Corporate travel refers to any journey undertaken by employees of an organization for business purposes and not for personal or leisure reasons. It is sponsored by the corporate entity and is a major activity in large organizations. In this article, we look at some of the trends related to business travel.
Technology and travel
Like other areas of life, technology is making an impact even in corporate travel. There are many areas of travel, where technology is of help. These include
- Use of apps
With the prevalence of smartphones, apps have become popular for travel booking. Most travel websites, hotels, tour operators, and transport organizations have apps that allow easy and convenient bookings. It has also ensured that a corporate employee can do bookings on their own, without having to depend on a travel agency or the travel department in the organization.
- Digital payments
Apart from bank transfers and online credit card transactions, the use of digital wallets has now become popular. People use digital wallets to carry out transactions online. It is a convenient way of making payments for corporate travel.
- Technology for tracking employees
Technology has made it easy to track both people and their belongings. Use of radio frequency identification technology ensures that any lost items can be easily tracked. It is convenient for corporate travelers as they carry expensive gadgets and important documents that they don’t want to lose.
Travel as a perk
Travel for work includes meeting clients and experiencing activities that contribute to employees’ growth. Nowadays, travel is seen as a prerequisite for employees, and mixing business with pleasure is no longer taboo. Employees can enjoy local attractions and indulge in pleasure activities during their office travels. In some companies, the organization even takes care of the leisure expenses of employees. Companies today encourage employees to extend their business travel and take a holiday. It is seen as a perk or a benefit for employees.
Company size plays a vital role
When it comes to corporate travel, the size of the company plays a major role. It influences how employees travel, and also the budget for travel. Small companies give more importance to productivity over comfort, and this influences their travel decisions. These companies prefer to book direct flights to save travel time. They also usually book hotels close to their workplace to save on local travel. These measures enable businesspersons to be more productive when they travel for work. Ride-sharing and budget travel services also help small companies to save on money. Bigger companies are more likely to treat business travel as a benefit. The larger the company, the more travel budget. A larger budget allows employees to travel in comfort. The employee’s position in the company hierarchy has a direct relation to the travel budget as well.
Travel and brands
Frequent travelers, especially from larger corporations, are brand conscious. They prefer to stay at well-known hotels and use the services of the best airlines and local car rentals. Another aspect of corporate travel is the reward points that accrue from frequent flying. Most companies allow employees to use these reward points or air miles for their personal use.
Studies show that those who travel on business frequently, spend 88 days on average on travel. This number is more for those working in sales jobs. Travel companies offer personalized services for business travelers. It makes sense for the travel company as personalized services help build customer loyalty. The travel company would know the preferences in terms of brand, budget, food, etc. When an employee plans a trip, the travel company can provide a personalized experience catering to the traveler’s needs. These measures make business travel more comfortable.
Corporate travelers no longer want to sit in the boardroom the whole day. They would like to explore the place they have visited, and enjoy local experiences. A visit to local cultural destinations is common. It is in line with the current trend of viewing business travel as an employee benefit. Most companies allow their employees to include such local experiences as a part of their travel plans. It helps them keep employees happy, which can lead to better productivity and performance.
Today, organizations treat employees as assets and are concerned about their health and overall well-being. Employee safety is also a priority during corporate travel. Insurance to protect employees during travel is a way for employers to demonstrate their concern. Also, flexible working hours and free time for employees to unwind are methods to reduce stress from travel. Some organizations track employees to monitor their well-being.
These trends in corporate travel are making a significant influence on how people travel for work. The use of technology, for example, is making a major impact on business travel. Now, companies are more flexible and allow employees to mix leisure with work during travel.