By Maria Valdez Haubrich
Business travelers are in a squeeze these days. They’re cutting back on travel and seeking to cut costs when they do travel, but at the same time, they and their companies are demanding more results from their trips. A new study from Cambria Suites, Total Work-Life Productivity of Business Travelers, looked at how business travelers are getting things done.
Almost 90 percent of business travelers in the survey say work-life balance is important to them. To achieve that balance when traveling, they look for tools to help them be more productive both in their work life and their personal life when on the road. The right hotel and the right tech tools are crucial to balance. In fact, travelers rated free Wi-Fi (62 percent) as nearly as highly as a comfortable bed (65 percent) when asked to rate the most important hotel services and amenities.
Companies are looking for greater cost efficiency when deciding to have employees travel. Almost one-fourth (23 percent) of business travelers say they stay less often at full-service or luxury class hotels; more than one-fifth say the outcomes of their trips are being scrutinized more closely than ever. Still, almost 80 percent believe travel and in-person meetings are essential to doing business, and 76 percent say business trips help their companies grow.
At the same time, business trips bring challenges. Travelers said the top issues they struggle with when away from home are eating well (68 percent), spending time with loved ones (62 percent), getting proper sleep (62 percent), and exercising regularly (60 percent).
Technology seems to be the top tool helping business travelers balance personal and professional needs. Two-thirds (66 percent) of business travelers say technology is critical to greater productivity, and 78 percent say changes in technology have made them more efficient and productive. Women were more likely than men to value technology as a way to stay in touch and balance personal life with work.
More than half of business travelers say that the hotel they stay at has a bigger impact on their productivity than any other aspect of the trip, including the flight or rental car. The most important amenities were comfortable beds (65 percent), free Wi-Fi (62 percent) helpful staff (39 percent), free parking (30 percent) and a spacious room (26 percent).
What are your biggest challenges on the road?
Image by Flickr user Jeff~ (Creative Commons)