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If we’ve learnt anything from the last 12 months, it’s how unpredictable life can be and how quickly humans can adapt to digital solutions. We’ve all learnt how to manage and thrive as best we can. But as the world starts reopening once again and businesses start planning travel for 2021, what can we expect from the business travel landscape?
No one is under the illusion that life will just go back to normal. We’re all having to embrace a new normal, and that means how businesses manage travel will change, too.
Here are 4 business travel trends post-COVID for you to sink your teeth into.
1. Companies will be more willing to adopt and explore tech solutions
- Technology has supported the global economy more in the last 12 months than was ever thought possible. Coronavirus has given many companies a shove towards digital adoption, and, as a result, many businesses are opting not to renew their lease in favour of remote working. It seems more companies are open-minded to technology that can support a better way of working.
- What does this mean for the travel industry? Well, it means companies are more open to exploring tech that can help reduce admin time, save money, drive growth, and make everyone’s life that little bit easier — from travel management teams to travellers. Tech can help you pinpoint travel patterns and consolidate invoicing; tech can help you get a hold of unmanaged ground travel spend and rid employees and admin teams of manual expensing in favour of automatic expensing. (Basically, it can do a lot!)
Tech is the gift that keeps giving.
Curious to see first hand how much your company could save on business ground travel? Try our free calculator.
2. Travel managers will have better relationships with those around them
- According to a 2020 survey, 54% of travel managers saw a 50% increase in engagement with executive leadership compared with pre-covid times. Travel managers are the people who have been in charge of implementing robust travel policies to ensure travellers have been safe through coronavirus. Although companies are slowly emerging out of lockdown, it won’t just be a return to ‘business as usual’.
- Travel managers will continue to play a key role in supporting business travellers as they adjust to a post-covid world. Employees and management will need to work closely with them to ensure they’re meeting the duty of care standards.
- Although domestic travel may be easier to navigate, international travel will still hold unforeseen issues; not every country will be vaccinated at the same rate, which poses risks for travellers. Safety updates will still be required as employees travel around the world for work, and there will still be an emphasis on employee safety. So the relationship with the travel manager is a crucial one.
3. There’ll be a focus on employee well-being
- Because of COVID, many employees have realised the importance of a work-life balance. COVID saw families spend more time together than ever before. This has made workers value what’s important in life. According to TUC, before the pandemic, employees spent 59 minutes commuting to and from the office every day (which adds up to 221 hours a year).
- But now employees favour a more flexible work schedule, with almost one in five of those surveyed wanting to work entirely from home in the future. A work-life balance is key for business travellers, too, with ‘lack of work-life balance’ voted as the number one stress factor — and that was before the pandemic.
- Perhaps Covid has presented an opportunity for organisations to listen and take these thoughts on board and amend their travel policies to enable a better work-life balance for all employees.
4. There’ll be a reduction in unmanaged spend
- Travel managers have had to adapt their policies quickly in line with government advice. What does this mean for future travel? It means global travel managers can stomp out unmanaged ground travel spend. Because it’s in the traveller’s best interest to book through the preferred travel management platform, if they don’t book through the platform, they risk missing out on important updates and alerts.
- COVID has meant managers need to know where all employees are at all times, and this can’t be achieved if employees don’t respect and adhere to travel policies in place.
- Managing all ground travel this way means that travel managers gain better visibility and can optimise cost savings across the travel programme. Unmanaged spend is costing companies more money than they realise, and although unmanaged spend costs are seemingly insignificant, they snowball into much higher costs over time.
Gett’s all-in-one ground travel solution gives travel managers a 360-degree view of their ground travel like never before. Oversee bookings, track employee movements, deliver cost savings, and drive optimisation, all in one dashboard. Learn more about how Gett can help your organisation.
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