We are living in an age where technologies simplify life greatly. However, few basic human tendencies remain unchanged. People feel the need to be valued, trusted and long to be intrinsically peaceful and contented.
When these needs are more or less met, individuals reach their professional and personal goals much easier and faster.
The Love for Business Travel
Business travel has always been perceived as an important part of work. In fact, there is a psychological tendency to view those who travel for work as being part of a vibrant and active workforce. During a recent survey by Skift, as much as 90% of respondents mentioned travel as an additional perk of a job, or better still, an important factor while deciding to join one. It is clear, therefore, that employers need to focus more on how travel is conducted in their organizations.
In this situation, travel management practices that are tied to age-old company policies and complex processes are bound to backfire and dishearten employees. To ensure a smooth travel experience for staff members, travel policies need to incorporate a mix of the modern along with the traditional. This means providing affordable and quality travel options in a convenient manner to the modern and digital-savvy business traveler.
In our attempt to find out what makes business travel a seamless and pleasant experience for employees, we got the chance to speak with a wide section of people from different industries, both from large and small companies. During these discussions, we came across some interesting trends that are determining the present and future course of business travel. Below are the top 3 from that list.
1. Fulfillment of Personal Choices
In the old days, enabling travelers to exercise personal choices during business travel would have been extremely difficult, especially in larger organizations, due to the amount of resources required. But this is not a challenge anymore, thanks to rapidly evolving technology. We are now instantly connected to the rest of the world, with everything happening at the touch of a button. Automated and personalized solutions have become an expectation everywhere. Business travel is also waking up to this trend.
For example, women business travelers constantly face the possibility of having to experience intrusions to privacy and safety while on the go and would prefer more women-friendly hotel/travel options. Similarly, health-conscious travelers might select hotels that provide a gym for workout or a vegan menu. Many opt for airlines that enable them to streamline costs, maintain punctuality and bring down travel time. Such factors are increasingly becoming more important to travelers and even override their loyalty to brands.
2. Simplification by Leveraging Technology
Business travel used to be regulated and restricted, providing only a limited set of choices to the travelers. It can also be complicated with long-winding approval processes and decision-making. But today, technology can play a major role in simplifying business travel processes and tools.
From a drastic reduction in the time and number of steps required to book flights and hotels to the handling of flight disruptions and adjustments to delayed trips, these new technologies are taking the load off the shoulders of an already stressed business traveler. Chat-bots and travel assistants can augment traveler experience by providing real-time information as well as tips. Such technologies can also lay out the best routes and suggest places to be visited during a trip, thereby blending an element of leisure into business travel.
3. Emergence of the Small Business Traveler
Small businesses including early-stage companies are now asking employees to travel more. Business growth still calls for a good amount of travel even at a time when technology can provide alternate means. When businesses are in the nascent stage, there is also a need to attract and retain the best talent. For companies that don’t yet have the brand power, attractive business travel options can be a differentiating factor because employees consider travel as an important job perk.
At present, most small businesses conduct travel management through tie-ups with travel agencies and OTAs. But the need of the hour is to have tools that provide simplification and personalization and at the same time be accessible from anywhere.
To conclude, employees are now raring to go, and they aspire for a better travel experience. For companies that are focused on its people, it is time to adopt a transformative stance, wherein employees are taken care of in the manner that they deserve to be.
By Team Catalyca