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Just how stressful is business travel


(Reuters.com) - If work-related stress is a "21st-century disease", as the International Labour Organization puts it, what happens when a busy travel schedule is added to the equation?According to a new study by a corporate travel agency, business travellers suffer especially keenly from stress. Using data gleaned from 6,000 travellers, Carlson Wagonlit Travel CWT. L found that unpleasant ‘surprises' like flight delays and luggage loss were the highest trigger of stress, especially for female travellers who were also more fazed by ‘routine breakers' like not being able to eat healthily. However, women felt decidedly less stressed about flying economy than men. CWT's "Travel Stress Index" also found that frequent fliers (over 30 trips per year) get most stressed from ‘lost time', with factors relating to the reimbursement of expenses, and from flying with a non-preferred airline, adding to their unease. Because senior air warriors in particular travel so much, their stress levels have no time to drop before they set off on another trip. This is why, CWT says, there's a difference of four ‘stress points' between frequent travellers and occasional travellers. While commending a study into a rarely examined issue, Cary L. Cooper, distinguished professor of organisational psychology and health at Lancaster University Management School, disputes the idea of specific stress triggers to travellers."When people are travelling, it's not just about bags and all the rest of it - it's about the whole process: Separation from your family for a period of time; the hassle of the airport; travelling ‘cattle class'; problems with hotels - it does accumulate up," he said by telephone."If I was looking at the impact of travel on my team of marketing people, I would also look at their sickness absence rates in contrast with others in different functions; their turnover rate; their performance appraisal compared to others."

THE STRESS OF BEING ALONE Though a comparison of stress between solo travellers and those journeying with companions was not included in the CWT study, it did find that business travellers with partners and families found that being on the road during weekends was significantly more stressful. Professor Cooper, who has the luxury of travelling with his wife on business, thinks it is important for frequent travellers to bring colleagues, their spouse, or an older daughter or son with them to offset the inherent loneliness of being away from home. "If the person feels more relaxed, can unwind quicker, can get over the jetlag better, they will perform better."IN MY ROOM

In a smaller study which recently probed the emotional health of business travellers, Fairfield Inn & Suites, a Marriott brand of select service hotel, found that the more one travels, the more likely they are to travel alone, with female travellers finding it more important than men to have someone to talk to. Only 16 percent of the 1,000 respondents in this survey reported feelings of stress, but 38 percent said they missed important events in their home life. In their report, Fairfield stress the importance of pre- and post-trip planning to reduce stress. Shruti Buckley, global brand manager for Fairfield Inn and Suites said in an interview she was surprised at the positive results, knowing how taxing and tough business travel can be, adding that hotel firms like hers are trying to create an environment where travellers can meet other people. STRESS REDUCTION STRATEGIES

According to psychologist Prof. Cooper, companies never do cost-benefit analyses on whether to send people long-haul cheaply, or on business class."Is there a difference on traveller's attitude, tiredness, performance? Businesses think they're making a saving; but you get someone in a really tired, exhausted state going to do a deal and what happens?"Adaptive travel policies are the way forward, thinks CWT. Vincent Lebunetel, co-author of its report, says he would recommend that clients take travellers' situations further into consideration. For example, "segmenting between those who are single, and those in couples or who have children, have a lot of stress travelling over the weekend or in trips of over three days."For their part, Fairfield Inn & Suites are using the results of their research to increase co-working hubs in guestrooms for colleagues to share, and, like a number of other properties, are working on their lobbies to "create spaces that inspire and encourage people to gather."Communal tables are being added, as are plug sockets so people can meet informally."Business travellers are always more critical judges of overall experience," says Buckley. "If we can meet their needs, we are almost automatically meeting the needs of leisure travellers."; var median = (relatedItemsTotal / 2); var $relatedContentGroupOne = $('.related-content.group-one ul'); var $relatedContentGroupTwo = $('.related-content.group-two ul'); $.each($relatedItems, function(k,v) { if (k + 1 = median) { $relatedContentGroupOne.append($relatedItems[k]); } else { $relatedContentGroupTwo.append($relatedItems[k]); } }); } else { $('.third-article-divide').append($('div class="related-content group-one"h3 class="related-content-title"Also In Business Travel/h3ul/ul/div')); $('.related-content ul').append($relatedItems); } },500); } Next In Business Travel 48 hours in Rochester, New York ROCHESTER, New York Synonymous with film photography, lilacs and classical music, Rochester offers an unusual array of attractions for a mid-sized U.S. city that brought industrial prowess to a scenic river gorge on Lake Ontario's southern shore. BlackBerry plans security feature for Android, iPhone TORONTO BlackBerry will offer technology to separate and make secure both work and personal data on mobile devices powered by Google Inc's Android platform and by Apple Inc's iOS operating system, the company said on Thursday. London keeps global edge as top transport finance hub LONDON London remains the top financing centre for the global transport industry, although it faces stiff competition from New York and capitals in Asia Pacific as companies seek to tap more funding sources, a survey showed on Friday. MORE FROM REUTERS window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'organic-thumbnails-a', container: 'taboola-recirc', placement: 'Below Article Thumbnails - Organic', target_type: 'mix' }); Sponsored Content @media(max-this site) { #mod-bizdev-dianomi{ height: 320px; } } From Around the Web Promoted by Taboola window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push( { mode: 'thumbnails-3X2', container: 'taboola-below-article-thumbnails', placement: 'Below Article Thumbnails', target_type: 'mix' } ); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push

