The business world has embraced accelerated digital transformation as a result of the pandemic, but nowadays, employees are eager to restore some physical ways of working that are beneficial to their company, such as travel. This is reflected by research which reveals that 46% of employees believe it is better to build relationships from in-person connections and 41% highlight increased productivity when meetings are face-to-face.
However, considering the turbulent economy, Gabriele Indrieri, VP & Managing Director for SAP Concur EMEA South, points out that it is vital for businesses to make efficient choices, especially when it comes to resources. “It’s for this reason more decision-makers are weighing up the cost-benefit of corporate travel and looking for saving potential.”
To assist businesses in reaping the benefits of business travel while protecting the bottom line, he outlines five tips to consider:
This could be implemented through platforms that enable administrators to flex policies by creating multiple versions within the system that can be applied to different employees based on individual factors, departments, and offices. It is then essential to continually check whether the policies remain suitable for the workforce as time goes on. Regular automated audits are the best way to do this for overall, accurate visibility and to prevent finance teams from manually sifting through every single transaction.
However, only a third of employees say that their company’s travel expense policies are easy to understand with another only another third of employees taking action to avoid unconscious fraud. By frequently checking their policy for updates, employees will know the importance of facilitating travel bookings. In addition, professional travel booking solutions that make travellers aware of the bookings being covered by the company’s policies or not will reduce the number of potentially costly out-of-policy bookings and allow for peace-of-mind.
“The pandemic has transformed the way we work, with virtual communication and digital tools to collaborate becoming the norm. However, it's clear that there's no substitute for the kind of in-person connections that business travel enables,” says Indrieri. “By adopting a strategic approach that takes into account the cost-benefit of each trip, businesses can take advantage of this by creating a cost-efficient travel program that allows employees to build valuable relationships and maximize productivity.”
“Now is the time to take action and plan for the future, with a focus on sustainable, cost-effective travel that enables businesses to thrive,” he concludes.