According to research by American Express Global Business Travel, less than a third of all companies have updated their business travel policies within the last year.
“Like many improvement resolutions, reviewing and revising your travel policy tends to get neglected,” said Christa Degnan Manning, Director of Expert Insights Research at American Express Global Business Travel.
Many of you might be wondering what the big deal is. Your staff has been getting to and from with no monumental issues, so the business travel policy is just fine, right?
But why wait until something goes drastically wrong or a sudden realization that you’ve been hemorrhaging costs to find out that making a few simple updates to your travel policy could have allowed you to mitigate risk and support business-critical goals?
After all, updated business travel policies, “…can help companies achieve long-term success,” says Manning.
So does your business travel policy need an update?
Here are three questions to ask:
Question 1: Does your business travel policy promote productivity?
Advancements in travel technology can help your employees better manage all of the details before, during and after business trips. Mobile app usage can be implemented company-wide to facilitate communication and support, along with travel-related benefit notifications.
Are there instances where spending a little extra can give you more bang for your buck? Opting to fly business class for cross-country trips can turn six hours of frustration into six hours of productivity. Lodging is no different. When business travelers will be spending a fair amount of time working from the hotel, it often pays to reserve rooms with office amenities.
Question 2: Does your business travel policy eliminate uncertainty?
This goes hand-in-hand with productivity because uncertainty leads to wasted time. 80% of travel policies do not address reimbursement for supplemental fees like checked bags, change fees and other optional services offered by hotels and car rental companies.
If your employees have questions, how easy is it for them to get answers? Your business travel policy should be comprehensive, easily accessible and available 24/7.
It has become more common for companies to instruct business travelers to find the lowest airfare possible, whether the flight is with a preferred supplier or not. In reality, this practice can unintentionally raise travel costs over time because it can harm your ability to negotiate rates with preferred suppliers. Plus, using preferred suppliers often saves time because you can streamline travel booking and travel charges can be captured and monitored in real time using your expense reporting software. And your employees aren’t spending valuable time comparing rates.
Question 3: Does your business travel policy address security?
Only 12% of travel policies cover traveler security protocol. Companies need to do a better job of guiding travelers through trip preparation, best practices while traveling, and post-trip instructions, especially when traveling to high-risk destinations.
The following questions should not be overlooked.
- What happens should a travel emergency arise?
- How should company assets be secured?
- Do your employees know who to contact in case they need help?
- Do you know how to contact your employees in case there is an emergency?
At Concur, we take business travel security seriously, which is why every Concur employee has a confirmed mobile number within their Concur travel profile, along with an additional emergency contact, without which they cannot book travel.
Looking for more ways to optimize your business travel? Find out how Concur can help you gain better visibility while granting your employees flexibility.