It’s about that time of year when you’re looking at finalizing next year’s T&E budget and evaluating the importance of business travel.
Many of your peers might be considering significant cuts. Due to the pandemic, employers may think they can replace many in-person interactions with tech such as video meetings at a lower cost.
While it might be tempting to go that route, there’s more to it than that.
As you’re making decisions about spending for the new year, it’s key to remember that business travel has benefits for you, your company and your employees. And in many cases, these benefits outweigh the costs of traveling.
Positives of business travel
- Boosts the bottom line. A big selling point for CFOs, 85% of decision-makers surveyed said that business travel leads to higher profit and revenue. It’s easier for travelers to seal business deals and forge key networking connections in person than over Zoom.
- Improves retention and attracts top talent. When they’re looking at new job opportunities, 85% of business travelers surveyed said the ability to travel for work is important to their decision. Also, over 80% of company decision-makers said business travel is essential for recruitment and retention of employees.
- Builds company culture. An important aspect of pandemic recovery, 88% of business travelers and 87% of decision-makers said traveling strengthens company culture. This mostly happened by allowing workers to learn from each other, especially new hires.
- Drives innovation. According to 88% of business travelers, traveling helps them improve their creativity and innovation. Then, they can take that to work with them. This is essential for employers looking for their next cost-saving idea or innovative product.
Per the survey, allowing travel also:
- Improves workers’ soft skills and character. As a result of the business trips they’ve taken, travelers said they developed leadership skills (88%), were more engaged at work (88%), became better at problem-solving (86%), were more productive (84%) and developed empathy (82%). These traits all contribute to better performance at work. And that’s vital to a company’s success.
- Unites remote teams. Hybrid and remote workers may have become a bit disconnected from their co-workers over the past year and a half. However, allowing them to travel together can restore relationships. Also, CFOs can invest in off-site business retreats, conferences and meetings to improve employee teamwork and collaboration.
- Supports diversity and inclusion. Almost 90% of business travelers and company decision-makers surveyed said business travel has improved their understanding of different cultures. This helps companies ensure all people, and their unique perspectives, have representation in the workplace.