How to achieve work-life balance as a road warrior

Businessman working on the beach

 

A work-life balance is difficult to achieve at the best of times, and it seems even more so for road warriors who are constantly on the go. Many find it difficult to relax due to ever-looming targets, nonstop travel and constant connectivity. 

A work-life balance is often misconceived as presenting in equal parts the ability to work hard and perform at one’s peak, as well as relax at home with family and friends. The reality, in fact, is that work-life balance is all about creating a routine that enables one to avoid serious illness, strained relationships, and burnout.

“Balance is impossible to attain on a daily basis,” warns Zi Hattingh, an executive coach at Cycan, Rather, she says: “It is about priority, addressing the important rather than the urgent. What in life is more important than your health? Health implies good eating, sleep, exercise, and relationships, as well as the golden triad of meaning: purpose, autonomy, and mastery.”

Try these easy-to-implement tips to restore balance:

1.  GET HELP

Getting help from a Travel Management Company (TMC) such as FCBT frees up a lot of time for travellers. Not having to deal with stressful details such as flight changes and late check-ins means travellers can focus on their primary concern, which is driving business.

TMCs also leverage their global buying power, meaning better rates and the best value for money.

A TMC will also help overcome common travel pitfalls, referred to as ‘pain points’. 

Travellers face a number of these pain points on any given day, but a survey by the Global Business Travel Association has found that the time travellers spent in transit, followed by layover times, and then having to change a flight or train booking during a trip are the key challenges. 

Business travellers no longer have to worry about these pain points. FCBT are able to assist our clients 24 hours every day, and if they come across any stumbling blocks on their journey, we are on hand to solve it.

 2.  HEALTHY BODY - HEALTHY MIND

The temptation to eat fast, convenient foods at irregular times is big for road warriors, for whom finding a gap between clients and calling it a meal time is far from ideal, and often fatigue from the day means that a home-cooked dinner is off the cards. 

Try to prepare healthy weekly lunches on a Sunday and package them individually for a convenient ‘grab and go’ option. Many hotels will assist with a packed lunch if requested at the time of booking.  Exercise is another habit that easily falls by the wayside during frequent travel. Not only is it a good way to relieve pressure and keep healthy, but it also helps maintain focus when at work. 

“We are not designed to be sedentary,” says Hattingh, “but you don’t need to be running marathons either. Find an activity that you enjoy and incorporate that into your daily routine.”

3.  SAY NO TO THINGS THAT CUT INTO PERSONAL TIME 

Salespeople tend to be natural people pleasers and saying no doesn’t always come easily. In order to achieve any semblance of balance, it is important to draw a line somewhere and stick to it. Say no to things that cut into personal time and don’t dwell on it, the experts suggest. 

“Don’t skimp on what’s important in your life. Yes, that includes doctor’s appointments, long weekends, romantic dinners with your partner,” says Hattingh. “All these things help you to recharge and find your feet again. Say no when you really can’t do something. This will also ensure others respect your boundaries and your time.”

4.  USE THE PERKS 

As glamorous as constant travel seems, most business travellers are suffering from serious traveller fatigue, and having a perk or two can go a long way in relieving some of that pressure. 

FCBT’s SmartSTAY programme looks to increase productivity, addressing these traveller issues has by including perks such as free breakfast, early check-in and free upgrades, all of which increases comfort and ups traveller productivity on the road.

FCBT also offers the benefit of a range of bleisure options which can be added to a booking without any hassle. Adding a leisure element to corporate travel increases personal enrichment, a vital component in a work-life balance.

5.  SWITCH OFF

Constantly checking for messages or e-mails might seem like a habit in efficiency but, in fact, it can reduce focus and needlessly injects stress into downtime. Checking devices before bed may also lead to disturbed sleep and reduced cognitive performance. 

Be purposeful with devices and find methods of communication that offer the most efficiency with the least disruption.

6.  CONSIDER A BLEISURE BREAK 

According to MMGY Global, 81% of millennials actually associate business travel with higher job satisfaction. As a result, the demographic was found to take more business trips than any other generation — 7.7 per year on average. 

However, FCBT have found millennial professionals want to work in an environment that prioritises the health and happiness of its workers. How can you marry frequent business trips and work-life balance? 

In the millennial’s case it’s quite simple: offer them the possibility to extend their corporate trips for a few days to explore the destination for their own personal enrichment. When dealing with FCBT who has the global backing of the Flight Centre Travel Group, you will benefit from having a range of ‘bleisure’ options available that can be added seamlessly into your booking. 

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