For those who have recently embarked upon a professional career, business travel is seen as not just a way to advance their standing in a company but also a status symbol of their importance in corporate culture.
Coping with the rigors of a life on the road, though, has proved to be a challenge for many who are torn between developing their personal lives and being a good worker for their company.
Hilton Hotels & Resorts polled 1,200 business travelers, and 400 travelers ages 23-35 who haven’t started traveling for business yet, on their interests and behaviors when it comes to business travel for a report on so-called “next-generation” business travelers.
Hilton found that most, 53 percent, love to travel for business; in fact, 53 percent will also create reasons to travel for work to get out on the road.
Business travel-related stress, however, weighs heavily on their minds. More than one-in-three, 34 percent, continue to feel stressed out for three to seven days after a trip and 38 percent can’t enjoy their weekend when they know they’re traveling for business the following week.
Health is also a major concern, with 44 percent saying they’ve gained weight as a result of business travel and 58 percent admitting to sacrificing sleep and wellness on a business trip. Heavy travelers were more likely to be unable to maintain a healthy lifestyle on the road.
Here are three other major takeaways from the report.
EXPENSES ARE TOUGH
Expense policy often goes unremarked upon as an important part of business travel. According to Hilton’s research, 43 percent admitted confusion around expenses and they often misunderstand what they can, and can’t, expense.
This leads to them owing their company money or spending their own money on a trip. Since 81 percent of business travelers believe they get more done in person, this puts them in a tough position balancing personal fiscal responsibility with their needs on the road that may not be covered by their company.
Airline miles and hotel points, however, are a major incentive for business travelers, with 74 percent saying their one of the best perks of hitting the road.
WORK-LIFE BALANCE IS DIFFICULT
It generally goes unspoken, but a large swath of business travelers have trouble balancing their personal lives with the demands of work. It’s not surprising that 41 percent said business travel makes it difficult for them to have a stable love life, and 46 percent agreed that their company or boss doesn’t consider their personal life when asking them to travel for work.
|Factors that may cause stress on a business trip|
|Sharing a Hotel Room||39%|
|Packing the right clothes||36%|
|Falling behind on their schedule||32%|
|Not maintaining their workout routine||29%|
Interestingly, 79 percent of non-parents assume their lack of children is viewed as a positive because they are more flexible when it comes to traveling for business.
Regardless of the difficulty, 65 percent see business travel as a status symbol and 75 percent have made friends while traveling for business. It seems high, but 35 percent have started a romantic relationship from a business trip (don’t tell human resources).
A lot of ink has been spilled on combining business travel with leisure travel lately, but the evidence from Hilton shows many simply will not combine the two for a variety of reasons.
Company policy plays an important role when it comes to permitting extended trips. More than half of those polled (58%) would like to ask their boss to fly in early and prepare for a trip, but are nervous about doing so.
|Reasons to Extend a Business Trip|
|Work travel to a new city||33%|
|Family or friends in town when traveling||40%|
|A large cultural event in town during trip||27%|
|Met someone romantically on an app or during a trip||12%|
Overall, 54 percent would like to extend a business trip for leisure but don’t know how their boss will respond; 44 percent think it will make them look bad to their senior leadership.
The bleisure regret is real, though; 59 percent regret not expending a previous trip to explore a destination or city more thoroughly.