By automating the process with travel management software, you can find the best deals, automate booking processes, and generate expense reports. With all the administrative tasks being taken care of, employees can focus on their tasks at hand.

Host team activities

The old saying ‘all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ still applies today. Employees who are stuck in back-to-back meetings throughout the business trip may still be at risk of burnout. Hence, weaving in some team activities can be a great way to alleviate this. This can be as simple as exploring the city together or enjoying a team dinner. 

Offer flexible schedules

Last but not least, consider offering flexible schedules for employees on business trips, especially if they are travelling to a country at a different timezone. Flexible scheduling also allows them to cater to their own needs, tackle jet lag, and empower employees to manage their own workload. By doing so, it signals that the company cares about employee wellbeing and ultimately leads to increased employee satisfaction and a happier workforce. 

Investing in Employee Wellbeing with TruTrip

Employees are the heartbeat of any company, driving progress and innovation. Recognising and addressing the risk of employee burnout within your organization is key to creating a happy and productive workforce.

As we’ve established, business trips when planned and executed well can be a great way to tackle employee burnout. To do so, it’s crucial to have the right tools by your side. 
Here at TruTrip, we understand the importance of providing a seamless and stress-free travel experience for all business travelers. Our innovative travel management platform not only streamlines booking processes but also offers features that help HR leaders promote well-being, such as trip insurance and real-time safety alerts. Wanna see it for yourself? Request a demo or start a free trial today.

About the author

omnihr logo

OmniHR is a comprehensive HR management software designed to transform how businesses handle employee management. Their mission is to empower modern companies to build engaged and high-performing teams. Omni supports the entire employee lifecycle, allowing businesses to hire, onboard, manage, and pay employees across Asia and beyond with ease. By using Omni, companies can focus on strategic initiatives and meaningful interactions instead of getting bogged down in data entry and administrative tasks.