7 Ways You Can Improve Business Travel for Your Employees

7 Ways You Can Improve Business Travel for Your Employees

The quality of the business travel experience for your employees says a lot about your organization. It’s important to think about what business travel is like for your employees – especially if they spend a lot of time on trips.

How can you improve business travel and make it less stressful and more efficient and enjoyable for your employees? Here are 7 tips you can use right now.

1. Ensure A Quality WiFi Connection

When your employees are on the road, they will need to get work done. It’s important to ensure that they have access to a strong Wifi connection. According to research by Statista, free Wi-Fi is the main deciding factor for both business and leisure travelers. For business travelers, 49% favored free WiFi over anything else.

When an employee doesn’t have access to a fast and reliable connection, they will struggle to get work done on the road. This can negatively affect their productivity. Plus, they might also find it difficult to check in with the team via video call or join in with online conferences.

So, how can you make sure that your employees will always have a strong WiFi connection when traveling? Here are some tips:

  • Read the reviews of the hotel you are booking at and see what previous guests have to say about the WiFi. If there are issues with the reliability or the connection speed, you will see them mentioned there.
  • Check to make sure that the hotel has the devices necessary to provide secure WiFi – such as a firewall.
  • Verify that the hotel doesn’t charge extra for WiFi, as this can really add up.
  • Make sure that the hotel internet connection can be used by more than one device at a time, as the business traveler might want to connect their laptop, phone and tablet.
  • Make sure you have a back-up plan for internet if the hotel WiFi lets you down – such as a mobile wireless hotspot device employees can take with them.

2. Help Employees Stay Healthy & Active

Travel often causes lack of sleep, poor food choices, less physical activity and stress – which can be linked to negative long term health outcomes. Eating healthy and staying active while on a business trip will help your employees stay alert, sleep better, recover easier from jetlag and perform better at work.

There are many ways that you can support employees and help them stay healthy and active, such as:

  • Booking them into a hotel with a gym (most have one these days).
  • Offering reimbursement for any exercise classes they take while traveling.
  • Book a hotel suite or apartment with a kitchen so employees can cook their own healthy meals.
  • Provide the option to expense groceries for healthier food options rather than requiring restaurant receipts.
  • Give your employees the freedom to have a little “me time” on trips so that they have time to rest and take care of themselves.
  • Provide your employees with a list of healthy restaurants in the area around where they are staying.

3. Avoid Red Eye Flights

When you are arranging travel for your employees, try as much as possible to avoid red eye flights. Anything early in the morning and late at night is never a good idea.

You might be tempted to choose these flight options because they’re cheaper, but the savings are negligible compared to how much they can negatively affect your employees.

Let’s imagine you are sending one of your best sales associates to an important meeting to close a deal on a big contract. She flies overnight and happens to be seated next to a crying baby or a chatty stranger and gets almost no sleep. She arrives at 6am, bleary-eyed and groggy. She then has to be prepared for a client meeting that morning. What are the chances she will be on the top of her game? Slim.

Studies have shown that one night of sleep deprivation can cause impairment that is as serious as being under the influence of alcohol. You wouldn’t want your employees showing up for their business meetings drunk. Why would it be okay to let them show up sleep deprived?  

4. Reward Employees For Staying Under Budget

Your employees will be much more likely to stay under budget on their travel expenses if they receive rewards for doing so. There is a company called Rocketrip which uses an algorithm to calculate the average budget for any given trip. Then it offers ways for the traveler to come in under that budget.

The app then offers rewards whenever the employee chooses a cost-conscious booking option. 50% of the money you save goes back to the business and the other 50% is gifted to the employee as a cash reward.

5. Use a Professional Travel Planner

One of the best ways to improve the business travel experience for your employees is to use the services of a professional travel planner. There are a lot of aspects to planning business travel, including booking flights and accommodation, managing budgets, coordinating groups and so much more.

When you have a travel management professional on your side, you’ll save a lot of time, hassle and money. Their knowledge of business travel and connections in the industry alone can help you find the best deals and rates.

6. Build Loyalty Status With a Popular Hotel Chain

There are a lot of advantages to sticking to the same hotel chain when booking corporate travel. You’ll be able to build loyalty points and get perks for employee business trips — such as access to business lounges, room upgrades, free internet and much more. The more your employees stay at that hotel, the more perks they will get.

Which hotels offer the best loyalty rewards? Here’s a guide from The Points Guy on which major US hotel chains offer the best rewards programs.  

7. Give Them an Extra Day or Two

Our recent blog post “4 Corporate Travel Trends to Look for in 2018,” talks specifically about “bleisure” travel and how hot it is right now. It’s all about the idea of adding some leisure time into a business trip so that your employees feel like they’re not just working while on the road.  This is legitimate. Forbes reports that nearly 60% of companies have started to create policies that allow employees to combine vacation time with business travel.

This might mean that business travelers head to a conference for the week, then stay the weekend to enjoy the destination. Or that they take some time to explore the city as a tourist and might even bring along their significant other to enjoy the trip with them.

Bleisure travel can offer a lot of advantages. It even improves morale and allows your high achieving business travelers to enjoy exciting destinations around the world while still working effectively.

Have more business travel questions?

Want to learn more about how you can improve business travel for your employees and make sure that every trip goes as smoothly as possible? We’re always happy to help – contact us today!

DOWNLOAD A COPY OF OUR INFOGRAPHIC:
“WAYS TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING HOW WE TRAVEL IN 2018 AND BEYOND”