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Two thirds of UK business travellers fail to follow company travel policy

Posted by Phil Davies on
Two thirds of UK business travellers fail to follow company travel policy

Almost two thirds of UK business travellers deviate from company travel policy, a new study reveals.

The majority (74%) are aware that their firms have a travel policy and 78% are very or extremely familiar with it.

But 61% admitted to not following company travel policy at all times.

A 94% majority say they would book out of policy if it meant minimising and negative impact to their health and well-being.

The majority of employees (52%-79%) outside the US do not adhere to travel policy all the time – whereas US travellers are more compliant with just 40% sometimes going outside policy.

The new study from American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) noted that it was “particularly concerning” that only one third of UK respondents believe employers have safety in mind when staff travel on business, suggesting a need for better communication.

However, corporate travellers in the UK are cost-conscious on the company’s behalf and almost 90% agree it is important they save their employer money when booking business travel.

“This behaviour is largely encouraged by the person approving their expense reports, and eight in ten travellers require approval prior to booking and/or submitting an expenses report,” according to the study.

American Express GBT surveyed 2,000 business travellers from the US, UK, France, Germany, Australia, Singapore and India, to gain insights into travellers’ perceptions and attitudes about travel policies and programmes.

Respondents were positive about the value and benefits of travelling for business.

Despite the optimism, the survey revealed clear areas of opportunity for employers to show greater support of employees, especially regarding safety, flexibility and wellbeing.

A majority of the travellers surveyed were aware of their companies’ travel and expense policies, but more than half of respondents outside the US believe policies are unclear, leading to failure to comply with them.

Traveller satisfaction has become a key pillar of a successful travel programme because of its link to employee productivity, morale and retention, according to the study.

US travellers are generally less concerned about the impact business travel has on their personal lives, with less than half believing that it hurts healthy living, makes meeting other work obligations difficult, or can be stressful.

The starkest difference in attitudes between the US and the other countries is travellers’ concerns about security.

Despite the current geopolitical climate, only a third of US
travellers expressed security concerns, either domestic or international – compared to 51%-77% in the other countries surveyed.

The research also found that:

• At least 90% of global business travellers think it is important for companies to invest in technology that supports them in times of emergency
• At least 75% of global business travellers believe cell phone access is the only necessary mode of communication for employers
• At least 50% of travellers – outside of India – believe their employers do not need to know where they are at all times

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