Travel and Expense

Does it Feel Like Smaller Companies Have Bigger Problems?

SAP Concur Team |

Just because you don’t have thousands of employees, doesn’t mean your problems are small. In fact, if you were to compare your small- to medium-business apples to enterprise-size apples, your problems would probably take up a bigger slice of the pie. Because smaller companies have less margin, and therefore less room for error.

And that’s when the problems start to show up.

Let’s imagine, for example, that a handful of employees quit their jobs because they were unhappy with their travel schedules. (Okay, we don’t actually have to imagine. This is reality, and, according to our new Global Business Travel Survey aimed at small to midsized businesses, it’s becoming more and more likely.) One in four dissatisfied business travelers will look for a new position if their travel schedule doesn’t improve. And roughly 9 out of 10 employees are willing to decline an assigned business trip for safety, personal, or environmental reasons. Like COVID-19. And the war in Ukraine. They’re also putting their foot down when it comes to a trip’s carbon footprint – if it doesn’t match their sustainability threshold, they’re not going.

Icon of a traveler with suitcase
Global Small-Medium Business Traveler Report 2022

We surveyed 1,650 business travelers in 6 markets to gain insight into the state of business travel at companies with fewer than 1,000 employees.  

Get the report

So what should you do? In a word: Flexibility. Today’s business travelers equate safe travel with flexible travel – getting to pick their preferred mode of transportation, deciding for themselves how long their trips will last, and so on.

They want options, so if the neighborhood where their hotel is located doesn’t feel safe, or if a train is more eco-friendly than a flight, they can make a change without repercussions. Your travelers also want to be able to book their trips themselves – directly on supplier websites. This gives them more control over where and when they’re traveling, amping up the flexibility, comfort, and ultimately the engagement in and productivity of their trip. What that means for your company, unfortunately, is growing volumes of hidden spend and the inability to pinpoint where your people are at any given time.

There are tools to capture those bookings, however, and when you can see every single itinerary, you and your travelers each get the control you demand.

Really, what it comes down to – and you’ll see this explained in our survey – is making sure your travelers know you care about them, their well-being, and their overall safety. Demonstrate that by adjusting to their needs, and you’ll find you don’t have as big a problem as you thought.

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