Study Finds Business Travel Boosts Your Creative Brainpower

Author: David McMillin       

business travel

Results of a survey by CWT and Artemis Strategy Group reveal that traveling for work can lead to enhanced creativity and productivity. (CWT graphic)

As you plan your itinerary for your next business trip, you may want to carve out some extra time for thinking. CWT and Artemis Strategy Group surveyed more than 2,700 business travelers who traveled for work at least four times in the past 12 months, and the results show that 60 percent of respondents feel more creative and more productive when they’re on the road for their jobs. “These findings are not a surprise,” Niklas Andreen, executive vice president and chief traveler experience officer at CWT, said in a statement about the research. “Travel energizes people, fosters fresh thinking, creates connections — and nothing beats a face-to-face meeting.”

While the value of an in-person connection comes as no shock to those who work in the meetings industry, the results run counter to other research on the downside of business travel. From rushing to make it to your gate on time at the airport to worrying about getting sick from germy airplanes, traveling can be stressful. In fact, a 2018 study conducted at Columbia University linked a higher number of nights on the road with higher rates of depression and anxiety.

Perhaps in order to harness the positive impacts of business travel, you need to rely on an adage that applies to many areas of life: Everything in moderation. Occasional opportunities to break the everyday routine of waking up in the same bed, going to the same office, and talking to the same people can open your mind to new possibilities. But too much time moving from point A to point B can turn all that fresh thinking into mush and reverse that creative energy into serious health challenges.

For a first-person perspective on the need for finding balance in business travel, read the story of executive and road warrior Klaus Span, who suffered a heart attack while en route to ibtm and took it as a wake-up call to adjust his lifestyle.