Photo Courtesy of Jorge Vasconez on Unsplash
Business travel: a motivator, an opportunity, a growing force. From representing the company for a conference to relocating for a new position, employee travel and relocation have become key characteristics of the modern corporate job. With a steady increase in popularity for the past 10 years, they have become a key development for both the travel market and the hospitality world.
This popularity increase has brought about many interesting changes within the responsibilities of employer, airline, accommodations provider, and employee. Expectations from both the employer and the employee side are now sky-high.
Hospitality professionals need to ask themselves: what can I do make business trips run smoother? Corporations need to ask: does the employee have any apprehensions toward business trips? Employees should ask themselves: How can make the trip even more enjoyable?
Individual responsibilities have grown immensely for all those involved in corporate/business travel. The market has set up the stage now it’s up to all the actors to conduct planned out roles as smoothly as possible.
A first good step is understanding where the corporate travel market stands, according to research commissioned by the Global Business Travel Association, the worldwide spend on business travel was a healthy $1.3 trillion in 2016, and is expected to grow to $1.7 trillion by 2021.
This growing industry is likely benefiting from generally positive attitudes about corporate travel. A survey by Hilton Hotels & Resorts found that “53 percent…love to travel for business; in fact, 53 percent will also create reasons to travel for work to get out on the road.” This is perhaps unsurprising as remote assignments allow employees to broaden their horizons, and is more often than not a status symbol – confirmation from the employer that an employee is worth the investment and risk.
This keenness of employees and the market setting for business travel make today the ideal time to mainstream travel in your corporation. With the balance of both internal and external factors, it’s also easy to see how it’s brought about its popularity in younger workforce generations.
However, there are still some side-effects for the younger generation. The same survey reveals that 38% of young travelers can’t enjoy their weekends if they’re followed by a business trip. Additionally, more than 34% continue to feel stressed up to 7 days after a business trip.
The side effects of stress are what makes this a challenge for employers and management, most commonly the first direct result of work stress is a drop in performance; add to that fatigue from the trip and you have not only a frazzled employee but also a corporate after-effect. While stress is common within any corporate setting it is crucial to diminish it as much as possible for employees traveling or relocating.
An interesting and common stress is expenses, including but not limited to accommodations, the rise of alternative accommodations for business has brought with it its own set of problems. With short-term rentals gaining popularity more and more business travelers are looking to platforms like Airbnb to solve their needs. However, not all corporations have molded expense and accommodation guidelines to help their employees cover their stay.
Popularity has two sides to it, the one that motivates the workforce and one that pushes business to keep growing and transform with the times. The future looks bright with the inclusion of business travel in airline programs, alternative accommodation business models, and peer-to-peer platforms. We only need to make sure we keep track of what’s weighing us down and what’s making travel that much easier.
From becoming a motivating force for younger generations to creating stressful work environments business travel, be it short-term or long-term; is setting the foundations for a future where people in all types of positions will be able to work from all over the world.
So next time you’re planning your trip make sure you give yourself time to plan, understand company expenses, and most importantly keep with the times and make sure you and your employees are making the best out of corporate travel.
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