The Three Major Forces Disrupting Business Travel
Business travel is already complex. The employee travel and expense journey is dotted with multiple decision points – from booking through to travelling, paying and expensing, there are numerous factors to be considered. Is the employee using a corporate approved booking platform? What happens if there are unplanned travel disruptions? Has enough time been factored in to gather receipts and submit expenses?
All of these things can add stress to an already complicated process. And now there are three major disruptive forces adding pressure to those complications: increasing mobility; changing workforce demographics; and budget constraints.
1. Increasing Mobility
Mobile technology is now the norm and the consumerisation of IT has meant that businesses everywhere have had to adapt or face being left behind. Employees are increasingly demanding access to the latest technology to improve their productivity – they need reliable hardware and software that they can use on the go. Research by Gigaom predicts that 377 million tablets will be shipped in 2016 and the majority of those (207 million) will be to companies.
2. Changing Workforce Demographics
Millennials will soon be the working majority. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has predicted the millennials and generation X will make up 72% of the workforce by 2020. These workers offer a very different challenge to businesses everywhere. Millennials are mobile and social natives. They have a different set of expectations to previous generations and a different worldview.
For more information on how millennials are going to disrupt business travel, read our infographic The New Breed of Global Business Travellers.
3. Budget Constraints
“Do more for less” has echoed through businesses for several years. An unstable economy has often meant that budgets have been constrained, or cut back. Business travel is no different, as companies everywhere have tried to find alternative cost effective options, without damaging employee travel experiences.
Smart Technology Creates Opportunity
While these three forces bring challenges to business travel programme managers, they also create opportunities. The right technology can help influence employee behaviours and reduce the complexities of business travel.
The mobile technology that workers crave, now and in the future, can be used to create better experiences. For example, you can direct people towards policy compliant vendors using the GPS on their smartphones. You can also encourage people to use the camera on their phone to capture receipts in order to save time during processing. Building innovative programmes that are adaptable and benefit from mobile technology is the key to thriving in the current climate and turning disruptive forces into opportunities
In our infographic, Influencing Employee Behaviours in Travel and Expense, we’ve highlighted how these three major forces are disrupting the business travel landscape.