Top tips on business travel mental health from our experts

Top tips on business travel mental health from our experts

Top tips on business travel mental health from our experts
11th April 2024

At SilverDoor, we’ve always had a people-first approach and believe our people are our greatest asset. Not only do we make significant investment into training our staff to be the brightest, most experienced in the industry, but we also promote a culture where well-being comes first to ensure our staff are the happiest they can be, too.

In 2023, 47 members of our global workforce volunteered to have mental health training of varying levels with MHFA England:

  • 5 Mental Health First Aiders trained
  • 17 Mental Health Champions trained
  • 28 senior managers trained in mental health awareness

These people are advocates for mental health awareness and provide a safe space for colleagues to seek advice and comfort. Positive mental well-being at work is important, so not only do we invest in the mental well-being of our own employees, but we also work hard to promote the well-being of our clients. 

SilverDoor staff sharing a laugh in the office
Promoting positive mental well-being is key for happy, productive staff who enjoy coming to work

|We asked our Mental Health First Aiders and Champions: what are your top tips for promoting positive mental well-being while travelling for business?

 

Georgia Clements of SilverDoor staff profile
Georgia, Senior Partner Accounts Executive, says:

"Business travel can be quite anxiety-inducing for me, so it’s important for my mental health to be able to let myself breathe and focus. I make sure I know my route ahead of time and have a plan thought through for the trip, with screenshots of travel routes and tickets ready in case I lose connection. An important tip for traveller well-being is to allow yourself an extra 15 to 30 minutes either side of meetings to alleviate some of the time pressures and to allow time in case you get lost… which can be quite common for me! This extra time lets me slow down, take in my surroundings and appreciate where I am."

 

Niall Ward of SilverDoor staff profile
Niall, Management Accountant, suggests:

"Stay connected! You can often be alone during business travel, so I think it's important to maintain connections not only with colleagues and team members, but also family and friends. Regular messages, phone calls, facetimes and Teams meetings can all promote positive mental health and help you stay feeling in the loop with home."

 

Cecilia Cai of SilverDoor staff profile
Cecilia, Partner Account Manager - APAC,
says:

"There are many times that I travel for work to a country I’ve never been to before, so I want to be confident enough to get through my corporate commitments and enjoy some sightseeing at the same time. I want to make sure all my meetings with our property partners are extremely productive, so I make sure I enjoy my wind-down time in the evening. I will go for walks to explore the cities and properly switch off to help my mental health and make sure I’m on good form the next day. That would be my top tip for business traveller wellbeing!"

 

Matt Fletcher of SilverDoor staff profile
Matt, Development Manager, said:

"When I'm on my daily commute, I love to play the crossword-style game, Wordscapes, on my phone to get my brain going first thing in the morning. If I'm travelling further afield, nothing beats relaxing with a podcast. My go-to choices being Bad Voltage when I'm after news and ideas from the world of tech, or Three Little Words when I'm looking for something more inspirational.

I always ensure I have a phone charger ready so I’m not caught out with a dead phone, and make sure it’s in my pocket before boarding so I'm not having to rummage for one in my bag on a busy train."

 

Emma Ferguson of SilverDoor staff profile
Emma, Account Manager, said:

"I would say to definitely try and make time for yourself to explore the area, take in the sights, try local cuisine, and meet new people. I do also think it can be quite daunting to travel solo if you don’t frequently travel, so I would also recommend staying connected with friends and family as much as you can whilst you’re away to help promote traveller wellbeing."

 

Kurtis Murphy of SilverDoor staff profile
Kurtis, Head Partner Account Manager - EMEA, says:

"I think, where possible, it’s important while you travel for business to try and maintain the usual routines that promote positive mental health when you’re at home. If you plan ahead, you can ensure you still eat a healthy diet, go to bed at a regular time, and see if you can exercise at a gym, in your apartment or outdoors."

 

Christine Willis of SilverDoor staff profile
Christine, Head of HR, has similar advice:

"Taking the time for selfcare when travelling is key. I make sure that, along with all the fun of being in a new location, I make sure I stay hydrated, keep an eye on what I eat, and try to beat the jetlag if travelling to a new time zone. For traveller wellbeing, packing an eye mask is the game changer for good sleep patterns!"

 

Imogen Brettell
Imogen, Chief People Officer, says:

"I hate being away from home, but I love to travel – weird I know! My top tip for business traveller wellbeing would be to take pictures of the lovely things you see, so that you can appreciate the little things and remind yourself of the benefits of travelling."

 

Regina Tan of SilverDoor staff profile
Regina, Senior Account Support, confirms this advice...

