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Keeping out-of-office and travelling employees healthy

To those of us who work in an office every day, there is a certain allure to business trips and being out of the office.  But road trips and travelling on business can have severe a health impact on employees as it can be hard to make healthy food choices.  From unhealthy service station snacks, to indulgent client dinners and the temptation of room service – life on the move can derail even the healthiest of lifestyles.

If you employ staff to travel – in their cars, catching trains from one end of the country to another or jetting off for international business then there is good news – it’s easier to encourage them to eat healthily than you might think.  With Diabetes Week in the UK just over a fortnight away, if you have field based staff who are constantly on the go, it is important to help them to manage their weight and maintain some healthy habits.  Healthy Performance have put together some tips and advice to help keep your movers in shape:

Eat breakfast

This is sage advice for every employee regardless of where they work because skipping breakfast can leave you starving for high fat foods later in the day. Tells staff to avoid fried foods at the hotel’s breakfast buffet and opt for a balance of protein, carbohydrates and fats to set you up for the day. Hard-boiled eggs, whole-wheat toast, fruit and yoghurts are great options.

Take your own food

Meals at service stations and airports are often processed and packed with salt. Encourage employees to be organised and pack healthy snacks like nuts, whole-grain crackers, raw veggies and fruit.  You could offer staff some plastic containers that can be refrigerated or frozen and picked up on the way out of the door along with their luggage.

Look for real food at the service station

This can be hard when employees enter the world of the service station shop as they will be faced with aisles of sweets, chocolate, sugary drinks, crisps and biscuits but, they really should avoid these packaged snacks. The trick is to ask for healthy snacks and spend some time looking around the processed foods.  Raw, unsalted nuts and fruits are often available if not, visible.  Nuts are great as they’re high in fibre, which will keep your employees satisfied longer between meals.

Stick to your regular schedule

Employees should always eat their meals when they know they’ll be hungry. If they have to wait to eat with colleagues or clients, again encourage them to have healthy snacks on hand to keep their blood sugar stable – this will help them to avoid overeating at mealtime.

Stay hydrated

Commuting on public transport can be very dehydrating especially if you have personnel travelling on an aircraft. Whilst they’re travelling, urge them to avoid alcohol and caffeine and make sure they drink plenty of water as thirst can sometimes be mistaken for hunger. Offering a branded water bottle often encourages staff to drink more during their working day.

Look for nutrition information

Chain restaurants are now required to provide nutrition information for their meals and snacks onsite or online. Advise staff to check out the calories, fat and salt content before they place an order. Also whilst we’re on the subject of restaurants, lots of them will let people substitute chips and crisps for fruit or salad.  Tell your colleagues to ask for a healthier option!

Urge restraint at the bar!

Many work trips and functions revolve around alcohol, but wine, beer and mixed drinks are all loaded with calories. Additionally, there is now plenty of research to suggest that drinking alcohol makes it more difficult for people to make healthy choices at meal times. Advise your employees that they should avoid alcohol, or keep it to a minimum and have a glass of water before having an alcoholic beverage.

Ensure regular health checks

You should always take an employee’s general health into account. If they are overweight, have a history of high blood pressure or any other health problems, make sure they have a regular health check.  Every employee should have a health check annually.

In summary, if your employees take care of their bodies whilst they’re travelling, you’ll find them to be more productive and they will invariably have more energy throughout the day. When you take care of your employees, it is not just their health that benefits … your business will to.

Healthy Performance offer a range of workshops available under the topic of nutrition and travelling, including energy levels, weight management, eating to perform and many more.  Throughout the sessions we use interactive methods to engage staff and take the approach of ‘balance’ and eating in moderation.  We also offer telephone consultations to your employees and we can answer specific questions about individual nutritional requirements – this is a fantastic service especially for staff who do not spend much or any time in the office. Call us today on 0844 432 5849 (HEALTHY) for further details.

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