Business Travel

Tips to ensure the well-being of your corporate travelers

Did you know that protecting the well-being of your business travelers benefits your company in many different ways? Your employees are your most valuable asset. They represent your company on the road and beyond. And asking those employees to take red-eye flights or stay in super-budget hotels with dingy rooms can inhibit morale, which impacts how your company is represented.

When your corporate travel program seeks to minimize the impact of business travel on your employees, you’re protecting your best asset. In a recent GBTA webinar on reducing traveler stress and anxiety, Dr. Lucy Rattrie compared the treatment of business travelers to “athletes in a suit.” She added, “You’d never expect your favorite sports team to get up at 3 a.m., fly somewhere, ace a sports game, fly home, and get up for training at 6 o’clock the next morning.”

Frequent business travel can cause stress and eventually lead to traveler burnout, especially for employees who travel more than 14 days a month. If not taken care of, employees with burnout can feel demoralized and depressed and experience job dissatisfaction and disengagement, resulting in the expensive employee replacement process when they eventually find a better job.

Boost business traveler well-being with information and support

Sending employees on business-related travel without the proper information and support can be setting them up for failure. In a recent Amadeus survey, many employees said “their company doesn’t take steps to actively improve traveler well-being or they are unsure whether the company does.”

Another study revealed that only 44% of international business travelers said they were offered real-time information on security issues and only 43% were given tracking information for their business trips. These employees felt their well-being was of little consequence to their employers.

In order to communicate your commitment and support a culture of health in your business traveler, try these tips:

  • Hold traveler training to discuss emergency plans and protocols
  • Verify critical health and safety information, such as emergency contacts and personal itineraries
  • Lessen the headaches of travel by allowing travelers to rebook delayed or canceled flights through travel advisors
  • Review and discuss your travel policy at least once a year to ensure it’s in line with institutional and personnel changes

Let your employees know that you care by providing all the communication and support they need.

Develop a traveler-friendly corporate travel policy

A disorganized travel program with corporate travel policies that only benefit the company result in low traveler well-being. It can even “create costs for employers through higher medical claims, reduced employee productivity and performance, absenteeism, presenteeism, and short-term disability,” according to Amadeus.

Maintaining traveler well-being means being flexible and making accommodations in your policy. Doing so benefits your business because an estimated 84% of business travelers were interested in having a “very attractive travel policy” at work. Also, according to 83% of the respondents, having a better travel policy would be equal to or even more important than pay and responsibilities. This means that taking traveler well-being into account when creating your travel policies is a critical piece of employee retention and recruitment.

Invest in non-stop flights and business class

Now that we know the importance of a traveler-friendly corporate policy, what are some elements that should be incorporated that will really benefit your travelers? According to ARC, the most preferred way to ease travel friction is to allow non-stop flights in the policy. Next on the list are better and more convenient lodging options, allowing business-class travel on extended flights, and providing paid time off after long trips.

Book hotels where employees can be comfortable

When it comes to traveler well-being, finding lodging that positively impacts travelers makes a big difference. Hotels with uncomfortable or limited options leave employees turning to less healthy food options, feelings of frustration, and in some cases, lead to heavy drinking. Quite simply, poor lodging puts employees on the fast track to burnout.

Employees who feel burned out from poor travel itineraries are also more likely to engage in riskier behaviors than they usually do at home. Burnout can lead to an extensive recovery period. It’s in a business’s best interest to provide lodging that is comfortable, meets the traveler’s needs, and creates a sense home.

To better assist your travelers, book hotels with the following facilities and services:

  • Easy access to meetings and conferences
  • Fitness facilities, pools, or national gym membership reimbursement
  • Onsite or nearby dining options that provide healthy food options
  • 24-hour services
  • Amenity services such as massage and yoga

Mia Kyricos, the global head of well-being at Hyatt Hotels, told the New York Times that our 24/7 world places increasing demands on work and life, so “well-being is top of mind for everyone today, and we think that’s going to continue in the future.”

Incorporate free time or days off into business travel

To increase traveler well-being, consider allowing “bleisure” or “bizcation” travel. These are personal days before or after a business trip that can help your travelers feel more motivated to travel and increase productivity. Because business travel reduces personal and social time, allowing a few leisure days to a travel policy can help your employees have a better work/life balance, leading to better employee well-being.

