Emburse, a global expense management and accounts payable automation firm, is announcing the findings of its latest YouGov survey, aiming to understand current attitudes towards business travel.
The data paints an interesting picture of the renewed appetite for travel as a means to strengthen business relationships and escape the household.
Workers have expressed an overwhelming opinion that travel remains important to strengthen business relationships. A survey of 1,202 prospective business travellers asked questions around their motives for travelling and if it still has an important part to play in business.
Everyone agrees business travel is crucial for strengthening business bonds
- The large majority (70%) of those surveyed agree that travelling for work and conducting face-to-face meetings will help strengthen business relationships
- The sentiment is almost identical regardless of gender or age
Business travel as a means of escape
- Almost half of those surveyed said if offered the opportunity to travel for business, they would look forward to a break away from their household (45%)
- Over four in ten (44%) of married respondents say they would be excited to escape the house through business travel
- Similarly, nearly half (47%) of respondents with children say they would travel for work in order to get a break from their household
- Younger workers aged 18-34 would be most keen to escape the house for business travel at 52% – compared to only 38% for those aged 55+
- More children means more desire to get away for a business trip: 46% of respondents with one child, 49% with two, and 54% with three or more children are looking forward to the potential of business travel
Are people looking forward to the return of business travel? The answer is yes.
- 54% of respondents who travel for work stated a preference are looking forward to getting back to business travel
- When looking at all respondents, younger workers (18-24) are by far the most eager to get back on the road (34%), with 45-54 year olds the least keen (20%)
Staying in nice hotels tops the list for business travel daydreams
- 37% of those surveyed said staying in nice hotels is what they would look forward to expensing the most if allowed on a business trip – the most popular option by far
- Only 6% are excited about expensing rounds of drinks for their colleagues
What would employees be looking forward to the most when it comes to business trips?
- 26% of those surveyed say they would be most looking forward to exploring new cities and countries if allowed to travel for business purposes
- 22% of respondents would be most looking forward to meeting colleagues, customers and prospects in person again, if allowed to travel for work
- 18% said having a change of work location would be what they looked for the most if allowed to travel for business
Kenny Eon, GM and SVP EMEA at Emburse, commented: “It’s great to see people are still feeling positive about business travel and recognise its value in a work setting, with workers keen to reconnect in person with colleagues. Beyond the usual reasons for travelling, the data reflects a workforce looking to escape and see new sights, which is to be expected following this period of extended isolation.
“As nations find their feet again, it’s crucial that people are given the opportunity to create meaningful relationships again, both for business and leisure purposes. Successes in virtual meetings can’t be overlooked, but the value of broadening one’s horizons is still firmly on the business agenda. Firms must prepare themselves logistically for the return of expenses and travel management as it’s certainly coming back into focus.”