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What is the key to making business travel more productive?

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According to studies on private travel, there is a lot of room for productivity improvement in business travel. This is one of the main conclusions presented by the "II Study on Business Travel Habits and Trends in Spain".

It points out that more than 25% of travelers believe that if their company could improve the conditions in which they fly, their performance and productivity would increase.

Another study, in this case, the "Trends shaping business travel in 2019" by World Hotels, points out that employee health and productivity will be top of mind for companies. Today's corporate travelers need more flexibility and personalization when they travel in order to be more productive.

Why do only 23% of travelers always work during their commute, while 64% only work occasionally and 13% never work at all?

The study of habits and trends also points out that lack of space (32%), lack of privacy (13%), and inadequate schedules (11%) are the main reasons for lower productivity.

In short, the conditions that business travelers are demanding can be associated with what we would call the "work center", i.e. an environment that is conducive to work.

Friction in travel?

Travel stress or friction is ultimately the negative impact of travel on people, too much of which can ultimately lead to the development of a kind of travel resistance.

As companies are traveling more and more, and further and further, it is evident that travelers are bearing a greater pressure and burden, resulting in increased friction or stress.

Can you minimize travel friction and increase productivity while keeping the focus on reducing spend?

A CWT study provides the key to answering this question: time wasted during business travel is a hidden cost for companies.

The average time lost was estimated at 6.9 hours per trip, which corresponds to a total cost of US$662 on average in 2013, when this study was conducted, so it is safe to say that the figure will rise considerably today.

It is difficult for companies to eliminate all time-wasting factors, but they can address many of them in order to improve productivity and return on business travel.

Indeed, they even have a responsibility to do so when it is the traveler himself who, when asked, tells us that he needs his company to provide him with an environment where he can be more efficient.

Major hidden costs

The hidden costs of business travel are numerous, and often go unnoticed, but they are an important part of business travel.

Some examples are:

Time

  • There is no saving or efficient management if our travelers arrive at their appointment exhausted and depleted of faculties, as they will not perform in the same way, making their trip less efficient.


Costs related to the flight itself

  • Delays

  • Cancellations

  • Lost luggage...

  • They cause our business trips to get off to a bad start and generate large costs before we even get on the plane.


Costs related to lack of flexibility and poor connections

  • Not arriving at the final destination

  • Not having time availability to return

  • Not having direct flights to the destination

  • They make our travelers more fatigued, have to spend more time at the destination, and spend more time away from the workplace.


Costs at Destination

  • Additional transport costs to get to the final destination
  • Food costs
  • Overnight costs
  • They mean that we end up paying more money as our employees will be away for longer periods of time.


Do we take hidden costs into account?

Travel time on business trips is part of employees' working time. For this reason, it is understandable to expect companies to do everything they can to ensure that their employees can make the most of their travel, in all its dimensions, thereby increasing performance and productivity, and therefore increasing the ROI of the trip as a whole.

The competitiveness of companies is inevitably based on improved productivity. Let us not neglect the hidden costs that can hide behind false travel savings.


REFERENCES

The Hidden Costs of Business Travel

A New Industry Direction to

Improve Traveler Wellbeing and Corporate Productivity

CWT Solutions group

Trends Shaping Business Travel in 2019

WorldHotels

II Study on Business Travel Habits and Trends in Spain.

GEBTA, 2013. Marcel Forns


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