The corporate travel industry is evolving rapidly at a frightening pace thanks to advancements in engineering technology and a fluctuating international economy. These changes have profound impacts on the travelling policies of companies, small and big. Here’s a list of five current corporate travel industry trends that can determine how you travel for business later on.
Duty Of Care And Risk Management
Travel, especially international travel, brings with it a certain degree of danger. From natural disasters to individual events like hospitalisations and robberies, employers are clearly focusing on their risk management processes. Organisations have a duty of care to their employees, so the implementation of tracking and communication tools as well as safety management software will help to relieve any possible risks.
Investment In Tech
Technology is changing the way business travel is undertaken and here are a few ways in which it is doing so:
- Wearable technology: Smartwatches and RFID tags (Radio Frequency ID) are just two ways corporate travellers can stay connected, monitor performance and track the whereabouts of possessions while on the street.
- Online booking tools: Companies are going to contain the corporate travel booking, expense, and reporting system in a controlled online environment while providing workers with an easy-to-use platform and also the freedom to create personal travel options. Smartphones, tablet computers, and apps are available as platforms for conveying bookings.
- Digital wallets: We have only begun to see the first glimpses of organisations launching technologies that enables credit card payments to be made with Smartphones. This will soon become mainstream as travellers can easily pay in any currency using their smartphone.
Business And Pleasure
Once upon a time, corporate travelers needed to spend no more than necessary when out of business. These days, business travellers are making the most of their travel by taking time to get to know the local area, get a taste of the culture and cuisine as well as have family members join them for a holiday. Leisure time embedded into business travel allows workers to enjoy their trip and get work done. Business sees benefits of downtime as a way to de-stress employees and allow them some freedom.
Travel Spend Reduction
Organisations are always on the lookout for ways to reduce costs. Even though a tiny belt-tightening is occurring for many companies, it doesn’t necessarily mean there’ll be less travel. Rather, organisations are getting smarter at reducing the costs associated with corporate travel. Some cost-cutting steps include:
- Employing budget airlines moving from business class to economy class.
- Remaining in lower star accommodation.
- Using online booking tools that streamline the travel booking process, thus enhancing time efficiency and ensuring clearer transparency on cost claims.
- Video conferencing where possible instead of travelling for meetings.
- Workforce mobility solutions that allow employees to access company documents and data from any place and any device.
Research Into The Sharing Economy
The disruption caused by sharing economy services such as Uber and Airbnb has opened up a whole new area of opportunities and changes worldwide. Since the new kids on the block, they have introduced solutions which are often more economical, more effective and more suitable than conventional service providers (e.g. Uber vs taxis). There has been some partnerships between hotels and travel agencies emerging creating interesting business travel conglomerates, however this presents other issues around insurance for employees. Therefore more research and regulation must be completed in this area. Modern and forward companies will nevertheless take advantage of the sharing economy to maximise productivity and reduce costs of travel.
Savvy companies will constantly explore approaches to ensure travel is simply organised when required, financially viable, organised in a time efficient way, and is secure. These businesses will be able to offer you a more comfortable, more productive and pleasurable travel experience for their workers.