According to research by the GBTA Foundation in partnership with Sabre, time spent in transit is the most challenging aspect of work trips for business travellers, who say they want to stay as productive as possible while on the go.
Other challenges identified in the study, entitled Improving the Traveller Experience – Europe, include long layovers, changing a reservation mid-trip, work environment while travelling and preparing expense reports. GBTA Foundation points out that all over the top complaints share a common thread of being time consuming.
The research went even more in depth, asking why travel managers should care about the traveller experience. Of those travellers surveyed, 83 per cent said their experience on the road impacts their overall job satisfaction at least somewhat, and the same amount said it has an effect on their ability to get results.
Travel programmes don’t only affect current employees, though; half of respondents indicated that a company’s programme is an important factor when considering a new job.
When asked which perks they prefer, travellers listed convenient and comfortable hotels, non-stop flights, booking flexibility and paid time off for going on long trips. The study also revealed optional purchases made by employees to improve their experience, with onboard wifi, high-speed internet, seat upgrades and international mobile calls/text messages topping the list. Participants chose to purchase these services themselves because they felt they could help them stay productive on the road.
Additionally, respondents pointed toward technology solutions to improve productivity, asking for automated destination information, mobile payments, itinerary management apps, safety tracking apps and mobile expense reporting. Interestingly, Millennials said they would like to see more live chat capabilities.
Wade Jones, executive VP and president of Sabre Travel Network, said: “With advances in technology, corporate travellers are plugged in and connected more than ever before. While the technology is out there, this report demonstrates that we still have work to do to make corporate travel more seamless, reducing the number of apps and tools needed to organise their trip, while also optimising compliance and reducing costs.”