After several years of stagnation, travel for business or pleasure is rebounding dramatically, and in some cases converging. With travel restrictions lifted around the world, companies see an opportunity to liberate remote workers from their home offices, unify employees after two years of virtual work, and lack communication and the inability to meet face to face. In fact, there is an accelerating push towards employees to “spend an extra night” on business trips, allowing them to connect with colleagues they may not have met, spend more time exploring a destination or even enjoy an extra day of rest before the last day of travel.
The concept of “working together” has clearly become a distinguishing factor for companies to become an employer of choice and bring people back together. As employees return to the world of travel for work, the following are at the top of their concerns:
* More limits: While workers have a high level of enthusiasm for business travel again, they re-evaluate and re-evaluate it, as there is no desire to go back to the days of warriors on the old ways.
* Better balance: While work is likely to be at the heart of most of these reunions, business travel is now seen as part of the balance between self-care and work-life balance.
* Higher Expectations: Employers are expected to allow employees to “take an extra night” and provide some personal experiences as part of a successful journey.
* Reconnect: The reunions will allow more time for employees to connect face-to-face, after not seeing each other for more than two years, or meeting new colleagues they may have started during the pandemic.
Ben Trud, Senior Vice President of Hotel Sales and Marketing, Four Seasons, recently spoke about the issue of corporate travel and company culture.
What can be attributed to this trend of increased “leisure” travel?
The increase in leisure travel is a natural extension of the disruption to our professional and personal lives over the past couple of years. We no longer fall into the separate categories of leisure or business travelers. Flexibility is more fundamental than ever as companies and employees embrace remote and blended work models, as well as prioritizing wellness. Gone are the days of the exhausted road warrior, and employers know that embracing these trends will be essential to attracting and retaining top talent in an increasingly competitive job market.
With this newfound freedom and flexibility, travelers extend business trips to explore a destination, split the workday from 9 to 5 workdays with a lunchtime yoga or surf lesson, or bring their laptops to the pool or beach for a little work. It is done outdoors. The pandemic has accelerated the convergence of leisure and work travel and highlighted the important need for work-life balance — Four Seasons booking trends suggest that leisure travel is here to stay, no longer a passing trend but an opportunity to enhance the employee. work experience. Specifically, we’ve seen that in our American metropolitan hotels, corporate travelers are spending 25% longer than they did a year or two ago.
How do Four Seasons hotels enhance corporate travel experiences?
Corporate travel has always been a big focus at Four Seasons. During the pandemic, we provided Work in free time A program to provide travelers with the tools they need to work comfortably and safely. Travelers can outfit their in-room office at the Four Seasons with monitors, Bluetooth printers, circular lights, and comfy chairs, to name a few, with access to wellness-focused in-room dining and on-demand tech support.
Four Seasons’ global drive to enhance health and safety continues at all hotels globally, so guests can feel confident and cared for during their time with us. While health and safety measures will remain in place in line with each market we operate in, we are also pleased to have pre-pandemic amenities such as home cars, 24-hour in-room dining, ironing and laundry for added convenience.
With corporate travel resuming after the pandemic, business travelers are also taking advantage of our leisure offerings as they extend their time with us and spend more personal time on their travels. We’ve seen an increase in corporate guests bringing their spouses and families to enjoy the destination while they work during the day, with their families taking advantage of the spa, pools, local city tours, and more. Business travelers are also adding an extra day or two of personal travel to relax or explore a destination, leading to an increasing booking trend for longer stays.
In what ways do you think travel “for leisure” helps enhance company culture and employee retention?
After two years of working remotely and not being able to meet face to face, employees are eager to connect with colleagues and looking to engage in their work through personal experiences. For those who may have started a new business during the pandemic, employees want to meet and get to know colleagues in person for the first time in an almost difficult way. The productivity some touted came as a result of working from home at the expense of company culture, and there is no stronger way to build team connections through immersive travel experiences outside of the office or virtual environment at home.
Companies are looking to bring employees back together to build relationships, re-engage with their work, and reconnect with colleagues they may not have seen in the past two years. We’ve seen a steady increase in business reunions hosted at Four Seasons hotels as we are able to foster these connections through incredible property experiences, wellness activities, food and beverage offerings, the latest technology, meetings and events of exceptional capabilities and venues.