The ACTE Column: Seeing the Light

Good duty-of-care is essential, both for travellers' well-being and increased effectiveness

NATURAL LIGHT IS NECESSARY for good health. Disruption of light-and-dark pattern sequence is the cause of jetlag, which can take its toll on the body and its ability to perform at its optimum.

Regular travellers will have their own tricks and tips to combat jetlag, from re-setting watches on boarding the aircraft to the destination time-zone, to drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcohol in-flight. But corporations, take note: there is evidence to suggest that in addition to feeling 'ropey' when a traveller disembarks a long-haul flight, jetlag can also create long-term persistent memory problems, mental dysfunction, mood swings and high blood pressure. Ultimately, jetlag can impact the long-term health and performance of the road warrior.

However, through breakthrough experimentation and research, scientists have now discovered a molecular basis for jetlag. The research may well lead to a magic anti-jetlag pill, but until such a drug is launched and proven to work, with duty-of-care responsibilities becoming an increasing focus, steps may need to be considered to avoid the potential for litigation. Travel policies may need to be adapted to minimise the negative health impacts of long-haul travel, and increase traveller effectiveness and productivity for business.

There is also light at the end of the financial crisis tunnel, as much of Europe trades more positively, despite the significant challenges faced by Greece, Spain, Italy and Ireland. With more generally buoyant trade comes the opportunity for greater investment in people. Training and personal development return to the corporate agenda and interest returns towards environmental issues.

As we enter 2014 companies around the world will continue to prioritise projects to meet their easiness needs and objectives. Whether that primary focus is on the health and well-being of the traveller, cost control or environmental concerns, by working in partnership with the national business travel associations [BTAs] around Europe, as well as planning teams of progressive thinkers, ACTE helps to identify the most pressing issues in each market.

ACTE and our BTA partners all believe in open cooperation without limitation or restriction, and we work collaboratively for the good of the industry as a whole. Being part of the ACTE global community is about investing in your professional development and driving growth and opportunity for your business.

Please join us and encourage your teams to attend our education forums in Brussels on February 24, London on March A, Moscow on March 13 and Dubai on May 20. See the ACTE event calendar for more information and let us know if you would be interested in helping to plan, deliver or support these education events, because ACTE truly is your association.

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