Travelling is a great networking tool for any growing business with in-person meetings having been recognised as the most effective way to close deals. But that’s not all, according to recent research.
Travel fosters creativity and inspiration. And when done correctly, travel for work purposes can also provide motivation and build company morale.
“Those are the four most commonly-named benefits, but the list continues,” says Andrew Grunewald, Flight Centre Business Travel (FCBT) Brand Leader. “There are numerous benefits for employees. Experienced business travellers know that they can earn airline loyalty points for each trip, for example, and experience new destinations.”
For companies, a recent study by Harvard Business Review shows that those who prioritise corporate travel benefit in terms of profitability, employee satisfaction, market share and customer loyalty.
B.box kids co-founder Danielle Michaels was quoted in Australian publication Smart Company as saying that digital communication has its place in the workplace, but not for everything. “Digital is great from a day to day perspective, but from a relationship perspective, face-to-face meetings are imperative,” she said, adding that her company had recorded a three-year revenue growth rate of 419 percent.
“Humans are creatures of habit, but they are also prone to boredom,” says an assessment of added travel benefits by Inc.com. “If you get fidgety doing the same thing every day, business travel can help keep things interesting. It’s one way to make sure the daily grind isn’t so ‘daily’ after all.”
Inc.com also counts tax benefits, passport stamps, new culinary experiences, and prioritising workouts into a travelling lifestyle as opportunities for individuals who travel for work.
However, Grunewald offers, many fledgeling businesses, focussed on costs, overlook the benefits of business travel. He points out that while it may appear costly at first glance, investing in travel can offer a big pay-off.
Grunewald explains that to leverage the benefits of business travel, the first step is to engage a Travel Management Company (TMC) that can assess your company needs.
A TMC like FCBT can for example offer convenient bleisure add-ons. “If business travellers are going away on a work trip, they might want to consider adding a few extra nights. ‘Bleisure’ travel maximises the traveller’s time away, and they can have a getaway at a fraction of the price,” suggests Grunewald.
The TMC will also assist businesses in implementing a travel policy that maximises savings and delivers personalised travel experiences that are good for the company and the employee.
“A good corporate travel policy will aim to keep the traveller’s needs in mind, with hotel and flight options that are convenient. With Flight Centre’s global buying power, SMEs benefit from rates properties usually reserved for high-volume customers. And, critically, travellers have access to 24-hour support if plans change,” he says.
“Without a process in place to manage business travel, companies miss the opportunity to control what they spend. Neglecting business travel could impact your bottom line more than you think,” Grunewald concludes.
Business travel is about more than meeting new prospects, closing sales deals, growing the top line, giving presentations, and strengthening client relationships. With the right support, business travellers can have immeasurable benefits for the travelling employee as well. By staying flexible, designing a smart strategy, and working with the right TMC, today’s organisations can make sure business travel is rewarding for everyone.