Not only is business travel back with some ferocity, how people travel for business — and indeed leisure — has changed. Amongst the most fascinating changes has been which departments within companies are now traveling and how that compares to pre-pandemic makeup of business travelers.
Based on latest data from the corporate travel agency TripActions across its network of clients, the conventional idea around who travels for business (a majority used to be sales teams) has shifted and is now more distributed, especially among engineering, product, and marketing teams.
Engineers, who made up just 7% of travelers by job function pre-pandemic, are now at a 13% share. Marketing and Product teams have similarly increased their respective share of travelers.
Meanwhile, Operations, HR, and Finance & Administrative departments, which continued to travel during the peak of the pandemic, have settled back into their pre-pandemic share.
What accounts for this change? The distributed workforce: employees who travel to their own offices or other offsite location to meet with coworkers to build in-person relationships. This bears out the thesis in the essay I wrote last month called “The Great Merging” on the new state of how people live, work, and travel have merged into each other.