Business travel takes toll on staff

29 September 2013

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30 September 2013 | Marino Donati

Only 27 per cent of business travellers have been fully reimbursed for business trips, according to research.

A study by Mintel found 22 per cent of business travellers surveyed said they often work longer hours while on business travel. Only 19 per cent of travellers had been reimbursed for time spent travelling outside normal hours.

Harry Segal, travel and tourism analyst at Mintel, said although there were likely to be different interpretations of “fully reimbursed”, it was fair to say that most business travellers felt out of pocket.

He said: “With a sizable proportion of business travellers claiming that they work longer hours and that business trips are putting a strain on their relationships, companies looking to get the best out of employees in the time they are away should perhaps take note of where negative implications are occurring.”

According to Mintel’s research 14 per cent of respondents said they would be unhappy if they had to take more business trips, and 8 per cent said business trips put a strain on relationships and family life.

Some three in 10 admitted business trips were a welcome change from everyday work life. This dropped to a quarter for travellers who were parents.

Just under a quarter would want to extend business trips to include leisure time, but only 13 per cent have. And 8 per cent of employees are allowed to extend business trips for leisure, with 5 per cent of firms paying for staff to bring family or a partner on work trips. 

Companies are getting stricter with business travel policies, according to 16 per cent of respondents. Fewer than one in five said they were allowed to choose travel options, while 14 per cent say they have shared a room with a work colleague.

“As companies cut back on premium travel options, the line between traditional business travel and consumer travel will become increasingly blurred,” Segal said.

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