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Not just vacation… ‘braincation’

Travel enhances employee mental health and drives business success by boosting brain function and creativity, reveals a new neuroscience report.

Travel is the link between enhancing employee mental health and generating business success, a new report on the neuroscience reveals.

As a catalyst for stimulating and awakening mental ability, travel changes our brain chemistry by increasing cognitive function and flexibility to directly contribute to better business and personal performance. The process of travel planning – even the anticipation of travel before you leave – boosts natural dopamine levels, releasing ‘happy hormones’, and in turn increasing motivation, learning, concentration and satisfaction.

Reinforced by experts, travel is recognised as a brain tool that boosts creativity and self-belief by bringing people out of their comfort zones to interact with different cultures and surroundings. Neuroscientist Mary Helen Immordino-Yang states that “our ability to differentiate our own beliefs and values… is tied up in the richness of the cultural experiences that we have had”[i].

With a recent human resources study disclosing that 57% of employees have experienced burn out and almost half (48%) lack confidence that their employer cares about them – a figure that has increased almost 10% in just two years[ii] – it has never been more critical for businesses to find positive solutions to boost employee mental health. Coupled with the finding from the Health and Safety Executive that nearly 1 million people suffered from work-related stress, depression, or anxiety in 2021/22, and 1.8 million working days were lost as a result[iii], addressing workforce mental health is essential. In fact, there is now a growing trend amongst employees to prioritise wellbeing over financial reward, with over half saying they would consider a position with lower pay but better benefits[iv].

Enhancing workplace rewards is becoming a proven formula with 78% of company decision-makers seeing greater employee retention after adding or improving benefits packages[v]. Travel is not only an attractive work perk but can also be harnessed by businesses to drive a more content, and in turn, more productive workforce. Happier employees are more engaged in their work; more effective and creative; have fewer sick days and absenteeism, and stay in role longer, reducing recruitment and boosting retention.

Brett Norton, CEO of utc.travel says, “In today’s dynamic and competitive job market, attracting and retaining top talent is a priority for businesses and it all starts with employee satisfaction. To achieve top performance at work, our brains need to get off autopilot to perform at their best. When we switch off, so much magic happens. We are better equipped to find creative solutions to business problems, find balance, and reduce stress, in turn enabling people to work at their peak, reaching business goals and organisational vision.”

Travel serves as a tangible reward for work, whilst at the same time boosting wellbeing. Leading authority on happiness worldwide, the Happiness Index, cites that, “neuroscience shows us that one of the key drivers of employee engagement is vision and values. For lots of people, what motivates them at work is being able to also have quality time outside of work. That’s why it’s so important they can get away and switch off entirely. Reminding people why they’re working in the first place is sure to have incredible effects on their productivity when they return[vi].”

Harnessing the power of travel and translating it into solutions for businesses and employees, utc.travel provides its members with the opportunity to embrace new perspectives, build skills for success, and allow minds to reset. Offering unique travel planning tools, savings of up to 40% on over 1.5 million hotels worldwide, access to affordable flights, and cost-effective car rentals, along with versatile lifestyle benefits including discounts on days out and dining experiences, cinema and leisure activities, the new subscription travel club provides tastes to suit every traveller.

Understanding that one size does not fit all, business memberships can be customised, tailoring benefits to an organisation’s unique needs. With annual team memberships starting from £49 per employee, utc.travel offers a cost-effective employee benefit solution that secures members an average saving of £232 per booking.

References

[i] Mary Helen Immordino-Yang (2023) Atlantic: For a More Creative Brain, Travel

[ii] The 2023-2024 Aflac Workforces Report

[iii] Health and Safety Executive 2021-22 (Statistics)

[iv] The 2023-2024 Aflac Workforces Report

[v] Remote’s Global Benefits Report 2022

[vi] Joe Wedgewood (2023) The importance of Annual Leave

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