Traveling Less Impacts Bottom Line
As companies carefully watched their budgets in 2010, many were reluctant to send their employees on planes, trains, and automobiles. A new CareerBuilder survey reports that three-in-ten (30%) companies said they cut back on business travel last year, and of those companies, more than one-third (37%) said it negatively affected their business. The nationwide survey was conducted among more than 2,400 U.S. employers and more than 3,900 U.S. workers.
When asked how fewer business trips affected their bottom lines, companies reported:
- Less effective internal communication12%
- Fewer sale: 11%
- Less effective execution on internal business initiative: 10%
- Less customer loyalty8%
As to business travel in 2011, the majority of companies (77%) report that business travel levels will stay the same as last year. Eleven percent said their companies will take more business trips this year, while 13% said business travel will decrease.
In addition to keeping a close eye on how much travel is taking place, nearly one-third (32%) of companies said they are also placing specific restrictions on business travel for employees since the recession, asking them to fly coach, lowering entertainment budgets, and having them travel domestically only.
Web conferencing is another way companies are keeping business travel budgets in check. Forty-two percent of companies said they rely more on phone/Web conferencing now to conduct business with clients, with 31% saying they get just as much out of virtual meetings as face-to-face meetings.
The majority of workers (68%) surveyed said they never travel for business, while 6% said they travel every other week or more. Five percent said they travel every other month. In addition, 19% of those who travel for business said the amount they travel negatively affects their home life.
When asked about the most unusual experience they’ve had on a business trip, respondents reported:
- Woman next to me asked me for a drink from my water bottle.
- Our plane was stormed by the Columbian military who thought there was a drug lord on board.
- A client mooned the plane.
- A naked guy tried getting in my cab in Indonesia.
- A drunken passenger next to me insisted my headphones were a bomb.
- U.S. marshals arrested a passenger when the plane landed.
- A guy next to me had a carry-on bag filled with candy, which he kept offering me over and over and over again.
- A woman gave birth on the flight.
- After waking up, I accidentally walked into the hotel’s hallway instead of the restroom in my underwear; got locked out and could be viewed from the elevator, which was all glass windows.
- Manager punched a coworker on the plane.
- Fell asleep in the airplane restroom.
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