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Business travel dead time? The loophole to escape the always-on work mentality!


FCM Travel






Media Release

Business travel dead time? The loophole to escape the always-on work mentality!

JOHANNESBURG, Day month, year – Never off. Always on. Our work culture has made a dramatic U-turn since the Dolly Parton days of ‘working 9 to 5’. Employees today are always on the clock, always available, always on-call. In fact, research shows that people keep their mobile within arm’s reach for more than 90% of the time – day and night.

The pressure to be productive and alert at any time of the day (or night) has trickled down to business travel, says Bonnie Smith, GM FCM Travel. According to a survey conducted by YouGov, 22% of people said they feel unproductive for up to half of their business trips. And they’re actively looking for ways to remedy their ‘unproductivity’.

The result is that employees seek to avoid “travel dead time” at all costs, according to new research from Trainline Partner Solutions (TPS). More than eight in ten (82%) of business travellers in the UK reported that maintaining productivity is a major consideration. It is one of the reasons why rail travel is increasing in popularity, according to TPS. After all, the top advantages of rail travel over air or road are more reliable access to Wi-Fi and mobile connectivity (chosen by 51% of respondents), a more comfortable physical environment for work (50%), a quieter and calmer experience (48%) and less waiting around (46%).

“The need to be productive has become overwhelming,” says Smith. “When people travel for work they feel the pressure to work around the clock and make every minute productive. But this is in fact counterproductive. It will impact on your ability to do the job for which you are travelling and will impact on your overall mental health.”

Smith suggests the best use of dead-time is to use it to recharge and re-energise.

Make downtime, you time

When it comes to work-related travel, stress is often a common companion. Invest “wasted” travel time in yourself. Listening to music or audiobooks with headphones can be a great way to relax and unwind. This can help you reconnect with your inner self and recharge your mental battery so that when you get to your destination, you’ll be in the right frame of mind to accomplish your business goals.

Plan a little time off

As work and personal lives become more intertwined, bleisure travel is on the rise. Many business travellers use the time between their professional appointments to get to know their destination or plan a few extra days for sightseeing. Use transit time to research your destination – and even book an activity to help you relax.

If you can’t work, study

Productivity can be more than just checking things off your to-do list. Are you interested in learning something new but don’t feel like you ever have the time? Use your travel time to expand your skills and improve your knowledge, which can help your professional development. Before your next trip, pack a few books or download podcasts focused on improving your personal or work goals.

Take your notebook with you

Problems often need to marinate before they can be solved. Some of the best ideas come to us when we’re not actively thinking about them. With a notebook by your side, you can quickly jot down those lightbulb moments. It can also serve as a diary for personal thoughts, dreams, and goals.

“Business travel is all about balance. And yet it’s so easy for balance to slip when travellers are out on the road, leaving them tired and stressed. Of course, productivity is important for business travellers. Although it might sound counterintuitive, the best way to become more productive is to allow yourself the space to relax and unwind. After all, if you neglect your wellbeing, it could lead to burnout. So, instead of fighting travel ‘dead-time’, embrace it as an opportunity to re-charge and recalibrate,” concludes Smith.


For more information about FCM, or to interview FCM General Manager South Africa, Bonnie Smith, call Dorine Reinstein on 083 278 8994 or email

About FCM Travel:

FCM Travel, the flagship corporate travel brand at Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG), is the business travel partner of choice for large national, multinational and global corporations. We are an award-winning global corporate travel management company ranking as one of the top five by size around the world. We operate a global network which spans more than 100 countries, employing over 6000 people.

FCM Travel are transforming the business of travel through our empowered and accountable people who deliver 24/7 service and are available either online or offline. Leveraging FCM’s negotiating strength and supplier relationships in conjunction with our tailored business travel programs, our expertise delivers more for our clients where it matters most to them.

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Issued by: Big Ambitions

Contact: Dorine Reinstein

Tel: +27 83 278 8994