With over a quarter of UK business travellers reporting decreased job satisfaction due to negative travel experiences, are business leaders doing enough?
Many pain points can be alleviated through technology
LONDON, UK, August 29, 2012 – A YouGov survey commissioned by Concur of over 1,000 UK business travellers surveyed reveals the major pain points associated with business travel and the extent to which these factors affect employee satisfaction and productivity.
Business travel is a significant part of employees’ job function with over one half of those surveyed travelling between one and four times a month and a further 22 per cent travelling more than five times a month. This could potentially lead to significant pain points, as almost one in five business travellers (18 per cent) revealed that their biggest issue was ‘the stack of receipts and expense reports that needs to be completed’ upon their return.
Surprisingly, just over a quarter (26 per cent) of UK business travellers said their pain points have had a negative impact on their job satisfaction, and over one in twenty (6 per cent) having considered resigning. Furthermore, over one in five (23 per cent) travellers said their previous, negative business travel experiences would prompt them to turn down a new job which would require them to frequently travel for business.
The pain points reported by business travellers include:
- Almost one in five respondents said stack of receipts and expense reports that need to be completed upon their return (18 per cent)
- Over one in ten said the inability to quickly and easily book air or rail travel when there are last minute cancellations/changes to the itinerary (11 per cent)
- Almost one in seven said company restrictions on travel and accommodation (14 per cent)
- More than one in 16 said finding a hotel easily, especially during busy periods (6 per cent)
- One in twenty said feeling unsafe and not secure with their surroundings whilst travelling (5 per cent)
Wasted time and employees’ inability to sustain job productivity whilst travelling is a major concern. Over three quarters of respondents (77 per cent) said that their time is unproductive due to not having the right tools and nearly one in six business travellers (17 per cent) said more than half their travel time is unproductive – highlighting the significance of the saying, ‘time is money.’
Mired in the administrative details of managing their business travel and resulting expenses, employees could benefit by having effective tools in place, enabling them to be more efficient while travelling for business. Indeed, 18 per cent of respondents cited the stack of receipts and expense reports to be processed as their biggest pain and 11 per cent citing an inability to book travel quickly due to last minute cancellation as their biggest pain point.
A vast majority (59 per cent) said ‘always, often and sometimes’ when asked how often they are ‘left unhappy with the experience of a business trip.’ The survey also revealed that over one in four (26 per cent) respondents reported exhaustion as the feeling most associated with business travel whereas only 13 per cent said that travelling for business made them feel ‘accomplished.’
Isabel Montesdeoca, Senior Vice President and General Manager, EMEA, at travel and expense management software provider Concur comments: “We see these issues all the time. In today’s always on, always connected environment, companies can do more to improve the productivity and job satisfaction of their staff by equipping them with technology and tools that make them more effective while travelling.”
Montesdeoca adds: “It’s important that business leaders take ownership of the travel experience for their staff in order to improve overall employee satisfaction levels and reduce churn.”
Concur solutions include automated expense management as well as travel booking tools which provide employees with personalised corporate travel booking capabilities online and in a mobile app, incorporating companies’ travel and expense policies with preferred travel suppliers. Concur’s booking tool also informs employees in real-time when there have been changes to the itinerary and enables quick and efficient re-bookings.