The change that the pandemic has brought to the world of business travel not only refers to the fact that there has been a hard stop in the travel industry (as a matter of fact, the business travel sector was one of the most compromised by paralyzing all trips that were not absolutely necessary and justifiable), but also that once the new normal is resuming, companies and workers make more thoughtful decisions about the real need to make the trip. So, what’s the future of wellbeing in business travel?
Gone are the times when many traveled, making their meetings coincide with Christmas shopping seasons, or forcing team catch ups to get to know that city that they had heard so much about. The pandemic has made us change our point of view, and today we consider many issues before we get on a plane, ship or train. This has a great impact in many areas, such as a positive environmental impact; better work-life balance; less commute stress; improved inclusivity; cost and time savings or increased productivity and performance. And these are just some of the points to highlight of this new model that has come to stay. As EY says in their report ‘How the COVID-19 pandemic is reshaping the future of wellbeing in business travel’, advances in technology are enabling a hybrid environment that means fewer people need to travel for meetings; where it might once have been six, now potentially it’s two with four virtually.
In the time in which we have been forced to confine ourselves at home, during the lockdown, we have become accustomed to new ways of working that have proven to be very efficient, and although they do not replace a face-to-face meeting, on many occasions they have proven to be an excellent alternative.
Business travel recovery
However, nothing replaces the feeling of negotiating an agreement face-to-face, as well as discussing day-to-day matters in a room with colleagues with whom one shares a relationship that goes beyond a mere professional career. Despite the relative success many companies experienced through a year of essential-only travel, business leaders realize the value of face-to-face interaction, as Deloitte highlights in their ‘Return to a world transformed’ article.
The return to the standard of living of precovid times is possibly one of the most shared ideas in current times in all sectors, and little by little, it seems that the world is getting closer to that reality. Events such as the opening of borders of different countries in recent times (US, Australia, Japan, etc.) reinforce the theory that we’ll soon go back to the quality of life (in terms of freedom) of pre-Covid times. Actually, according to the CAPA – Centre for Aviation (CAPA) and Collinson’s report ‘Asia Pacific travel recovery report – Insights from the Industry Expert’, 67% of global travel industry experts expect travel to resume to pre-Covid levels in 2023 or later.
And here some data to illustrate it:
- 82% of surveyed participants globally believe long-haul business travel will recover to 60% of 2019 levels in 2022.
- Over half (59%) of respondents believed it is ‘extremely safe’ to travel if everyone adheres to preventative solutions (e.g. mask wearing, social distancing); a further 13% said it was ‘extremely safe’ regardless of preventative solutions; some 22% believe it is ‘quite safe’ to travel and only 4% said it was ‘not safe’ to travel.
Mental wellbeing: the stress of travelling
However, and according to the aforementioned report, there are also some impediments from a mental health point of view, and it seems that seven-out-of-ten respondents believed that travel will feel ‘more stressful’ than before the pandemic, as a further 26% expected it to be ‘equally as stressful’ as before the pandemic; just 4% expected travel will be less stressful than before the pandemic.
All these data only confirm what the previous Collison’s report ‘The Return Journey research’ had already dealt with, and that is that whilst generally the desire to travel is high amongst frequent travellers, there’s a new underlying mental health issue that travelling may cause, manifesting itself in the stress associated with ‘new travel.’
In pursuit of efficiency: TROOP
So although the situation of wellbeing in business travel is normalizing, it is true that change has come to stay, either for reasons of physical and mental health, efficiency or cost reduction or carbon footprint. And that is why at TROOP we work so that all these points are taken into account when planning a meeting. Our unique and disruptive app optimizes all meetings and events planning through data-driven technology, saving time and money while significantly reducing companies’ carbon footprint.
We help mitigate risk by taking into account facts related to, for example, time, cost, travel restrictions or any COVID-related aspects, and our centralized data app presents all information; from optimizing every single datapoint to risk management to setting you up with the right partners – we connect all the dots.
If you haven’t seen the platform in action, it is time for you to book a demo with us and discover the real efficiency. You will never see the organization of meetings the same again!