Tuesday 18 February 2020

*EXCLUSIVE Q&A* Business Travel Wellbeing Community

Business Travel Wellbeing Community was started by a group of like-minded people who wanted to change business travel for the better, and who felt that the best way to go about this was to focus on helping people with their mental health, physical health, jet-lag, sleep management, recovery, thriving and calm mind-sets and cultural intelligence. 

We find out more in this exclusive Q&A with co-founders of Business Travel Wellbeing Community; Dr. Lucy Rattrie, John Lee, Katie Virtue and Matthew Holman.

What inspired you to co-found BTWC?

We are business travellers, love working in the industry and are passionate about people doing incredible work. We have been frustrated that wellness challenges are not being addressed, despite statistics and anecdotal reports emphasising the importance of wellbeing. We want to enable people, organisations, and the industry to flourish, so collectively founded a global community with no hidden agenda and a values-based purpose.

Thankfully, traveller wellbeing is a topic gaining momentum, confirmed with a 2019 report revealing 89 % of organisations polled will increase their approach to wellbeing in 2020. We realised the people who matter (that’s the business travellers btw!) were not being asked what they want, need, think, so felt the need for something different, radical, right.

What excites you most about BTWBC?

Harnessing our collective energy to make a difference in the industry, speaking as a single voice that puts people at the heart of actions! A central point will bring together opinions, insights, knowledge to address challenges faced, guide people, organisations, suppliers, and professional bodies in decision making and action, bringing sustainability and putting people first.

What will make traveller wellbeing front and centre for the next ten years?

The increasing impact to travel programmes, high turnover, absenteeism, increasing fears around risk (amongst other factors) are causing travel managers and HR to take ownership. We expect the travel-HR conversations to become status-quo, driven by internal advocates, willingness to allocate budget and resources to help travellers, and suppliers who up their game. It’s been accepted for a long time that people are the heart of HR, and we feel people will soon be viewed as the heart of travel management – taking a balanced view and stopping a dominant default to savings, compliance, cost etc. We expect a change in travel policies to become more people-centric, with a degree of flexibility to enhance wellbeing.

Building a global community around wellbeing is a crucial first step, but ultimately, the leaders will make a difference and be recognised as first movers, courageous in taking a holistic business metric view.  Wellbeing is not an easy topic as the KPIs and business metrics to follow can be difficult to measure or take time to emerge.  They don't appear in any profit and loss account, but they do have a considerable business impact.  Losing a talented employee to anxiety, stress or burn-out can cause a ripple across an organisation beyond just their direct salary. Some are leading the way and we’re looking forward to seeing how things develop.

Business Travel Wellbeing Community are exhibiting at BTS wellness retreat. Register for FREE now www.businesstravelshow.com

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