Travel and Expense
What Is Top of Mind for SMB Travelers in 2022?
The majority of the world’s businesses—including more than 30 million in the U.S. alone—fall within the small to medium-sized business (SMB) category. Defined for the purposes of the SAP Concur Global Business Travel Survey as companies with fewer than 1,000 employees, these organizations have a unique set of perspectives and needs, including when it comes to travel and expense.
Consider the findings of this year’s survey, which explored the responses of over 1,100 business travelers at SMBs in ANZ (Australia and New Zealand), Canada, France, Japan, the UK, and the U.S.:
Travel Budgets and Inflation Are Top Concerns
- As the economic landscape shifts, more than a third (34%) of business travelers at SMBs say diminished travel budgets are among the top three threats to business travel.
- SMB employees hold slightly higher concern about rising oil prices and inflation than those at larger organizations: Half of business travelers at SMBs (50%) include this among the top three threats to business travel, compared to 44% of business travelers at organizations with more than 1,000 employees.
Eager Travelers, Disappointing Schedules
- Business travelers at SMBs are eager to hit the road again: Nearly all (98%) are willing to travel for business in the next 12 months, including over half (54%) who are very willing to do so.
- Despite this, three in five travelers (60%) at these organizations report their current travel schedule is falling short of expectations.
- Nearly two in five (39%) are currently traveling less than they’d like, while around half that many (21%) are traveling more than they want.
Travel Is a Retention Risk
- Nearly half of SMB business travelers who are unhappy with their current travel schedule (48%) are willing to take action, either within their company or elsewhere, if things don’t improve.
- In fact, more than a quarter of those who are unhappy with their current level of travel (26%) will search for a new position if their schedule doesn’t change.
Declining a Trip Remains an Option
- Nearly nine in 10 SMB business travelers (89%) are willing to decline a business trip assigned to them for safety, personal, or environmental reasons.
- The top reasons for doing so are health concerns related to COVID-19 (47%) and safety concerns for traveling to certain parts of the world (47%).
Sustainability Is a Top Priority
- Nearly all SMB business travelers say that it’s important to have sustainability information for each travel option when booking their business travel (94%) and that they are planning to act in the next 12 months to reduce the environmental impact of their travel (94%).
- These actions include:
- Making transportation-related efforts, like using alternative travel methods or public transportation (52%).
- Taking lodging-related steps, such as staying in greener hotels or requesting less frequent cleaning service (52%).
- Combining nearby trips into one longer trip (41%).
The SAP Concur Global Business Travel Survey was conducted by Wakefield Research between April 28 and May 23, 2022, among 1,650 Business Travelers, defined as those who traveled for business 3+ times in the past 24 months, in 6 markets: US, Canada, UK, France, ANZ region (Australia and New Zealand), and Japan. Data has been weighted to facilitate tracking.