Business travel can be a head-scratcher. While half of your employees may love it and relish every opportunity to visit a new city, the other half may make travel management a little more complicated – be it for cost, policy compliance or safety reasons.
It doesn’t have to be that way, however, so here are the 3 biggest business travel challenges you’re likely to face and how we can help you solve them.
Travel policy compliance: understanding your employees
Technological advances and the subsequent introduction of more online booking sites than you can shake a policy-resistant stick at has given us all the ability and confidence to book our own travel arrangements, and your organisation’s employees are no exception. They’re familiar with using certain sites for booking their personal holidays, so will often try to revert to using these same sites when asked to arrange their business travel.
This eventually causes leakage, as employees begin to book their travel outside of your recommended supplier and policy.
The first step to improving compliance is to understand the reasons behind why your travellers feel the need to book out of policy. Once you know this, you can revisit your policy and see where compromises can be made. Try and strike a balance of realistic parameters that aid your cost saving efforts but won’t lead to negative sentiment amongst your employees.
Spend: book smart and save
Chances are the aim of your travel policy is to control your travel spend. But this isn’t only achieved by booking the cheapest possible rate, as online booking, lead times and flexibility options all have a bearing on your total spend.
The first place to start with this is to look at where your organisation is making its bookings. The key is to find a booking tool with a wide array of travel content, as rates fluctuate with different suppliers all the time. Channelling your bookings through one tool that offers various rates for your employees to consider allows you to compare prices side by side and make an informed decision on all the suppliers who claim themselves to be ‘the cheapest’. travel.cloud offers this solution for free, meaning you can ensure travellers are saving money by comparing a range of available rates.
To see consistent, long term savings it’s important to educate your travellers in travel booking best practice; whether that’s by face to face training in teams, video training or blogs and campaigns on your internal comms. This is where you can guide behaviour on online booking and lead times, for those additional savings.
Traveller friction: make travel enjoyable
Traveller friction is the term used to describe the negative impact business travel can have on a traveller when they are travelling too much or the business travel that they undertake does not best satisfy their wellbeing. It can result in reduced productivity, low employee engagement, reluctance to travel and can lead to employees taking more time off sick.
There are a number of ways you can tackle it, however. If you’re happy your travel policy isn’t too restrictive, perhaps consider the concept of bleisure, the option to tag a few days of annual leave onto the end of a business trip. This encourages the traveller to think of the trip less as an obligation – potentially increasing productivity during their work time – and doesn’t incur any cost the business.
Alternatively, consider wellbeing support. Travelling to unfamiliar places can cause feelings of displacement and anxiety amongst regular business travellers and can sometimes leave them feeling isolated. Provide travellers with a list of recommended or preferred restaurants or hotels that support your organisation’s wellness objectives, meeting company expectations and travel wellness criteria.
travel.cloud is a booking tool that makes business travel simpler. It’s free to sign up and there are no contracts, so give it a try today!