How happy are employees from around the world with their business travel programmes?
Why do they book out of policy and what might motivate them to be compliant?
What are the biggest challenges of travelling for work? Do travellers feel safe and that their company can assist them during an emergency?
These are some of the questions that American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) set out to answer with an international study it conducted in collaboration with German research company GfK.
The newly published report, Traveler 360°, involving respondents from the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Australia, India, Singapore and the United States, offers a global perspective of the unique needs and concerns business travellers have.
Here are a few key insights from the report:
Traveller sentiment: Business travellers overwhelmingly are satisfied with the amount of time they spend travelling for business and find it’s a good use of their time. Still, they face multiple challenges, including how it infringes on their personal time and their ability to meet their work commitments. They also have security concerns (particularly in France) and frustrations with rebooking assistance during travel disruptions (especially in Singapore and India).
Rogue behaviour: According to the survey, even when employees know and praise the travel and expense reporting policy, a majority of business travellers outside the United States fail to book in policy all of the time and find many excuses for straying, from staying at a hotel closer to the meeting location to lodging at a better quality accommodation.
Travel policy compliance: The findings show there is a direct correlation between policy education and traveller compliance. Although most travellers are “very” or “extremely familiar” with their travel policy, many also indicated that their company policy is not clear, underscoring a need for more education and transparent policies.
Booking and expense: The study indicates that travellers tend to model their booking and expense reporting behaviours after the managers who approve their trips. Meanwhile, whilst most travellers report having company systems or apps to book travel and handle expenses, a number of survey participants, especially from Singapore, report they are not easy to use.
Duty of care: Travellers believe it is important for their employers to invest in technology to support them in times of emergency or travel disruption, but they are conflicted about location-based technologies they feel might infringe on their privacy.
Bleisure: Even though three-quarters or more of travellers from each country say their company supports the idea of blending business and leisure travel, very few employees actually take advantage of this opportunity. Only between 25 and 45 percent have taken such a trip in the past 12 months.
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