Business travelers and companies responsible for maintaining productivity
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Choosing to stay in serviced apartments or corporate housing is one way that business travelers can ease the stress of constant travel. However, for executives on the road, a variety of other factors can affect not only how pleasurable a trip will be, but also how productive. According to a recent survey conducted by Business Travel News, the responsibilities of providing executives with amenities while maintaining productivity falls on both the business traveler and their employer.
Sharing the burden
There is little doubt that comfort and access to modern amenities can ease the stress of business travel, and hotel chains and serviced apartments alike offer a range of executive suites that cater specifically to the needs of corporate clients.
However, while securing adequately comfortable accommodations is one way for executives to reduce stress while traveling, remaining productive and ensuring that companies are receiving sufficient return on investment is equally important. The survey revealed that, when it comes to meeting the expectations of organizations and their employees, both parties are equally responsible.
"The notion that travelers alone are responsible for their own destiny or that travelers alone can make it what they want is an impossibility," said Steven Mandelbaum, vice president of information systems and travel buyer at Advisory Board Co., as quoted by the news source. "It has to be shared. But to do that, we give our travelers a tremendous amount of flexibility. Travel buyers can do a number of things to make life better for travelers. It depends on your travelers and their most pressing needs and their biggest pain points."
The results of the survey indicate that companies try to make life on the road as easy as possible on executives in a variety of ways. Approximately 59 percent of corporate travel buyers negotiate with airline carriers for elite designations for their employees, while 55 percent do the same for rental car programs and livery services. An additional 42 percent make such arrangements when it comes to hotel accommodations.
The slight decrease in the popularity of executive suites at hotels for corporate travelers could indicate a potential area of growth in the use of serviced apartments and corporate housing as a means to increasing worker productivity and easing the stress of frequent business travel.
Pressure to deliver
Although the stress of closing deals, meeting with new clients and forging relationships with suppliers and manufacturers in other countries are frequently cited by business travelers as being a factor in their performance, several other considerations typically affect worker productivity on the road. A recent survey by Carlson Wagonlit Travel indicated that, among all the business travel-related stressors common to executives around the world, lost or delayed baggage topped the list, with a score of 79 on a scale of 100 in terms of resultant stress. Coming in at close second was the lack of a reliable internet connection, and the necessity of traveling in coach class on airlines was the third most stressful factor for frequent business travelers. Delayed flights were also a major stress factor for executives on business trips.
The report also revealed that accommodations are particularly important when it comes to minimizing stress on business travel. The quality of a hotel also ranked highly in terms of travel-related stress for executives, as did poor or inconvenient locations of hotels. This indicates that companies seeking to maximize the productivity of their workers may want to consider adding serviced apartments and corporate housing to business travelers' itineraries to avoid stress and ensure that they are working at full capacity.