Skift Take

Hotels probably shouldn’t give up on targeting city centers, or focus too much on adding co-working spaces. And airlines maybe shouldn't rule out negotiating corporate contracts.

Series: Future of Work

Future of Work

As organizations start to embrace distributed work and virtual meetings, the corporate travel and meetings sectors are preparing for change. Read Skift’s ongoing coverage of this shift in business travel behavior through the lens of both brands and consumers.

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Only a small percentage of companies are ditching their offices entirely, with growing numbers of staff returning to workspaces on Fridays, research has revealed.

Two new reports could disprove common perceptions around remote working habits and the use of offices. In fact the recent data from corporate travel agency TravelPerk and WeWork may even surprise people.

Barcelona based TravelPerk wanted to explore whether working trends among U.S. firms had remained the same or changed since the pandemic. It seems not much is different, with only 4 percent of U.S. employees having shifted to a fully remote working model.

Overall, 62 percent of employees said they had the same working model post-pandemic as they did pre-pandemic. Just 18 percent said they shifted to a hybrid model.

Some 15 percent of U.S. workers class themselves as fully remote or mostly remote.

Meanwhile, the agency’s study showed that 71 percent of U.S. employees are somewhat or very happy with the current work model in place at their company. And of the 58 percent of U.S. employees required to go into the office a certain number of days a week or month, 48 percent say they wouldn’t change anything.

TravelPerk conducted the survey in the last two weeks of February, polling 1,000 employees from sectors such as accountancy, banking and finance, retail and healthcare.

What does this mean for the travel industry? First, hotels probably shouldn’t give up on targeting city centers, or focus too much on adding co-working spaces. And airlines maybe shouldn’t rule out negotiating corporate contracts.

TravelPerk warned that with blended travel trips rising, policies will need to be updated. It’s perhaps this area, the mix of business trips and leisure trips, that will be the most permanent after-effect of the pandemic. This week for example InteleTravel revealed it had bought business travel consortium Hickory Global Partners — a big bet on the future of changing travel habits.

“With the new blending of leisure and business travel, the idea of separate consortia for these markets is now outdated,” said President James Ferrara. “This merger creates a single source of advantages and support for all travelers and the professionals who serve them — the consortium of the future.”

That Friday Feeling

WeWork this week revealed it saw record numbers in March. Bookings increased 18 percent in the U.S. and Canada year-over-year, and its saw the most bookings so far in 2023. March 20 was the busiest week with 59,000 desk and conference room bookings.

While many people think staff prefer to work from home on Mondays and Fridays with a view to keeping those long-weekend, blended travel trips more open, WeWork said Fridays aren’t completely dead.

In the first quarter of this year, Fridays were 20 percent more popular than Mondays for its On Demand bookings, because it thinks workers want to try and enjoy a more quiet office environment. Wednesday was the most popular day of the week, for both bookings and footfall, during the first quarter of this year.


JP Morgan is back in the headlines. Its CEO, Jamie Dimon, has previously expressed concerns about working from home, and in the past has even offered to pay staff $5,000 to compensate for hotel quarantines.

This week the UK’s Times ran the headline “Back to the office or else, JPMorgan Chase tells staff.”

The bank has reportedly said that its managing directors must work in the office full time, and warned other staff they would face consequences if they do not meet in-office attendance expectations.

They need “to be visible on the floor, they must meet with clients, they need to teach and advise, and they should always be accessible for immediate feedback and impromptu meetings,” according to a memo. Employees on hybrid working schedules were not reaching the agreed standard of being in the office at least three days a week either, the Times added.

Maybe this time round the CEO is on trend.

10-Second Corporate Travel Catch-Up

Who and what Skift has covered over the past week: Accor, American Airlines, Deloitte, Freeman, Hickory Global Partners, Journera, Sonder, Musafir.

In Brief

Lyft’s Electric Vehicle Program for Business Travelers 

Ride hail platform Lyft is expanding its “Green” mode to select cities in the U.S. from April 17. Riders with a Lyft business profile will be the first to gain access and can request an electric vehicle or hybrid vehicle directly from the app. Lyft said it wants to “nudge” riders to take more sustainable forms of travel and aims to reach 100 percent electric vehicles on its platform by the end of 2030. The company also recently enhanced its Pink subscription.

AirGateway Teams Up With Procon

Online airfare aggregator AirGateway has partnered with Procon Solution, to help travel agents better manage bookings and access more content on their platforms. Procon specializes in mid and back office solutions for the travel industry, and will be able to let its agency customers offer so-called New Distribution Capability content. The new tie-up comes as carriers like American Airlines push more of their airfares towards direct or New Distribution Capability channels.

Amadeus and Air Canada Extend Partnership

Air Canada is to enable access to its full range of New Distribution Capability-sourced content through the Amadeus Travel Platform. “Agencies and travel buyers will have access to our most complete range of content and be well-equipped for the introduction of new products and capabilities,” said Mark Nasr, senior vice president, products, marketing and e-commerce at Air Canada.


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Tags: air canada, amadeus, business travel, corporate travel, Future of Work Briefing, jp morgan chase, lyft, ndc, remote work, wework

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