Technology has made life much easier for people who have to travel a lot for work. In fact, it’s actually made travelling more worthwhile both for them and their employers.
After all, since business travellers are carrying all sorts of web-enabled devices, such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, they can now do their job just as effectively as they could as if they were in the office.
This has fundamentally changed the attitude towards business travel at many businesses. Indeed, employers are often more inclined to send people out and about, because they know the time spent on a plane or train no longer represents wasted hours, both in terms of time and money.
According to a new survey by Carlson Wagonlit Travel, this transformation has also impacted on people’s career choices.
In fact, more than three-quarters of business travellers said they now seek opportunities to travel for work, while a similar proportion said they find business travel stimulating.
It’s probably fair to say this almost certainly wouldn’t have happened without the digital revolution, as it’s made staying connected on the move easier than ever.
People know they don’t have to be confined to the same workspace day after day, and they’re confident that technology will make working remotely viable, practical and inexpensive.
The survey revealed that more than eight in ten business travellers rely on their smartphone to conduct business, making it the “one travel tool they can’t do without”.
Figures also showed that the benefits extend well beyond giving employees the chance to see different surroundings.
Some 86 per cent of business travellers said travel had enabled them to build a new knowledge and perspective. Meanwhile, 80 per cent of respondents agreed that travel had made them more productive.
Nearly nine in ten business travellers agreed that technology has made planning trips easier too.
Indeed, 54 per cent said they turn to hotel websites and 50 per cent use airline websites to plan a trip.
Meanwhile, 45 per cent heavily rely on airline and hotel apps, and 41 per cent often use map apps when they are out and about.
Simon Nowroz, chief marketing officer at Carlson Wagonlit Travel, commented: “The business traveller can be so much more productive than even five years ago thanks to technology.
“Think about the advances where a business traveller used to have so much downtime between a flight, taxi and hotel.
“Now, they can login 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.”
Email seems to be the most popular means of connecting with colleagues, with 44 per cent of business travellers relying on this option to stay in touch.
In addition, 24 per cent said they call co-workers, while 14 per cent use text messaging.
Interestingly, the study showed business travellers think differently when it comes to staying in contact with friends and family.
Some 44 per cent said they would call loved ones when they are on the move, while 24 per cent would turn to Skype.
This makes sense in many ways, as being able to hear someone’s voice and see their face possibly matters much more when you’re having a personal conversation rather than simply passing on work-related information.
The fact people have the choice of how they communicate is yet another reason why people increasingly enjoy travelling for work.