Too much travel is taking over lives

Aug 25 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Business travel is taking over the lives of business executives, with many spending almost 70 days a year away on business - more than three times the amount of annual leave taken by the average UK worker.

A survey of 200 senior executives by pollsters NOP has found that British executives take 13 flights per year for business, with their average trip lasting 5.2 days.

Far from being an exciting and glamorous perk, the research, commissioned by web meetings specialist WebEx Communications, reveals widespread discontent with these prolonged absences from home.

More than four out of 10 said that they would rather go through the rigmarole of house hunting than undergo the hassle of checking in, the irritation of passport control and the 'dead time' lost sitting in the airport lounge.

Eight out of 10 said that the first thing they do on reaching the safety of the hotel room is call their partners. According to the survey, men miss their partners the most, with almost twice as many men (six out of 10) than women admitting to missing their partners when travelling for work.

Half of women, meanwhile, said that they miss their children, not their partners.

Almost half of the respondents also said that they continuing to work, well into the evening, when travelling for work. When it comes to social activities, they're no more exciting. Books remain the most popular choice, with almost three-quarters indulging in light bedtime reading.

In fact a mere eight per cent of respondents venture out of their hotel room on the average business trip.

"Business travel is a notoriously painful experience," commented WebEx's Sylvia Jensen. But technology can provide a viable alternative, she insisted.

"The survey results show that there is a strong case for encouraging workers to engage in virtual business meetings.

"Obviously, there are many occasions where it is imperative to meet face-to-face, but business professionals should understand that there is an alternative to the frustration of international travel."