Gallup’s 2022 report of the record-breaking stress level among employees worldwide didn’t surprise many employers. Companies were already seeing the effects of the pandemic manifest in employee burnout, high turnover, and employee disengagement, recently termed quiet quitting. Employee well-being has become the top priority for HR teams that need to elevate employee engagement and retention.
As employers seek out meaningful ways to support employee well-being, they’re adding muscle to their rewards and recognition programs with employee travel benefits. Leading travel platform Switchfly saw a huge jump in bookings in 2022 as employees took advantage of employer-sponsored travel, and 2023 bookings are already at all-time highs. Travel has become the MVP of rewards and recognition programs because it’s not just time away from work that employees need. It’s also the breather from daily responsibilities and surroundings that only travel can create.
3 Ways Travel Benefits Employee Health
The health benefits of travel may be more valuable than ever to employees and companies after the enforced isolation of the pandemic and now, adjustment to hybrid work policies. New research published in the Journal of Transport & Health confirms what has long been recognized: Travel is important for human health and social connection.
Companies can help encourage and facilitate travel for their employees by making employee travel benefits part of their rewards and recognition program. Here are three ways travel supports employee wellbeing:
Reduces stress. Travel gives the brain a break from cognitive function overload. That reduction in stress creates both mental and physical health benefits. When people participate in things that give them pleasure, it lowers levels of the primary stress hormone cortisol in the body. Anxiety levels can decrease, and moods can change. Travel can help people feel calmer, especially vacations that immerse them in the natural world.
People are often more active when they travel, too. The physical benefits of travel can include lowering blood pressure, reducing aches and pains, and getting more restful sleep.
Improves creativity. A change of place and pace, even for a few days, helps people look at the world with fresh eyes and a different perspective. New experiences can boost creativity, problem-solving and innovation when employees return to work.
Increases satisfaction with life. Younger generations were hardest hit by the isolation of the pandemic, according to The Harvard Gazette. At the same time, travel has emerged has one of the top aspirations in life for Gen Z and Millennials. Companies that help their employees travel help them live their lives as they envision it, which can lead to both employee wellbeing and satisfaction with their employer.
Improving Employee Engagement and Retention with Travel
Adding travel rewards to a rewards and recognition program can help companies hold onto their best workers, and benefit from increased productivity when they return to work energized and ready to tackle big challenges. Employee travel benefits can also help attract new talent, as employees share their amazing travel experiences with their social circles.
Switchfly is the leader in helping companies offer travel benefits that employees are excited to use. To discover what’s possible with Switchfly, connect with us today.