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New Study Finds Business Travelers Less Productive Long After Return to the Office

September 17, 2003

A new independent study has found that business travelers are not only less productive while on the road, but also less productive for significant periods of time after their return -- in some cases more than three days.Travel related stresses, including physical ailments, anxiety caused by increased security, and simply being away from the office, contribute to the recovery time business travelers say they need to return to "normal" productivity.The study was commissioned by Kensington Technology Group, which specializes in accessories designed to make using computers on the go more comfortable and productive.Of the 600 respondents in the Kensington study who travel by air at least once a month, 50 percent need up to two full days to catch up on work responsibilities after a business trip, while 12 percent need at least three full days to recover. Fifty-three percent of respondents require one to two days to recover physically, and 51 percent take the same period of time to get their personal lives back in order.Despite the proliferation of laptop computers, cell phones, and e-mail-equipped PDAs designed to keep business travelers productive, the studyfound that people still work less and get less done on the road, simply because they waste more time and are more stressed by business travel.Fifty-five percent of respondents in the study say they spend too much unproductive time simply traveling to and from airports, while 41 percent are stressed by time wasted in airport security lines. And, while nearly all respondents (99 percent) carry laptop computers on their trips, only 39 percent use them to do work on the plane.In terms of physical stress, two out of every five respondents experience headaches, back pain, neck pain, or sleeplessness while traveling, and nearly three out of five suffer from significant fatigue. All this, combined with the disruption of home and family schedules, clearly illustrates why people whotravel on business need serious recovery time on both professional and personal levels, according to Tom Russo, vice president of sales and marketing at Kensington Technology Group."Kensington commissions independent studies like this one because we invariably uncover knowledge that is not only important to us, but insightful, informative and interesting for business in general," Russo said. "As a frequentbusiness traveler, I certainly understand the effects of jet lag and stress, but this study shows the extent to which those effects can impact the productivity of any company. Fully understanding this new data and the issuesthat concern our customers gives us a distinct advantage as we continue to design and develop industry-leading solutions that help to minimize the work-induced stress people experience every day."Better connectivity and increased comfort seem to be the best solutions for maximizing productivity and minimizing recovery time, according the study's respondents. Nearly 40 percent say that productivity on the road wouldincrease if they had better connectivity to the Internet, and one in four say they would get more work done simply by making their traveling environment less cramped and more ergonomic."Space in the airplane and noise in the airport make it difficult to work or be comfortable," wrote one respondent. "This is where the stress comes from." Another wrote succinctly: "More security, more waiting, more stress." Still, others are stressed by simply being away from home: "Business travel disrupts my entire life! I am a wife and mother, and trying to juggle all my responsibilities stresses me out!"Kensington said it commissioned the study, conducted by San Francisco-based Socratic Technologies, as part of its ongoing commitment to increase awareness and realize the benefits of comfort and productivity in and outside theworkplace. Further details of the study are available from Kensington by contacting Kevin Ota, [email protected].About Kensington Technology GroupKensington Technology Group (www.kensington.com) creates products designed to make the connection between you and your computer more enjoyable and productive.Kensington's industry-leading computer accessories include the WiFi Finder, PocketMouse(TM) Pro Wireless, StudioMouse(R) Wireless, and other computer input devices for Windows(R) and Macintosh(R).Kensington also makes ergonomic notebook carrying cases, as well as ergonomic deskaccessories, mobile power and connectivity devices, and much more.Kensington Technology Group, headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., is the technology division of ACCO Brands, Inc., a unit of consumer products company Fortune Brands, Inc.For more information visit www.kensington.com or call toll-free (800) 235-6708.
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