Business Travel Blog

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Maintaining a work/travel balance

work travel balance
Work-travel balance can mean many things. When researching our latest report, one of the areas we looked at was how frequent business travellers manage their workload and how it affects their productivity. This is the work-travel balance context we want to address here. 

With millennials making up a large proportion of business travellers, there has been a noticeable shift in what they expect from a trip. Certain requirements remain the same such as quality accommodation, safety and ease of travel. Additionally, with workloads increasing and the rapid advancement of technology, many business travellers also put an emphasis on the ability to balance their work responsibilities with their personal lives. 

We recently discussed the topic of flexible working, adapting hours to suit business needs and the stigma around it on our Absolute Clarity podcast. One of our guests, Sian English, explained how she felt there is a much wider understanding of the need for flexible working, as work and social activities have begun to blend into one in some industries. 

For companies, allowing their travellers flexibility and improving the work-travel balance can lead to an increase in productivity. Our report, Planes, Trains and Marginal Gains, found travel schedule is of vital importance and shows that travel buyers and bookers alike should focus heavily on making timings and routings fit well for the traveller. There is clearly a need to balance trip cost and convenience, but the research shows this could be a win-win. 

Not everyone will want the same thing, for example when choosing a hotel location some may prefer convenience for work purposes whilst others prefer to be able to venture out for a more social evening.

“I’d rather stay somewhere in a city centre where you could go out for a bite to eat rather than near a service station. With a price cap system, you can [choose what suits you].” 

Many business trips are very short - in and out of a European destination in a long day for example. A well-rested traveller would undoubtedly be more productive during those hours than one who felt sleep-deprived because an inordinately early flight meant no sleep the night before or who had been unable to sleep on the flight because of the class of travel. 

This balance has also improved as digital technology has made it much easier to work on the road. Mobile apps and mobile friendly itineraries play a core role in the traveller’s ability to manage their trip experience. 

Being able to work on the road with minimal disruption can reduce the amount of downtime a traveller experiences, saving the company and the individual valuable time. 

These small nudges towards marginal gains all work towards the same end goal: being able to make savings by increasing employee productivity by simply improving their travel experience. 

Ensuring the work-travel balance is taken into consideration before stripping back travel costs can end up being not only more productive, but more profitable too. 

What does the work-travel balance mean to you?