Problems Faced by Business Travelers and Their Solutions
Business travel can have substantial repercussions on employee satisfaction and retention. According to a survey by GBTA, 49% of the respondents revealed that business travel experience influences their overall job satisfaction. Also, 83% of them stated that the quality of their business travel experience impacts their business results. These facts hold true for millennials too. Corporate travel not only prompts how employees feel about their job; it also drives them to make a decision, whether they take a job or not. 50% of the employees’ state that a company’s travel policies are a crucial factor while considering a potential new employer.
Business travel experience relies on several factors. The factors that can make or break a business travel experience range from how and what information is conveyed to travelers, company travel policy, processes, perks, and of course, technology.
To comprehend what enhances the business travel experience, we need to identify what challenges business travelers usually face during their travel.
Common Problems and Solutions
Business travelers experience many different challenges; such as security, lost luggage, delayed or canceled flights etc. All these challenges have one thing in common i.e. they are all time consuming and corporate travelers try to be as productive as possible on business trips.
Safeguarding employee safety during corporate travel is the top concern for most companies regardless of the sector they operate in or the scale of their operations. Surging business travel volumes and transformations due to several factors like climatic changes, terrorist activities, natural disasters, political unrests, accidents, etc. have generated an immense need for companies to have a structured and comprehensive employee security program.
Most companies lay high importance on ‘Duty of Care’ processes, travel risk management, and technology-enabled safety features for corporate travelers. Duty of Care points to several moral and legal commitments of employers towards their employees in maintaining their safety, well-being, and security, especially during travel.However, it is important to acknowledge the previously mentioned factors for a domestic traveler as well. Business trips to the places that are unfamiliar and tier two/tier-three cities can cause uneasiness for employees. For instance, hotels within the assigned budget may not be available in a good area, which further leads to safety concerns for business travelers.
Presently, 71% of female business travelers think that they face greater security threats than their male counterparts. As the number of women traveling for business grows, there are specific adjustments that need to be made to the travel policies in terms of safety, to ensure women’s safety in business travel.
In today’s high-pressure work environment, 46% of the Indian workforce suffers from some form of stress due to several reasons such as tight deadlines, long work hours, conflict among colleagues, etc. The survey says that this stress negatively affects their performance, which is noticeable through lower engagement with their work, drop in productivity, and higher absenteeism levels.
Business traveling can unmask employees to variables that are out of their control like flight delays, thus escalating the likelihood of stress.
In 2018, 87% of travelers observed the quality of business travel impacting their business results. Factors contributing to stress in business traveler include long transit times, inconvenient accommodation locations, meals, and hostile work environment, among others. These stress-provoking factors can lead to a decline in productivity for employees by distressing their peace of mind and diverting them from business goals.
To make the most of a business trip, employees need to feel at ease and refreshed, at every stage of travel. This empowers them to concentrate on their work, leading to improved performance. 90% of these travelers responded that business travel influences their overall job satisfaction besides performance. This is particularly true amongst the millennial workforce, who believes that business and pleasure need to go hand-in-hand to be productive.
3. Data Security
Whenever employees travel for business, they usually carry their work laptop; personal cellphone enabled with work email, calendar, and, certainly all their personal data that follows them everywhere they go – their digital identity. Billions of people travel for business, potentially putting their data and their employer’s critical data at risk.
As per the research report by Morning Consult in collaboration with IBM Security, travelers commonly do not care about the risks of activities such as connecting to public Wi-Fi, charging their mobile devices at public charging stations and logging into publicly accessible computers, like workstation in a hotel business center.
What’s more disturbing is that people engage in these risky activities while traveling for work at an even higher rate than when traveling for leisure purposes. Only 38% of the respondents stated that they put extra efforts into securing data while traveling.
However, travelers are more likely to take the risks related to their financial data, seriously. 53% travelers admit that they constantly worry about their credit card or other critical digital data getting stolen when traveling.
A continuous disconnect in security is observed all the time. People say they are apprehensive about cyberthreats and data breaches but rarely do they take precautions to protect their data. Senior executives and other members of the C-suite are more attractive targets to the cyber adversaries. A research report by IBM says C-suite executives were 12 times prone to cyber-attacks in 2018 than they were a year before.
The Indian business travel market has significantly matured over the past few years, placing India at the 7th position amongst the largest business travel markets. The volume of travel is predicted to rise further as organizations expand their businesses in an increasingly connected world. With a tech-savvy and digitally inclined workforce, companies need to be well-prepared to address the employee requirements while maintaining their business goals.
The business travel experience is critical to successful business transactions for organizations globally. Lightening the stress and challenges related to business travel and catering employees with benefits and amenities that they value will show that employee business travel experience is crucial.
By focusing on the business traveler’s experience, companies can nurture organizational loyalty, a dedicated and loyal employee, and a positive working environment while offsetting the loss of efficiency, productivity, and revenue that can befall when the travel experience is poor.
That’s why Beep promotes traveler-centric journeys by offering a suite of comprehensive business travel solutions to provide convenience, comfort, and safety. Get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org