Sure, you might not have thousands of salespeople and account execs jetting off around the world every day, but it’s not like your travel budget consists of a fanny pack and two bus tokens. You’re spending plenty on airlines, trains, car rentals, lodging, and incidentals, and if you’re not on top of what’s going out the door, who’s going out the door, and how you’re going to keep everyone safe and productive, you’re putting your travelers and your company at risk.
So yes, it’s a fairly big deal.
Travel is a harbinger of business momentum (think of those salespeople out there drumming up business, and the account execs out there keeping it), and if there’s faith in your travel plan, that breeds confidence in your business strategy.
Transforming how you travel, therefore – or at least making sure things are up to date – becomes a critical component of competing in a post-pandemic economy. Because the way you manage expenses, the way you manage trips, the way you manage travelers and duty of care is under tighter scrutiny than ever.
What did you expect?
Other than the fact that no one’s really gone anywhere in over a year, what’s really changed in corporate travel? To start, the fact that no one’s really gone anywhere in over a year means there’s tremendous pent-up demand. According to a recent traveler survey outlined in this eBook, 95% of travelers in companies under 1,000 employees are willing to travel again, and 63% are very willing.
Yes, travel is in various states of reprisal around the world, but you still need to get ready to go – and ready for travelers new demands. Because even though they’re eager to reaffirm their relationships with far-flung customers, their attitudes have changed, and they have a few caveats. Safety, naturally, is one of their top concerns, and they want the freedom to be able to plan their trips in the way that feels safest for them.
That might mean taking a car, rather than taking public transportation. Or it could mean accepting a firm “no” when someone doesn’t feel good about going to a specific city, country, or region.
But what it really means is flexibility, and that might be the biggest change of all. According to the eBook, you’ll want to make sure your traveling employees have the ability to adjust their travel if need be, and they’ll want the ability to book directly with suppliers. Over two-thirds of them, in fact, want their company to loosen restrictions to allow for better, flexibility-oriented policies.
You’re not just protecting travelers, they also want you to protect the planet.
If flexibility and safety are two legs of the same stool, sustainability is now the third. In yet another change to business travel, you can’t just fly around the world anymore or grab a quick train to Helsinki, you have to address your emissions impact. And your travelers are going to want tools and technologies that help them track, and ultimately reduce, their carbon footprint. Sixty percent of business travelers, in fact, expect to make changes that improve travel sustainability, and they’re going to expect your organization to follow suit.
It’s a whole new world of travel, and it’s going to require a whole new travel plan. That is a transformation, and yes, that’s a big deal, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming or impossible – even for companies your size.
Read the eBook to see how it’s done.