Nothing compares to meeting people face-to-face. Sure, email can be direct and fast, but it’s not exactly known for its ability to tell a joke, or to relate subtleties and complexities. The telephone might be fine for occasional check-ins with clients, but nothing beats sitting down and spending the time actually connecting and getting a better sense of expectations, the future, and most of all, how to best work with each other.
It’s a statement supported by a recent survey conducted by EKOS Research Associates Inc. They asked over 1000 Canadian business travelers about their productivity and manageability while on the road. While face-to-face meetings are an important part of doing business, it’s traveling to those face-to-face meeting that is often the rub.
For a lot of people, it’s the actual act of traveling that can make people roll their eyes when you talk about business travel. It’s the trip to the airport, parking the car, going through security and removing your shoes and your bottles of liquids, getting bumped from a flight, waiting indefinitely from a layover. It’s managing and tracking receipts, waiting to get reimbursed, and standing around in line at hotel registration that can be draining.
How can you lessen the challenges of business travel? Just like a good carpenter needs the right tool, business travelers need the right device. The best device out there? Not surprisingly, it’s your smartphone.
With apps like TripIt, you can share your itineraries with your family, coworkers and clients. And because TripIt connects to airport and city maps, you’ll get around like a local. TripIt Pro gives you flight alerts, updates on gate changes, alerts on potential flight refunds. E-receipt partners mean you can get your hotel, ground transportation, rental car and airline receipts delivered straight to your expense report from the supplier. Plus, with Concur’s mobile app you can start tracking your business travel expenses as soon as your trip starts. Taking a taxi to the airport? Capture the receipt with your smartphone’s camera and there’s no need to worry about losing those pesky little pieces of paper.
We may not be able to help with tight travel budgets, but we can help employees find the best solutions that meet their company’s policies and their own desire for comfort. With the right tool in your business travel arsenal, business travel can be seamless, meaningful, and profitable for your business.
Now, if only we could figure out a way to get around the tyranny of having to stand in line.