The Future of Business Travel
According to recent statistics, travellers are actually looking forward to their next business trip. And why not? It’s never been so good to get out of the office
IT’S TRUE THAT NOT LONG ago, for most people, business travel was all about red-eye flights, dingy airport hotels, and driving rental cars to glum industrial parks. Thankfully, things have changed — so much so, in fact, that most workers are actually starting to see travel as a job perk.
According to a recent report conducted by Yougov for American Express, 73 per cent of business travellers say they enjoy the opportunity to travel for work and nearly 90 per cent of business travelers say continent hopping has widened their world view — an experience they’ve only had access to thanks to work. And why not? Almost 50 per cent of business travellers say that experiencing new countries and cultures is a personal aspect they like the most. So if you’re flying all the way to Copenhagen, it can be invigorating to meet with clients face to face and then spend a few extra days exploring whatever’s in the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art.
Companies are now beginning to understand that globetrotting is crucial to attracting the best and brightest talent. Statistics show that employees now value business travel more than company car budgets, the long-reigning ultimate perk. And it makes sense. In an era where companies and industries can sprawl across continents, eight out of 10 professionals still say face to face meetings matter, proving that in-person meetings are still a vital part of doing business despite new technologies. (Sorry, Facetime.)
So, what’s changed? Your little post work forays to that speakeasy in Hong Kong, that’s what. Nearly half of all business travellers are now planning extracurriculars around their laptop time and are much happier for it. “When it comes to company performance, businesses understand the importance of face-to-face connections,” says Paul Roman, VP and general manager of global commercial payments at American Express, a man who’s quite familiar with working trips. “Business travel is also having a positive impact on employees, with travellers taking advantage of their time away to enjoy new experiences and cultures.” So choose a hotel near a gallery you’ve been wanting to explore, or with a Michelin-starred restaurant; pack a bathing suit — or at least something other than just a suit; and add an extra day to your itinerary if you can. It’s time to make the most of your next business trip.