- Business travel has changed and evolved since the pandemic began.
- There is a greater focus on road travel, resilience and health measures.
- Travel managers must choose the companies that support them through the changes.
Over the past two years, the scope of the Travel Manager role in the company has evolved. Now that many professionals have come out of crisis mode in the past two years, they are preparing for the future of travel.
And while business travel began to make a comeback in the second half of 2021, with new variables emerging, companies need to consider ongoing uncertainty and evolving employee needs.
Don Moore, Senior Vice President of Global Business Sales at Enterprise Holdings, Inc. Traveling for work and work is in a completely different place since 2020.” Software.
Early in the pandemic, Moore and his team worked closely with travel managers to overcome initial challenges that arose as travel shut down rapidly around the world. Companies are now setting policies around redefined versions of business travel.
Here’s how travel managers can prepare, what they need to consider, and how the right relationships can help them navigate changes.
Get ready to provide cars as transportation
One of the greatest influences over the past two years is that many travelers are choosing to drive rather than fly. Overall, corporate leadership activity is 30% higher in 2021 than the pre-pandemic average, according to Motus’ Business Travel Trends report. Moore has seen this trend firsthand in corporate rental data and from customer feedback.
“A number of customers who used to take short trips between cities like St. Louis and Chicago are now choosing to drive instead,” Moore said, adding that people are becoming more comfortable driving to avoid the airport.
“Customers are now accustomed to driving to destinations. When they rent a car instead of flying, they have more flexibility and control over their journey,” he said. “I think this preference will continue.”
Travel managers can adapt to this shift to more regional ground travel by working with a business leasing program so that employees can easily get rental cars. Enterprise has more than 9,500 locations in nearly 90 countries and territories around the world, making it convenient and cost-effective to rent anywhere – be it near the home, office, airport or client.
Support the way employees want to travel
Since early 2020, one of the biggest concerns for business travel has been safety. In a BTN Group business travel survey, sponsored by Enterprise and National, 82% of corporate travel decision makers said the well-being of travelers will be a greater priority in 2022.
Employers and business travelers want to know that the rental car companies they work with care about safety and cleanliness. Enterprise is a member of the Clorox™ Safer Today Alliance™, an alliance to help create healthy communal spaces now and in the future. In addition to thorough cleaning and disinfection of cars between rentals, one-count Clorox® Disinfecting Wipes are available for use on high-touch, hard, non-porous surfaces on every rental car in the United States and Canada.
Additionally, picking up a car can be a low-contact, frictionless experience. Emerald Club members can completely bypass the rental meter and receive their reserved vehicle directly.
In the event of an emergency, account managers can also provide additional support to travel managers and take advantage of their extensive network of locations to assist with anything from punctured tires to dispatching an additional vehicle. Moore said this is a benefit of working with a business leasing program.
Rethink travel policies around employee expectations
The definition of travel is also changing. Flexibility in travel is now a top priority, according to a Motus study. This also translates to the workplace. Many white-collar workers who have been working remotely would like to continue to do so or move to a hybrid model. A July McKinsey study reported that more than 60% of respondents want to work from home at least two days a week.
Businesses and travel managers will need to think about how this new business model will impact what counts as corporate travel. For example, if an employee lives two hours from the office and comes to it twice a week, is this a travel expense for the company? If the employee is traveling from home rather than the office to a client meeting, does he use his personal car or a rental car?
Besides the desire for flexible working, employees have other expectations that influence travel policies. They expect their employer to put people first and support sustainability, according to an article on big business travel trends. This may influence how travel decisions are made, especially if customers are involved.
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to these changes, but a carrier with knowledge of the latest travel trends and access to a network of mobility solutions can help. Moore added that Enterprise and National account managers can be that advisor to help travel managers make decisions and build a program that works for them.
“Every day, Moore said, our team of account managers has conversations with customers about the evolution of travel. “Transportation is part of the equation. We are here to work through short and long-term solutions.”
Learn more about how your company can benefit from a business leasing program offered through the combined strength of enterprise and national.
This post was created by Insider Studios with Enterprise and National.