The trials of business travel

September 03, 2012, 2:05 PM GMT+0

Poll of UK business travellers finds filing expenses, issues booking & wasted time biggest problems

Going through receipts, completing expense reports, problems when booking air and rail tickets, and the difficulty of finding a hotel in busy periods are business travellers' most-hated problems when on the road, our poll of 1,000 UK business travellers for travel and expense management software provider Concur, has found.

Many business travellers said that these issues had an impact on their job satisfaction and would put them off taking a job that would require them to travel frequently.

  • 18% revealed that their biggest issue when travelling was ‘the stack of receipts and expense reports that needs to be completed’ upon their return
  • 11% said the inability to quickly and easily book air or rail travel when there are last minute cancellations/changes to the itinerary

  • 14% said that company restrictions on travel and accommodation was the biggest issue
  • 6% said that finding a hotel easily, especially during busy periods, while 5% cited that feeling unsafe and not secure with their surroundings whilst travelling was the biggest sticking point

Impact on job satisfaction

According to the poll, business travel is a significant part of employees’ job function with over one half of those surveyed travelling between one and four times a month and a further 22% travelling more than five times a month.

  • 59% of those polled said ‘always, often and sometimes’ when asked how often they are ‘left unhappy with the experience of a business trip’
  • Over one in four (26%) respondents reported exhaustion as the feeling most associated with business travel whereas only 13% said that travelling for business made them feel ‘accomplished’
  • Just over a quarter (26%) of UK business travellers said that issues faced when travelling had a negative impact on their job satisfaction
  • While 6% said that they had considered resigning as a result
  • 23% of travellers said their previous, negative business travel experiences would prompt them to turn down a new job which would require them to frequently travel for business

Improving productivity

Wasted time and employees’ inability to sustain job productivity whilst travelling is a major concern.

Over three quarters of respondents (77%) said that their time is unproductive due to not having the right tools and nearly one in six business travellers (17%) said more than half their travel time is unproductive.

Concur Senior Vice President and General Manager EMEA, Isabel Montesdeoca, commented on the poll, saying that “we see these issues all the time. In today’s always on, always connected environment, companies can do more to improve the productivity and job satisfaction of their staff by equipping them with technology and tools that make them more effective while travelling.”

Montesdeoca adds: “It’s important that business leaders take ownership of the travel experience for their staff in order to improve overall employee satisfaction levels."

Concur solutions include automated expense management as well as online and app-based travel booking tools, which provide employees with personalised corporate travel booking capabilities.

See the survey details and full results here