As you prepare for a world where travel may one day resume, you need every ounce of help you can get. Arguably, the most important requirement in this case is considering the honest opinions and apprehensions of your employees – especially those who travel for business. You need to know what they’re thinking and feeling before they’re expected to return to the air, rail or the road.
As a small or medium-sized business, you see first-hand how employee engagement – or employee anxiety – impacts their work. Given the fluctuating circumstances surrounding COVID-19, it’s a good idea to check-in with how your employees are feeling about returning to work and business travel when it is safer to do so.
So, Where Do They Stand on Returning to Travel?
We recently investigated how employees of companies with less than 1,000 employees in six countries, including the UK, were feeling about an eventual return to business travel. According to the findings of the Wakefield Research, 37% of travellers expect to limit their use of public transportation, with 26% saying they’ll use their personal vehicle.
Wakefield also discovered that there are almost as many SMB business travellers (31%) who are excited to get back out there as there are travellers who are worried about it (36%). And their worries aren’t just about being able to travel safely. About half (51%) anticipate fewer contracts or deals that require in-person meetings, and more than 2 in 5 (43%) expect declines in new business due to lack of in-person meetings.
So inevitably, how business gets done is going to change in the long term.
The report outlines how these and other traveller concerns will impact travel costs. For example, 28% plan to prioritise shorter, more direct flights, and 21% will try to avoid larger airports in major cities. These flights they’re talking about aren’t always going to be cheaper, so you’ll have to work harder to stay on top of their travel spending.
And if they end up in forced quarantine when they reach their destination, as 22% expect to be the case, how will you manage their work and working conditions?
It’s more change in a year of constant upheaval, but if you plan on keeping your employees safe, happy, and productive while containing costs and maintaining compliance – you’ll have to be ready to adapt.
Download all the findings of the latest SMB business traveller sentiments in this Wakefield whitepaper.