"When on business trips, I always have this one thing with me: my camera! Each day, I will find one thing that makes me happy and snap a photo of it or a selfie of me doing a new activity or at a place. It’s the memories forged that remind me why life is amazing and to always look forward to each new day."

 

Stuart Winstone of SilverDoor staff profile
Stuart, Chief Executive Officer, says:

"Something I have learnt the hard way - avoid cramming long-haul trips in the diary and instead make sure you schedule plenty of time. Short-haul flying is one thing (I can actually get from home to our Madrid office quicker than it normally takes to get to the Lancaster office from London!), but long-haul is entirely different and can wreak havoc on your body clock.

Nowadays if I'm needed in Singapore or Denver on a Monday, I would depart the Friday or even Thursday before. Not being able to sleep properly can really impact the trip, so it's really worth investing the extra time at the start to give it your best shot at being acclimatised by the time you need to work. Investing in this way has made my travel far more enjoyable and productive."

 

Lydia Rowles of SilverDoor staff profile
Lydia, Senior Marketing Executive, says:

"Having an organised suitcase is key to me feeling relaxed while travelling through airport security and during business trips. I have to make a packing list to make sure I don’t forget anything and packing cubes are the best way to organise your things – there’s nothing worse than the early morning panic thinking you’ve forgotten something you need for a meeting or event, so being organised limits this unnecessary stress."

 

Lorraine Evans of SilverDoor staff profile
Lorraine, Digital Marketing Manager, said:

"I can struggle to sleep when I'm away from home on my own, but I find it can help if I try to stick to a similar sleep pattern as at home. Allowing some time to wind down before bed helps with this, usually I listen to a podcast or read before bed to properly switch off. I also like to research and suss out the area I'm staying in so I know my way around and feel more comfortable in my new, unfamiliar surroundings."

 

Stephen Homsey of SilverDoor staff profile
Stephen Homsey, Vice President - North America, suggests:

"It’s important to maintain your usual healthy diet when you travel for business – although takeaway is sometimes the easiest option, cooking your own meals in your apartment kitchen is more cost-effective and helps to promote good physical and mental traveller wellbeing. I recommend heading to a local market to find the best local cuisine and fresh ingredients to cook a meal authentic to the area you’ve travelled to!"

Amy Pammenter of SilverDoor staff profile
Amy, Head Account Manager, says:

"I think it’s so important when I travel for business to always take a moment to appreciate where you are. Even if you have a really hectic work schedule, try to take the time to enjoy being in a new place with new things to see and do. Take a minute to be a tourist, appreciate where you are, and create a memory!"

 

Ignacio Carvajal of SilverDoor staff profile
Ignacio, Partner Account Manager, emphasises the importance of this...

"It’s key to have some time to acclimatise to the city and time zone you’ve travelled to and make sure your mental space is not 100% occupied by work. Set realistic expectations and make a conscious effort to assign some time for yourself – do something new, visit somewhere different and turn your work notifications off."

 

Rhianna Keir of SilverDoor staff profile
Rhianna, Client Account Support, says:

"While it’s important to exercise and keep active while you're away on business, I always make sure to let myself rest when I need it. It’s important to remember that rest doesn’t need to be earned! So, if your body is telling you it’s tired during a busy business trip, allow some down time to rest, recover and relax."

 

Sophie Brinsley of SilverDoor staff profile
Sophie, Executive Vice President - APAC, says:

"I always love to go for a run around the local area when I'm on business trips to explore and clear my head. I also love to take any colleagues on my favourite running circuit around Marina Bay when they visit our Singapore office – I took Alex Neale out for a jog on one of his recent visits and he assured me he felt the positive mental health effects of the exercise endorphins!"

 

Serena Dines of SilverDoor staff profile

Serena, Vice President Pricing & Revenue, recommends:

"Mixing the work and play makes for a healthier balance! A recommendation from me would be to do something authentic to the city and really be present in enjoying the local cuisine and connecting with the locals. Adding an extra leisure night onto the end of the business trip is always a good idea so you have some downtime to relax and soak it all in."

 

_________________________________

 

Serviced apartments have many proven mental wellbeing benefits, offering guests more space, autonomy and flexibility to maintain usual routines and promote health and wellness for corporates while travelling for business.

We partner with lots of property brands that promote traveller wellbeing in the form of fitness, which is a great way to maintain positive mental health while you’re away on business. Urban Rest, for example, provide a Peloton fitness guide in every one of their apartments for guests to use during their stay, and Oasia Residence by Far East Hospitality provide a range of wellness experiences including a monthly wellness walk, aqua fitness classes and nature therapy plant workshops. Other examples include Dao by Dorsett and Citadines Raffles Place that both offer initiatives to promote business traveller wellbeing for their guests, too.


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