Skift Take

Travel managers may finally take the initiative to improve quality of life for their travelers in a meaningful way. Business travelers themselves remain worried about the negative effects of traveling for work.

Corporate travel managers have been working for years to improve outcomes for their travelers. The more workers travel for their employer, however, the more they fear the consequences of spending too much time on the road.

A new survey by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE), conducted in conjunction with American Express Global Business Travel, found that business travelers are becoming more interested in how travel policy will affect their lives.

They polled 174 travel managers in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific and asked eight travel buyers their thoughts on the challenges of managing the modern business traveler. Those polled noted increased concerns about security and work-life balance, and more travelers voicing concerns about staying connected to the internet during their trip.

“Modern business travelers want flexibility, predictability and, above all, productivity when they’re on the road,” ACTE executive director Greeley Koch wrote in the report’s introduction. “In these uncertain times, they also need reassurance about their personal safety: yet again, our members see rising levels of concern on this point, with over half (51 percent) reporting a growth in traveler enquiries.”

The survey found that technology is still a priority, with 37 percent of managers noticing a rise in questions about connectivity and communications.

“With mobile apps playing a core role in the traveller’s ability to manage their trip experience, it is no surprise to see enquiries rise about connectivity” the report says.

A look at the results of the survey show a change in traveler priorities since last year. It appears that more travelers are looking to substitute video calls for travel as work-life concerns continue to grow.

Another important takeaway is that travel managers are finally tweaking policies to be more permissive on the items that are most important to their travelers.

“On policy, managers are acting across the board, but it’s worth focusing on non- traditional accommodation,” reads the report. “In 2016, just nine percent of managers included so-called sharing economy lodging options in policy. This year, 22 percent have made policy provisions for these options. The year-on-year jump suggests that managers may be less concerned today about the duty of care implications of using non-traditional accommodation.”

Travel managers are working to allow business travelers to add leisure components to their trips, bring family members along, and use ridesharing services instead of black car services or taxis.

You can check out the full report below.

Download (PDF, 491KB)


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Tags: acte, business travel, corporate travel

Photo credit: Corporate travel managers have been working for years to improve outcomes for their travelers. Travelers at Chicago O'Hare International Airport. Anne Worner / Flickr

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