Mideast money investors hopeful on msci upgrade for uae, qatar seen missin


Investors are betting that the United Arab Emirates will finally be elevated to emerging market status in a review of MSCI indexes next week, but expect Qatar to miss out due to still stringent foreign ownership limits. After being repeatedly overlooked by MSCI for an upgrade since 2009, UAE's efforts to improve market technology and transparency may be rewarded, analysts say. However, there is still a risk that some of the adjustments may have come too late for this year's index review on June 11. Index compiler Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI) has UAE and Qatar under review for an upgrade to emerging market (EM) from frontier status, a move that could open up their bourses to millions of dollars of inflows from funds that are mandated to invest only in emerging markets. Qatar appeared to make a last-minute push to help its chances of an upgrade on Wednesday, announcing that two of its biggest banks have asked the Qatar Exchange to increase the number of shares available to foreign investors. Whether that will affect MSCI's decision remains to be seen. Investors say UAE is more likely to gain emerging market status, a view which, along with improving economic fundamentals, has helped push Dubai's stock market. up 47 percent this year. That makes it the best-performing of all markets covered by MSCI, including developed markets."UAE does deserve to be upgraded," said Julie Dickson, head of equities at emerging market fund manager Ashmore. "It has been on the radar for a long time."UAE missed out on an upgrade last year due to MSCI requirements related to custody, clearing and settlement. Two of the UAE's three stock exchanges, Dubai Financial Market and the Abu Dhabi stock exchange, have since addressed the issues.

They have introduced a delivery versus payment (DvP) model and a so-called "false trading mechanism" that removes the requirement for international investors to have a cumbersome dual-account structure to limit local brokerages' access to their trading accounts. Early last month, Abu Dhabi's exchange also put in place buyer cash compensation (BCC), an enhancement to its DvP process that allows an investor to be paid cash compensation in the event of securities being unavailable for delivery on settlement date. If UAE is not upgraded this time, it could be because these enhancements were not made in time."UAE has only recently introduced BCC - our concern is that there isn't sufficient time for the market to fully test this enhancement," said Vijay Sumon, an analyst at HSBC in London. "They might have satisfied it now but the question investors may raise is: have they had sufficient time to test it?"

MINOR WEIGHTING HSBC estimates that an upgrade would see UAE attract an additional $370 million in inflows from global funds that track the MSCI emerging market index. Qatar would draw $430 million if it is upgraded, HSBC says. As UAE and Qatar would have a weighting of less than 1 percent combined in the MSCI emerging market index only passive funds, which try to track the benchmark returns, would re-balance their portfolios to accommodate the new entrants. The weightings would be too small to matter for most active funds, which aim to beat the benchmark performance, analysts said. Still, even if UAE loses out again on being upgraded the rally in Dubai stocks could continue.

"Whether an upgrade for UAE or Qatar happens or not, we're here to stay," said Fadi Said, head of investments at ING Investments in Dubai. "If it happens, it will increase the amount of committed funds to the countries."The rally is supported by a partial recovery in Dubai property prices in recent months following a 50 percent-plus slump from their 2008 peak. Dubai also still offers attractive valuations and dividend yields and banks have reported better earnings as provisions declined."An MSCI upgrade will not be a game changer," said Sebastien Henin, UAE-based portfolio manager at The National Investor. "Due to the fact that we have a strong rally in the market, people are looking at other things. Volumes picked up dramatically so the likely impact will be even less."Qatar's stock market is up about 11 percent this year but restrictions on foreign ownership remain a concern for international investors. Foreign ownership limits