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The Impact of Flexible Business Travel on Employee Satisfaction and Retention

flexible business travel

After the pandemic, employees have become more vocal in expressing their desire to be part of a flexible work environment. Flexible culture is becoming a priority for employees. In fact, employees are making a switch to companies that prioritize flexibility, which is why hiring and retaining employees is becoming a big pain point. 

For business travelers who are always on the go and have to change plans last-minute, flexible travel is crucial. It enables them to modify or cancel their bookings without incurring significant charges. Moreover, 91% of employees consider flexible travel and booking options essential to allow them to protect their safety and well-being while traveling.

According to Forbes, companies that fail to address this demand for flexibility will see a higher rate of attrition. While this problem can be neutralized by higher pay or extra time off, such benefits offer lesser returns.

Adopting flexible travel policies can be a key strategy for retaining valuable employees and ensuring their satisfaction. By allowing them to modify their travel arrangements, you can provide them with a greater sense of comfort and gain their loyalty.

Instances where Companies can Offer Flexible Travel Policies

Flexible business travel enables employees to adjust their travel according to their business travelers needs

Some of the instances where business travelers can get flexibility are:

  • Bleisure travel
  • Rest day after reaching the destination 
  • Flying during convenient hours
  • Stay at a hotel where they want to use loyalty points
  • Covering additional expenses that employees may spend to ensure safety

Benefits of Flexible Business Travel 

Improved Work-Life Balance

According to a report, 68% of US employees feel demotivated at work due to the lack of work-life balance. Fortunately, flexible corporate travel can help employees better manage their work and personal goals. 

For instance, employees may be allowed to take their family members along with them on business trips. In another case, an employee may choose to avoid traveling on weekends so they can spend time with their family. In addition, they can opt for leisure activities at the end of the trip, so they return to work refreshed. 

Reduced Stress

With flexible business travel arrangements, employees can reduce their stress levels by creating a travel schedule that fits best with their routines. This approach recognizes that work goals can be achieved without compromising the mental and physical health of employees.

For example, someone may prefer taking evening flights instead of morning flights to rest at night and be able to perform well at meetings the next day. Further, flexible transportation arrangements, such as pre-booked airport transfers to hotels, can also ease the logistical stress that business travelers often face. 

Enhanced Productivity

Employees who have the flexibility to book their own travel can create schedules that work best for them. This means they can avoid traveling during peak hours, reduce transit times, and schedule meetings during times that are most productive for them.

Boost in Morale

When employees are given the freedom to create their own travel schedules, it instills a sense of confidence in them. By giving them this autonomy, the company shows trust and confidence in the employee’s ability to manage work effectively. This, in turn, can lead to an increased sense of ownership and a boost in morale.

Increased Job Satisfaction

Flexible travel policy enables employees to create a travel routine that works for them, which not just allows them to perform better on their trip but increases their overall job satisfaction levels.

Does Flexible Business Travel Help in Retaining Employees?

Organizations that consider the needs and preferences of employees by offering flexibility create a more engaged workforce. Similarly, employees who feel valued are better motivated to do their work and invested in the success of the business. Also, they are more likely to feel a sense of loyalty and commitment to their employer. 

In fact, the correlation between business travel experience and overall job satisfaction is quite strong. A recent study by GBTA found that in North America, nearly 79% of business travelers believe their experience directly affects their job satisfaction. Since flexible travel offers a positive experience for employees, they are more satisfied with their jobs and prefer to stay at the same company.

In addition, the study also reveals that business travel not only affects how employees feel about their current company but it can also have an impact on whether they accept a job offer in the first place. 

Clearly, it is crucial for organizations to consider what works for the traveler when updating their travel policies. This can go a long way in attracting and retaining employees.

How to Implement Flexible Business Travel?

Flexible travel is important for employees. However, on the other hand, it does increase the management burden for the organization. 

For instance, employees may require more guidance from travel managers to understand the limits of the policy. Further, sometimes the policy updates may not be communicated clearly, which may cause violations.

In addition, there are higher chances of excessive workload on managers to track the expenses and prevent cost leakages. Moreover, since business travelers will be creating personalized itineraries, you will have to make sure that the bookings do not violate the corporate security policy of the company. 

To solve these challenges, companies must streamline their business travel management process. For this purpose, you can use a corporate travel management software solution that automates most of the tasks.

A few benefits of using the software are:

  • Employees can make bookings themselves from a range of personalized options
  • You can automate the pre-trip approval workflow 
  • The software auto-detects expenses that violate the policy
  • You can ensure the safety of your employees by live-tracking them
  • Keep track of employee spending on the analytics dashboard
  • Employees can modify their itinerary on the go in case of a change in plan.

Needless to say, all these benefits are important in implementing a flexible business travel policy.

Retain Employees by Offering Flexible Business Travel

It can be concluded that flexible business travel has a positive impact on employee satisfaction and retention. However, as discussed, to implement flexible corporate travel policies successfully, it’s better to opt for a corporate travel management solution.

ITILITE is a corporate travel management solution that allows you to implement flexible travel policies with ease. It enables your employees to personalize their travel and modify their itinerary on the go. With ITILITE, employees can book themselves from a wide inventory offering the most economical prices. Further, you can also check policy compliance with the auto-detection feature. 

To know more about the benefits, book a free demo with us now.

Discover a simpler way to manage corporate travel

Corporate travel management can be extremely daunting. Getting travelers to stick to budgets while booking travel, monitoring spends or finding support for travelers – there is always something that needs to be done. That’s why we built a solution that makes corporate travel management simpler.

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