The vast majority of business travelers believe the future of their career depends on successful business trips, but a growing number of these professionals also contend that they are willing to push back if such trips risk their health and safety or involve volatile social and cultural situations in the destination.
Ninety-two percent of those surveyed for a report by Wakefield Research and SAP Concur say successful business travel in the coming year will play a role in the future of their career. Nearly all (98%) of those surveyed say they are either very willing or willing to travel in the next year for work.
But increasingly, travelers’ desire and need for flexibility and companies’ current policies concerning travel frequency, duration, and destinations are not synced up. Ninety-one percent of respondents to the Wakefield survey said they’re willing to decline an assigned trip that conflicts with their needs, values, and preferences. Additionally, nearly all business travelers with a formal corporate travel policy (91%) want their company to allow the flexibility to book travel outside of company policy in certain cases.
The Wakefield Research-SAP Concur report surveyed 3,850 business travelers across 25 global markets.
Other key findings in the report include:
- 86% say the uncertain economy has impacted business travel at their company
- 62% say they haven’t always had an equal opportunity to travel for business as others at their company
- 46% typically book their business travel directly via an airline, hotel or car rental company website or app
- 23% have felt like they were in immediate danger on a business trip
- 53% have changed their accommodations on a business trip in the last year specifically because they felt unsafe
- 74% have experienced negative situations on a business trip, such as unwanted attention, unfair treatment or discrimination
Among the 86% of respondents who said economic uncertainty is affecting their company’s business travel, roughly 40% say that’s manifesting in reduced travel budgets that often lead to staying in lower quality accommodations or in less safe areas.
The report concluded that “the business and career benefits of business travel are undeniably crucial to the success of employees and companies alike, yet tightening budgets are clashing with traveler needs as businesses seek the best path forward.”