Your employees can also benefit from this type of business travel when they visit destinations that they might not otherwise be able to afford. Some companies might even consider footing the bill for business travelers to experience bucket list opportunities when en route. These opportunities could be things like visiting the Museo del Prado if they’re in Madrid, ziplining Arebak Volcano when in Costa Rica, or catching a concert in their destination.

Implementing this type of business travel doesn’t have to hurt the bottom line. To thoughtfully implement bleisure into your corporation, consider doing the following:

  • Allow employees to take personal days if their originating or returning flight falls on a cheaper travel day
  • Provide bleisure opportunities if employees subsidize their travel insurance and any travel changes that increase trip costs
  • Establish and define employee responsibilities for bleisure travel, like duty of care, expense tracking, communication, and other travel arrangements
  • Allow employees to travel with a self-paid companion to enjoy bleisure time and increase connectivity with family or friends
  • Use bleisure travel as a reward for employees who save your business money by complying with corporate travel policies

Even though some corporations have not established bleisure travel, Chubb insurers say it is “ultimately a win-win for employers and employees. By providing guidance and extending protection to employees taking bleisure trips, companies can safeguard their greatest assets, address issues before they arise, and reap the financial benefits of their support.”

Help your employee stay up to date on the latest health information

Within the past few years, successful travel has required travelers to constantly stay on top of ever-changing rules, regulations, and testing policies. Ease the worry that some may feel as they begin traveling again by providing this information to your travelers.

With your company’s research and support, a business traveler can safely navigate their travel itinerary. To help your employee stay up to date on the latest health information, we suggest the following:

  • Rely on Christohperson’s pre-trip travel hub. This page provides reliable resources and updates for the most current entry restrictions, health and safety protocols, and travel news.
  • Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s travel website. There you’ll find traveler advice, a disease directory, and frequently asked questions that are beneficial for any traveler on the site.
  • Provide traveler trainings. Do your travelers know to pack medications in their carry-on? Do they know to keep prescriptions in the original bottles, so there are no issues with having unmarked medication? Have you provided simple packing lists for the destinations you require, i.e. hand sanitizer, masks, antihistamines, digestion aids, and even seasickness medication? Have you ever encouraged your business travelers to eat healthily and stay hydrated?
  • Encourage travelers to stay up-to-date with vaccinations, such as flu and covid vaccines. Vaccinations are required to enter some countries, and it will help protect the employee.

Learn more about Christopherson Business Travel and our full-service travel solutions

Take the guesswork, time, and stress out of corporate travel planning when you hire Christopherson Business Travel. We help you fill in all the gaps in corporate travel management because we understand that successful business travel involves more than just booking flights and hotels. Not only do we have your best interests in mind as a business owner, but we genuinely care about the safety and satisfaction of every employee on your corporate travel management plan. We use industry-leading technologies and personalized service to protect your travelers and your bottom line. Contact us today to see how we can help elevate your business travel management plan.

Business Travel Travel Technology Travel Tips

5 Reasons You Should Switch to a Managed Corporate Travel Program

When corporate travel programs are managed effectively, businesses operate with more confidence knowing both their employees and their bottom line are protected. But many of the corporate travel challenges businesses and travel managers face remain constant. For example, current circumstances brought corporate travel policies and compliance back to the top of the list of priorities, showing how the benefits of a managed corporate travel program are even more relevant to your business than before.

In a recent poll from the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), more than one third of travel buyers and procurement professionals said they are more reliant now on their travel management company than they were before the pandemic.

When travel programs are managed effectively, businesses operate with confidence, knowing both their employees and their bottom line are protected, even amidst unexpected circumstances. But if unmanaged, corporate travel programs can quickly devolve into a disorganized T&E mess, costing organizations thousands of unnecessary dollars, while also exposing them to costly vulnerabilities.

Pandemic or not, corporate travel management is a major business responsibility that involves multiple stakeholders, not just the corporate travel program manager.

