A recent study published in the journal “Tourism Analysis” has found that frequent travel has a positive impact on an individual’s happiness. The study, led by researchers at Washington State University, investigated the relationship between travel frequency and overall life satisfaction. The results of this research could have important implications for individuals and organisations alike.
Method to happiness
The study surveyed 500 Taiwanese adults and collected data on their travel habits and life satisfaction. Participants were asked to rate their overall life satisfaction on a scale of 1 to 10 and to indicate how often they travelled in the past year. The researchers also collected demographic information, including age, gender, income, and education level.
Findings to happiness
The researchers found a strong relationship between travel frequency and overall life satisfaction. Participants who travelled more frequently were happier, with a 7% increase in overall life satisfaction compared to those who travelled less frequently.
The study found that the relationship between travel and happiness held true regardless of demographic factors such as age, gender, income, and education level. This suggests that frequent travel has the potential to increase happiness for individuals from all walks of life.
The study also investigated the relationship between travel frequency and specific types of travel, such as domestic and international travel. The results showed that both types of travel had a positive impact on happiness, but international travel was found to have a slightly stronger impact.
The results suggest that any type of travel, whether domestic or international, has the potential to increase happiness. It is worth noting that international travel and related activities, such as snowmobile tours, may have a slightly stronger impact, likely due to the novelty and excitement of visiting new places and experiencing different cultures.
Digital Nomads and organisational policies
To take advantage of travel in the corporate setting, a new class of workers known as digital nomads have emerged. These digital nomads work remotely, often travelling to different locations around the world while maintaining their job responsibilities. This lifestyle has gained popularity in recent years, especially among millennials who prioritise work-life balance and experiences over traditional career paths.
As a result, many companies have had to change their organisational policies to attract digital nomads. Flexible work arrangements, such as remote work and flexible schedules, have become more common, primarily in the digital industry. This has allowed employees more control over their work-life balance and has opened up opportunities for frequent travel without sacrificing their careers.
Organisations have also started to recognise the benefits of flexible work arrangements for their employees and the company. These policies can increase employee satisfaction and productivity, reduce turnover and absenteeism, and lower overhead costs associated with maintaining a physical office. By offering flexible work arrangements, organisations can attract and retain top talent, including digital nomads who value freedom and flexibility.
It is important, however, for organisations to strike a balance between providing flexible policies and maintaining productivity and performance. While frequent travel can have a positive impact on happiness and job satisfaction, it can also result in reduced productivity and missed deadlines if not managed effectively. Therefore, organisations must set clear expectations and guidelines for remote work and travel to ensure that work is completed efficiently and effectively.
Balancing travel and happiness post-covid
This study contributes to a growing body of evidence that suggests that travel can have a positive impact on overall life satisfaction. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals have been unable to travel as much as they would like. The findings highlight the importance of travel for overall happiness and well-being, and underscore the need for policies that support and encourage travel in the future.
The results of this study have important implications for both individuals and organisations. For individuals, it highlights the importance of making travel a priority, whether for leisure or work. And for organisations, it suggests that encouraging and supporting travel, whether through paid time off or other incentives, may have a positive impact on employee well-being and happiness.
In addition to the published paper, we want to expand the opportunity of empowering organisations to encourage opportunities for digital nomads. This will create a sustainable balance between travelling and employment.
Chen, C. C., Petrick, J., & Zou, S. (2021). Would You Be More Satisfied with Your Life If You Travel More Frequently? Tourism Analysis, 26(1). https://doi.org/10.3727/108354220X16072200013427