UK workers value travel, finds American Express poll

UK workers value travel, finds American Express poll

Almost half (47%) of UK workers say travel is an enjoyable aspect of their work, and 15% say it is a key reason for doing their job, a new study claims.

However, a quarter (24%) would like more flexible work schedules to support them when travelling for business such as ‘time in lieu’ for travel.

Travellers also want tools to make life easier on the road, for example a corporate card (24%) and a self-booking mobile tool (22%).

The survey highlights how many travellers are taking steps to get the most out of work trips.

They do this by blending business with leisure activities such as meeting friends (29%), sightseeing (44%) and sampling local cuisine (57%).

Just 6% said business travel has a significant negative impact. Travel is also a key factor in job satisfaction and carries status for employees.

When asked by their employer to travel, respondents said that this was most likely to generate feelings of excitement (33%), feeling valued and proud (31%). Just 19% feel stressed when asked to go on a business trip.

While travel can sometimes be disruptive for employees, 31% would be in favour of spending more time travelling each month.

But employers need to equip their travellers with greater flexibility and a wider range of tools to manage their trip experience, according to the research on traveller wellbeing from American Express.

Three quarters (76%) of UK business travellers believe the personal interactions facilitated through work trips makes them more effective at work, and 40% go so far as to say that it “helps a lot”.

They cite the top business advantages of travelling to attend face to face as the ability building relationships and trust (40%), followed by achieving more through personal interactions (23%) and finding it easier to communicate complex topics (18%).

More than half welcome business travel as a way to achieve diversity in working life (58%), and 49% enjoy the ability meet with colleagues and clients face to face.

If UK travellers are able to integrate leisure into their work trips, their top activities are sampling local cuisine (57%), visiting cultural sites such as museums or galleries (54%) or simply finding a spot to people watch (48%).

The results come from online YouGov survey which questioned 565 people who travel regularly for business across Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK.

Amex global commercial payments Europe senior vice president Jose Carvalho said: “The survey demonstrates that employees find business travel valuable for both job satisfaction and personal fulfilment, and even in today’s digital age, the personal connections built through face-to-face meetings continue to play a fundamental role in driving business performance.

“With millennials representing a growing proportion of the workforce, the emphasis is now on employers to look at how to enhance the business travel experience in a way which reflects their appetite for efficient processes, flexibility and a more integrated approach to work and leisure.

“It’s important to recognise that business travel is no longer just about business and for that reason millennials want it to be as smooth and personally rewarding as possible.”

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