How technology has transformed business travel

  • TECH
  • Saturday, 02 Sep 2017

A Syrian woman travelling to the United States through Amman opens her laptop before checking in at Beirut international airport on March 22,2017. Hours after the US government warned that extremists plan to target passenger jets with bombs hidden in electronic devices, and banned carrying them in cabins on flights from 10 airports in eight countries in the Middle East and North Africa, Britain tightened airline security on flights from the same region, banning laptops and tablet computers from the plane cabin. / AFP PHOTO / ANWAR AMRO

If the term "digital nomad" is becoming more familiar to you, there may be a reason. 

Business travellers are finding it much easier to remain productive while traveling for work and they are actively seeking out ways to get out of the office. 

The CWT Connected Traveller Study by Carlson Wagonlit Travel found that technology has greatly contributed to productivity while staff members are away from the office. 

An overwhelming number of business travellers, 88%, believe that travel is easier to navigate today, while 78% are seeking opportunities to travel for business. Seventy-two percent of business travellers also say that traveling for business is stimulating. 

With business travellers bringing more devices with them on the road, technology is contributing to this trend, allowing them to be more productive while they are away. 

Key devices are tablets, laptops and the smartphone, which is the one "travel tool they can't live without": Eighty percent of business travellers rely on their smartphone to conduct business. 

"The business traveller can be so much more productive than even five years ago thanks to technology," said Simon Nowroz, chief marketing officer, Carlson Wagonlit Travel. 

"Think about the advances where a business traveller used to have so much down time between a flight, taxi and hotel. Now, they can log in and work while on the plane or wherever they happen to be. With the continued emergence of the tablet, as well as numerous apps, travellers don't feel out of touch as they carry out business," Nowroz added. 

Business travel also has big benefits for staff members and for companies. The study found that work-based relationships and productivity were strengthened: Nearly nine in 10 said that travel helped build knowledge and perspective. 

Eighty percent of business travellers surveyed said that business travel boosted their productivity while 93% said that the positives of business travel outweighed the negatives when it comes to working relationships. Seventy-seven percent said the same in regards to relationships at home. 

How do they stay connected? Forty-four percent use email. Twenty-four percent call in and 14% prefer to text. 

Staying in touch with loved ones is more personal: Forty-four percent call home, 24% use Skype, and 17% indicate that texting is their preferred communication method. 

While the overall feeling about business travel is positive, there were two areas of concern identified in the survey: Two-thirds (67%) of travellers believe travel is safer today. Still, nearly half of the respondents (46%) remain concerned about their safety. 

The upside? More travellers are purchasing travel insurance. 

Wellness was another concern. More than half said that keeping up with exercise and wellness routines on the road was more difficult. — Travelpulse/Tribune News Service

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