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As business travel gradually restarts over the next few months, even the most seasoned business travellers may experience anxiety. As Emma-Louise Robertson outlines, occupational health will be well-placed to provide support and reassurance.
As international travel gradually resumes over the coming months, business travellers, who perhaps have barely left the house for 18 months, may be concerned about catching Covid-19 during their travels, as well as the worry and concern about getting home, the threat of new variants, and the fear and inconvenience of possibly having to experience hotel quarantine.
International travel will be challenging for at least the rest of the year, with, for example, the potential for sudden border closures, new quarantine measures and testing requirements or new rules or regulations regarding social contact and interaction, all contributing towards an unsettling and changeable picture.
Also, let’s not forget more traditional stress points for travellers such as airport security, border customs and passport control, which are more complex and involved now than before the pandemic.
Understanding and managing anxiety
Understanding and managing anxiety is important for all organisations with travelling populations, and this is something where occupational health practitioners can provide important leadership, guidance, support and reassurance.
People suffering from anxiety may notice physical symptoms, like nervousness or restlessness, feelings of panic or being ‘on edge’, rapid breathing and pulse, difficulty focusing and increased sweating.
The key to reducing anxiety while travelling is spending time preparing for all eventualities. Think of what could trigger the anxiety or be causing nervousness about an upcoming journey, and write down a plan before departure to better manage any triggers.
For example, if an em