Today, the corporate travel challenges businesses and travel managers most often face could be avoided with consolidated management of the travel program. For example, current circumstances brought corporate travel policies back to the top of the list of priorities as organizations of all sizes look to keep travelers safe, keep the cost of business travel low, and manage expectations.

In this critical time, switching to a managed corporate travel program solves common problems associated with corporate travel and saves money. Perhaps more importantly, making the move to a managed travel program can help ensure employees are prepared and protected when they travel.

What Is a Managed Travel Program?

A managed travel program is a term used to describe the partnership between an organization and a travel management company (TMC).

A TMC’s services include, but are not limited to, providing online booking options as well as expert travel agents to schedule flight, hotel, and car reservations, travel policy creation and integration, unused ticket management, and reporting tools. The best TMCs act as a partner to your business, helping you manage corporate travel through an organized, consolidated, and integrated program.

For example, Christopherson Business Travel provides corporate travel management solutions through industry-leading technology and personalized service. Solutions are customized to the unique needs of each business, whether they need support in developing a travel policy or access to a centralized technology platform for travel management.

The Top 2 Challenges Facing Business Travelers

According to GBTA, only 55% of business travelers are satisfied with their company’s travel policy. This makes compliance a top corporate travel challenge facing organizations.

Modern business travelers often want flexibility and freedom. So whether it’s booking their own travel with non-partner vendors through non-approved sites or wanting the ability to extend a business trip for leisure, corporate travelers will often make their own arrangements if the tools are not in place for compliance. This can quickly create costly challenges for businesses.

Additionally, both business travelers and their companies are increasingly more aware of the safety and security of business travel. A GBTA poll noted 70% of travel buyers and procurement professionals say they’ve elevated duty of care as a higher priority within the company. But business travel duty of care requires more than lip service. It includes knowing where travelers are at any moment of their trip, training on safety procedures, 24/7/365 en route communication options, and more if unexpected emergencies occur.

5 Ways a Managed Corporate Travel Program Can Benefit Your Business

Meeting the needs of business travelers while meeting the goals of your organization can be a tricky balance. To secure that balance, successful organizations turn to TMCs to help manage their corporate travel programs.

Here are five ways a managed corporate travel program can benefit your business.

Experienced Business Travel Experts

Whether it’s through account managers or travel advisors, a managed travel program offers the value of experienced experts who can help you identify opportunities for cost savings, negotiate better rates, and reach the goals you have for your travel program. At Christopherson, our account managers take a consultative approach to evaluating where you are and identifying solutions and strategies to get where you want to be. Our talented travel advisors know the ins and outs of business travel so they can assist your travelers and take advantage of the lowest fares.

Corporate Travel Cost Savings

Many managed travel programs tout cost savings, but the best TMCs show you exactly where you’re saving and how much you’ve saved.

Optimizing your travel budget with the data and reporting tools from Christopherson helps you visualize spending and compare it against industry benchmarks. Our lowest fare searches, vendor negotiations, industry partnerships, and discount programs help your travelers choose cost-effective options.

Travel Management Software

A managed travel program should offer powerful technology to help execute all aspects of your program.

Christopherson’s integrated technology platform gives stakeholders total access to the business travel software, tools, and real-time data they need. From online booking tools, to reporting solutions, to profile management, everything is accessible from a single

dashboard, making managing business travel easier for both corporate travel managers and their business travelers.

Travel Policy Compliance

Organizations need their business travelers to be in compliant when booking travel. By taking a holistic look at your travel program, understanding your travelers needs, including stakeholders in the conversation, and integrating your policy with your technology, you can increase your compliance rates.

At Christopherson, our account managers help you create your sensible travel policies and integrate them with your booking options. At booking, your travelers will have in-policy, cost-effective choices that help them stay compliant, which means you save money and can deliver on your duty of care.

A Proactive Approach to Risk Management

The world is an unpredictable place, which means having the ability to quickly alert and communicate with travelers in potentially unsafe or risky situations is critical to taking a proactive approach to travel risk management.

Christopherson provides the risk management tools organizations need to keep track of their business travelers and assist with safety and security measures.

Ready to Make the Switch to a Managed Travel Program?

With these benefits in mind, if you’re considering switching to a managed travel program, contact the experts at Christopherson today to learn more about our corporate travel management solutions.

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