A staggering 99 percent of business travellers in the UK are willing to travel in the next 12 months, according to new research commissioned by SAP Concur.
The research found that 55 percent of travel managers agree that their role is less stressful compared to 12 months ago.
Also, 98 percent of business travellers are eager to get back on the road again.
Many are missing the sense of ‘normalcy’ in this form of travel.
What are the concerns?
Although 45 percent of business travellers miss feeling the ‘normalcy’ of business travel, many now have multiple concerns about its return.
The top perceived threats to business travel include health and safety concerns from Covid-19 (54%), the cost of oil prices and inflation (48%) and the conflict in Eastern Europe (42%).
Because of the ever-changing climate, businesses need to be wary of the duty-of-care that exists for their employees.
A huge 83 percent state that their company has already adopted a ‘more travel on fewer shoulders’ approach, returning to pre-pandemic levels of business travel but with a smaller group of travellers.
Sustainability is becoming increasingly important to travellers, with 95 percent believing that it is important to have sustainability information for each travel option available when booking business travel, including visual indicators of the environmental impact of their travel options such as labels or greenhouse gas emissions.
Over half of business travellers (56%) would change their transportation actions over the next 12 months to reduce the environmental impact of their business travel.
Also, 52 percent of travel managers see enabling accurate tracking of greenhouse gas emissions for companywide reporting as a reason for travel to book their travel, using the company’s tools rather than directly through supplier sites.
The research shows a continuing sense of unhappiness and uncertainty among business travellers at the amount of business travel they are expected to do, as more than a quarter of those dissatisfied with their travel frequency (28%) will search for a new position if business travel at their existing company continues at its current pace.
Travel managers are seeing this too, with 60 percent stating that staffing changes will make their jobs challenging over the next 12 months, as business travellers move onto new opportunities.
On top of this, business travellers are feeling more empowered to decline trips, with nearly half (49%) stating that they would decline if there were safety concerns about travelling to certain parts of the world.
Commenting on the findings, Ami Taylor, Senior Director Global Product Strategy at SAP Concur said:
“As the business travel industry continues to move toward pre-pandemic levels, concerns remain for employees who simply miss exploring the world and building in-person connections. As the climate continues to be unpredictable, it is important for UK businesses to consider their employees. Business travellers are fed up and anxious and intend to take some level of action when they return to business travel if their company does not agree with their concerns.
As companies continue to increase their business travel, there needs to be proactive consideration on employee wellbeing and care. Companies will need to take initiative with safeguarding and supporting their employees, all the while adhering to new policies and approvals to meet the sustainability agenda. Technology can significantly help to reduce the headache around filing expense reports and streamline booking operations, helping businesses to prepare for any challenges that lie ahead. Being aware of the various tools and technologies is a step in the right direction to help make travellers lives easier and adapt faster to regulation changes, such as post-Covid changes and cost-of-living uncertainties.”
Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.