About 60 percent of business travelers prefer to return in a post-pandemic environment to pre-pandemic levels of business travel, and another 9 percent want to travel more, according to a new BCD Travel survey. Still, more than one in four (26 percent) prefer to travel less than before Covid-19.
BCD surveyed 738 business travelers worldwide from July 6-20 and found that 76 percent said business travel helps them to perform their work efficiently. Concerning corporate travel policies, 64 percent want to be able to decide for themselves whether to travel. Most also indicated they want a more simplified trip-approval process (58 percent) and the prioritization of direct flights (53 percent).
Most business travelers want to get back on the road, and 74 percent of respondents rated in-person client meetings as the most important reason to do so, according to the survey. Other reasons for travel cited included teambuilding, sales meetings, and meetings with partners or suppliers.
Most respondents acknowledged that virtual meetings and remote work likely are here to stay, but noted that the weaknesses of virtual meetings include lack of human contact (66 percent), limited interaction (58 percent), easy distraction (54 percent) and unsuitability for some meeting types (51 percent). Nearly half (49 percent) cited "Zoom fatigue" and technology issues as further virtual-meeting weaknesses.
"While in some parts of the world the pandemic is slowly receding, other parts might continue to rely on virtual meetings," said BCD Meetings Events global president Scott Graf in a statement. "Event planners and managers need to up their game with a new skill set that allows them to compensate for the weaknesses of virtual meetings, such as the lack of interaction. Training or outsourced support can be the answer to keep employees focused and motivated in a continually challenging environment."
Additionally, 57 percent of respondents indicated they were working remotely compared with 24 percent who said they were doing so before the pandemic. More than seven in 10 (71 percent) prefer a mix of remote and office work in the future, with 20 percent wanting full-time remote work.
Copyright 2021 Northstar Travel Media, LLC. All rights reserved. From https://www.businesstravelnews.com. By Donna M. Airoldi, Contact Reporter.