By Rene Hendrikse, vice president EMEA of iPass
Business travellers have always had a lot to worry about, from managing expense reports to concerns about flight delays.
But today, there is another challenge – ad-hoc usage of Wi-Fi day passes and mobile data roaming means that businesses across Europe have been overspending on connectivity by a massive £2.4 billion per year.
These charges might even be coming from the workforces’ own pockets. Such high international roaming costs mean that over 80% of business travellers have an increasingly ‘Wi-Fi first’ mentality.
But a key barrier to working productively outside the office is a lack of simple access to Wi-Fi networks.
Most business travellers find free Wi-Fi networks insecure, costly and slow; they also have cumbersome login and registration procedures which deter users who don’t want to repeatedly share or enter their details.
Despite this, business travellers rely on Wi-Fi to stay productive and connected to what matters most, from emails and access to cloud business apps like Google Doc for work, to Skype and Facebook for speaking to family and friends during downtime.
They are fully equipped with all the devices that they’ll need to work and play wherever they are. But what’s the point of all of these devices if their use is limited when travelling?
In this environment, business travellers need to be enabled with access to a global Wi-Fi network to allow them to work, cost effectively and without hassle on a single log-in, wherever they are in the world.
Currently, many businesses fail to consider connectivity as essential when arranging business travel – but they really should, not only for their financial benefit, but also for the wellbeing of their employees.
Rather than accept the status quo, business travellers need to take a stand and push to make their employers understand that for them, staying connected to what matters most is an issue of importance.
Providing connectivity services to business travellers should become as intrinsic to the business travel booking process as arranging a car from the airport.