Business Travelers Find Their Hopscotching Helps Develop Empathy

By Lila MacLellan | Quartz |

We may need to find more empathy for the business traveler—a new survey suggests these road warriors are more sensitive than we think.

In a survey of more than 1,300 business travelers by The Harris Poll, on behalf of Hyatt Place and Hyatt House, nearly half (48%) said they travel for work to get ahead and better support their family, versus 33% who said they were seeking praise or recognition. And 87% said that business trips help them be more empathetic to others.

That’s a fair distance from the ambitious, self-absorbed, lone-wolf business traveler stereotype we’re familiar with. Think of those depicted in novels like Up in the Air (2002), whose film adaption starred George Clooney as the emotionally stunted, peripatetic downsizer Ryan Bingham. He is accused of using work and a heavy travel schedule to spin “a cocoon of self-banishment.”

The knock on American business travelers, in particular, is that they’re uninterested in the lands and cultures they travel to. Indeed, when it comes to food, interactions with others, and so on, many prefer to play it safe.

Read more at Quartz.