Corporate Traveller | Innovative Wellness

For too long, work travel has been all back-to-back meetings, redeyes, and airport coffee. Wellness always took a backseat. But that's changing faster than you can say ‘self-care’. A major wellness revolution is going down in business travel wellbeing. We're talking glamping trips, yoga retreats, and transformational festivals. These wellness-focused experiences are blowing up. 

But Bonnie Smith, GM of Corporate Traveller, says most companies haven’t caught up. “The usual travel policies, hotels and flights are still all about max productivity over employee wellbeing. That’s got to change. Keeping employees happy, high-performing and loyal means taking a more balanced approach.”

Wellness retreats are where it’s at for business traveller wellbeing

Corporate Traveller | Innovative Wellness

This has innovative hotels and travel companies jumping into the corporate wellness niche. One big trend is corporate retreats. They combine business travel with wellness activities. 

Companies are increasingly partnering with wellness-focused hotels or destinations. Then, they take offsite meetings, team workshops and strategy sessions to places purpose-built for recharging. We’re talking massages, adventure, healthy eats, meditation, and movement seamlessly blended into more traditional business sessions. 

Why it matters for duty of care: Integrating wellness promotes employee health and safety, reducing risks of stress and burnout-related issues.

Personalised options are key

Corporate Traveller | Innovative Wellness

And it goes beyond retreats. Bleisure travel is huge, too. Employees are tacking on holiday pre- or post-work trips to avoid returning to overflowing inboxes. Bringing family members helps frequent travellers feel less lonely and separated.

And it’s about thinking about more than the C-suite or a particular demographic. Today’s workforce is incredibly diverse. So cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all options don’t cut it anymore. Expecting new moms to adhere to brutal travel schedules made for 20-somethings? No way. Forcing Gen Z travellers into standardised corporate hotels? Also not happening. Forward-thinking corporate travel programmes enable flexibility and choice, says Smith.

Why it matters for duty of care: Building in personal time enables recovery and avoids fatigue, supporting mental health and resilience.

The future looks bright 

Corporate Traveller | Innovative Wellness

So, how far could this wellness-meets-business trend be taken? The sky’s the limit. Picture burned-out road warriors tapping into these latest wellness crazes coming soon, according to business travel trend signals. Sound healing’s ability to melt away stress could be magic for the travel-weary. Unpowering completely is another business travel trend. Why? We know constant stimulation fries focus and vitality. Our devices and social media increase stress. Cue silent retreating. This is about implementing talking fasts or digital detoxes to give frazzled nervous systems a break and boost creativity and attentiveness.

Realigning with nature also has serious potential. Forest bathing, moonlight meditation...these leverage awesome environments and intentional activities to shift frequency through connection. What better burnout cure than realigning with something bigger than your to-do list?

Why it matters for duty of care: Access to quiet spaces aids focus and relieves sensory overload, minimising anxiety/depression triggers.

These business travel trends sound out there? Maybe. But crazy stress levels in business travel demand creative solutions. Per a survey by Ipsos, half of South Africans have experienced stress so intense it temporarily prevented them from working. And it costs us - over R218 billion in lost working hours, according to a SADAG and Discovery Health study. 

“Cutting-edge wellness could also uplevel group and incentive travel, Smith says. “As demand for restorative travel climbs, smart companies should seriously consider the benefits.”

Is your travel policy feeling a bit under the weather? Let’s give it a wellness boost!

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