Business travellers feel more productive on the road because of technology and are taking more devices with them, according to research by CWT.
Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s Connected Traveler [sic] Study found that business travellers on average carry four different types of technology with smartphones the travel tool they can’t live without.
More than 80% of travellers across the globe rely on their phone to conduct business, the survey of more than 1,900 business travellers found.
The survey found that 88% of travellers find travel easier to navigate today, leading to 78% of people seeking opportunities to travel for work and 72% finding business travel stimulating.
Globally, more than half (55%) of travellers rely on prior travel experience while planning trips, in addition to hotel websites (54%) and airline websites (50%). Airline and hotel apps make up the bulk of app usage for travellers (45%) while map apps also see heavy use (41%).
“The business traveller can be so much more productive than even five years ago thanks to technology,” said Simon Nowroz, chief marketing officer, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. “Think about the advances where a business traveller used to have so much down time between a flight, taxi and hotel. Now, they can login and work while on the plane or wherever they happen to be. With the continued emergence of the tablet, as well as numerous apps, travellers don’t feel out of touch as they carry out business.”
According to the study, work-based relationships and productivity are strengthened through business travel. Nearly nine in 10 business travellers (86%) said travel helped them build new knowledge and perspective, while 80% said business travel boosted their productivity. And more 93% said that travel positives outweighed negatives when it comes to building and maintaining relationships at work, while 77% said the same about their home lives.
But there were two key areas of concern among business travellers
Nearly half (46%) are concerned about their safety, despite two-thirds (67%) believing travel is safer today. This has led to an increase in the number of travellers (68%) to “sometimes or always” buy travel insurance.
Business travellers also raised concerns about maintaining routines and wellness. More than half of travellers (54%) say that their exercise and wellness habits are disrupted when they travel.
Business travellers use varying methods to keep in touch with friends and family while away. The traditional telephone call was the preference of 44% while 24% prefer Skype and 17% opt for text. When contacting co-workers, email was 44% of business travellers’ preferred choice while 24% liked to call and 14% text.
CWT’s survey also found regional differences. Travellers from the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region felt more in control than their counterparts from the Americas or Europe Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.
Travellers from APAC were also more likely to say travel took time away from other work.
Around a quarter of travellers from the Americas felt that travel strained their relationship with their spouse or significant other, more than their EMEA and APAC counterparts (both 22%). CWT said that this is likely the reason that travellers in the Americas try harder to stay connected with family (50%) than APAC (31%) and EMEA (27%) travellers.
“There are many variables that can make a business trip a success or a failure in the eyes of the traveller,” added Nowroz. “The easier we can make it for travellers to be organized, the more we help them have a better overall experience.”