Pros and Cons of Business Travel for Work

January 7, 2020

There are countless reasons to send your workers out of town, but topping the list is one simple truth: Nothing gets better business results than face-to-face engagement. Business travel generates alignment, deepens trust, builds relationships, and yields more favorable transaction outcomes.

There are so many advantages to business travel…and some downsides. For travel managers and travelers alike, it helps to bear the pros in mind when coping with the cons. In looking at both sides, we have some suggestions on how travel managers can help to downsize those disadvantages before they get out of hand.

Advantages of Business Travel

TRAVEL ENJOYMENT

Seeing new places and having novel experiences is fun. Travel managers can help boost worker morale by building in some sort of “shore leave,” even if it’s just an after-hours dinner and drink. (When possible, push to make dining one of the ways travelers delve into their environment. Nobody gets “local flavor” at Applebee’s.) Compared to the same old commute, kid activities, and streaming show du jour, business travel offers a break from routine and chances to broaden one’s worldview. Help your people to seize it!

RACK UP THE MILES

While some companies have taken over frequent traveler bonuses and apply them toward lowering the travel budget’s bottom line, many businesses still allow employees to claim frequent flyer and hotel stay credits for themselves. Again, this is a great perk that can boost morale by adding up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars in value for the traveler and his or her family. Be sure that travelers know how to track and claim any business-related travel expenses — if not for direct compensation from their employer then at least with their own tax professional in order to claim write-offs.

MEETING NEW PEOPLE AND NETWORKING

Many travelers eventually come to the realization that one can only see so many monuments and museums before they all start to blend together. But the people one meets when traveling — their unique tales and the bonds forged with them — those are what make the most cherished memories. This applies equally to personal and business travel. Travel managers should be careful to allow such meetings and not book workers’ schedules around the clock. Allow, even encourage, workers to create sparks of commonality between themselves and those around them so that those sparks can grow into a connection they maintain over time. This becomes the difference between a professional network of people looking to help one another and a host of meaningless names on a social media list.

Disadvantages of Business Travel

SCHEDULE CONFLICTS AND LOST TIME

Stress can crush the enjoyment from business travel, and one of the leading causes of business travel stress is schedule conflicts that arise from…you name it. Bad traffic. Airport lines. Delayed flights. For better or worse, things happen. The question becomes: How much stress is involved in dealing with it? Deem’s online booking tool can be a lifesaver, especially through the front end of its best-in-class mobile app. Deem Work Fource makes it a snap to change hotels, switch flights, and schedule or summon all manner of ground transportation. There’s no avoiding business travel foul-ups, but travel managers and travelers alike can have better tools at hand for resolving them quickly and easily.

Also, consider encouraging travelers to try meditation. Really. It helps.

MEETING NEW PEOPLE

Strange but true, not everybody enjoys being outgoing among new people. What plays as a fun business travel advantage for extroverts can be an awkward hell for serious introverts. Even among management, The Wall Street Journal found that 3% of executives, 7% of first-line managers, and 12% of supervisors displayed “below-average extroversion” — meaning introversion. How to remedy this? Baby steps. Most introverts can handle reaching out to a single stranger and striking up a one-on-one conversation. From there, strive for two new people, and so on. An introvert may never be comfortable taking charge in a room full of strangers, but it is possible to work up to fluency and grace with doing so.

COSTS

You bet, business travel can be expensive for both the traveler and the traveler’s company. Deem does everything possible to help both sides keep costs down and convenience high. Deem Work Fource excels at enabling policy-based restrictions, so companies only incur approved expenses. Deem then lets those expenses seamlessly link to a range of external expense platforms, such as ChromeRiver, Coupa, Deltek, Infor, and Workday, via its Open Expense API. Use of Google’s ITA Search Engine makes sure travel options aren’t limited to potentially more expensive GDS-only solutions. The Automated Ticket Exchange feature makes quick work of applying unused tickets so that their value doesn’t go to waste. And Deem’s Virtual Pay option lets travelers replace physical credit cards with virtual ones keyed to each hotel booking transaction, thus reducing the risk of credit card fraud and the headaches pushed back onto travel managers.

In fact, from money savings to recouping time to managing logistics and travel reporting, Deem Work Fource may be one of the most powerful tools available to businesses and travelers today. Request a demo of the platform and see if it can make your traveling more advantageous.

Author

Deem Editorial

The Deem editorial team brings important, informative commentary and data to travel managers and everyone interested in technology and the corporate travel industry.

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