With organizations and supply chains becoming more and more global, international travel for business professionals is increasing. The perks are growing your resume and seeing the world, but traveling across time zones on a regular basis tends to throw a person’s body out of whack. There have been many studies as to how one can minimize these effects, and the studies show the importance of getting on a precise schedule while traveling.
WebMD as well as researchers at the University of Michigan both agree that the biggest factor in overcoming jet lag, from traveling across multiple time zones, is exposure to light. The problem is that people don't know what this means. How much light you need and when you should be exposed to light is very complicated. The body has to reset its circadian rhythm after traveling across time zones and researchers at the University of Michigan have developed a smart phone app to help with this process. The phone app will tell travelers, based on point of origin and destination, what time of day and for how many consecutive days they should be exposed to light to minimize the effects of jet lag. If global business travelers can figure this process out, it will lead to greater productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness while on a business trip.
WebMD provides an article that stresses how important it is for people traveling on business trips to get the appropriate amount of sleep. The phone app designed by the University of Michigan will help business professionals work this out and put them on a more regular sleep schedule. The research also suggests things to do pre-flight, in-flight, and once travelers have reached their destination. Some of the major things suggested once one has reached the destination is to have a period of relaxation before bedtime, to exercise, and to eat the right amounts at the right times of the day. Research has also proven that getting too few hours of sleep while traveling for business greatly reduces one's performance.
Now that companies are expanding all over the world, it is becoming increasingly common for professionals to partake in global business travel. As discussed, there are some very important things to keep in mind when looking to maximize performance on business trips.
When you travel for business, is there anything you have found that makes the time zone changes easier to handle or anything in general you do to make the trip more effective? Feel free to leave a comment below.