The CWT Solutions Group, global consultant to Carlson Wagonlit Travel (CWT), has developed the CWT Travel Stress Index. The tool measures stress factors on business trips and determines the extra costs these can cause to businesses.
According to a study by the International Labor Organization ILO, approximately 40% of all employees throughout the world suffer from stress. Business trips may also be a considerable stress factor: time spent traveling or waiting, the choice of transport and connection convenience, service classes and distances between hotel and meeting venue are factors influencing any traveler's stress factor. The intensity of travel stress, the effects upon staff productivity and thus also the ensuing costs for the company had previously not been measurable. In response to that need, CWT Solutions Group developed the CWT Travel Stress Index. The tool identifies stress-generating parameters of a business trip, renders these measurable and can thus determine which extra costs companies incur as a consequence. The CWT Travel Stress Index thus contributes to aggregate cost calculation, as it adds the costs caused by stress to the costs for the diverse travel modules.
The consequences of stress on business trips can have an impact both on staff members as well as the company itself: indicators here are decreased productivity and an increase in sick days. By taking these stress factors into account when designing travel guidelines, companies will not only take their traveling staff's needs into consideration, they also lay the foundation stone for a long-term and efficient travel program. By implementing travel guidelines urging their staff to cut costs for example by booking a more cost-efficient onward flight connection or a cheaper hotel further away from the meeting site, these companies at the same time increase stress leading to a loss in productivity on business trips and a rise in concealed costs. These may by several times higher than the savings achieved with travel modules.
Stefan Fallert, Director Policy & Compliance of CWT Solutions Group, pointed out that many companies have their focus on measurable costs for primary travel functions such as flights and hotels when designing their respective travel programs while their travelers' stress plays no role in determination of overall travel costs. He is convinced that the travel stress index provides information about this hitherto hidden factor and is therefore an expedient orientation aid for drawing up travel policies.