- Business travel has changed and evolved since the pandemic began.
- The focus is more on road travel, flexibility and health measures.
- Travel Managers must choose companies that support them in their changes.
Over the past two years, the scope of a corporate travel manager’s role has evolved. Now that many professionals are emerging from the crisis mode of the past two years, they are preparing for the future of travel.
And while business travel has started to make a comeback in the second half of 2021, as new variants emerge, companies must take into account the continued uncertainty and changing needs of employees.
“Work and business travel are in a very different place since 2020,” said Don Moore, senior vice president of global commercial sales at Enterprise Holdings, Inc. Moore’s team leverages the combined power of Enterprise and National brands to provide customers with a full commercial rental. programs.
At the start of the pandemic, Moore and his team worked closely with travel managers to address the early challenges that arose as travel came to a rapid halt around the world. Today, companies are crafting policies around redefined versions of business travel.
Here’s how travel managers can prepare, what to consider, and how the right relationships can help them navigate change.
Be prepared to provide cars as transportation
One of the biggest impacts of the past two years is that many travelers are choosing to drive instead of fly. Overall, driving activity in the corporate sector increased by 30% in 2021 compared to the pre-pandemic average, according to a study on business travel trends motus report. Moore has seen this trend firsthand in company rental data and customer feedback.
“A number of customers who used to take short flights between cities like St. Louis and Chicago are now choosing to drive instead,” Moore said, adding that people have become more comfortable driving. avoid the airport.
“Customers are now getting used to driving to destinations. When they rent a car instead of flying, they have more flexibility and control over their journey,” he said. “I think that preference will continue.”
Travel managers can accommodate this shift to more regional ground travel by working with a corporate rental program so employees can easily pick up rental cars. Enterprise has more than 9,500 locations in nearly 90 countries and territories around the world, making it convenient and cost-effective to support a rental anywhere, whether it’s near your home, office, the airport or a customer.
Supporting the way employees want to travel
Since the beginning of 2020, one of the main concerns in business travel has been security. In a business travel survey by BTN Group, sponsored by Enterprise and National, 82% of business travel decision makers said traveler wellbeing will be more of a priority in 2022.
Employers and business travelers want to know that the car rental companies they work with care about safety and cleanliness. Enterprise is a member of the Clorox™ Safer Today Alliance™, a coalition that helps create healthy shared spaces today and in the future. In addition to thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting cars between rentals, a single-use Clorox® Disinfectant Wipe for use on hard, non-porous high-touch surfaces is provided in every rental vehicle in the United States and Canada .
Plus, getting in the car can be a contactless and frictionless experience. Emerald Club loyalty members can completely bypass the rental counter and pick up their reserved car directly.
In the event of an emergency, Account Managers can also provide additional assistance to Travel Managers and leverage their extensive network of locations to assist them, whether it’s a flat tire or dispatching repairs. an extra car. Moore said it was a benefit of working with a corporate rental program.
Rethinking travel policies around employee expectations
The definition of travel is also changing. Travel flexibility is now a top priority, according to the Motus study. This translates to the workplace as well. Many white-collar workers who used to work remotely want to continue doing so or switch to a hybrid model. A study of McKinsey in July reported that more than 60% of respondents wanted to work from home at least two days a week.
Businesses and travel managers will need to consider how this new working model will impact what counts as business travel. For example, if an employee lives two hours away from the office and comes twice a week, are these business travel expenses? If an employee travels from home instead of the office to go to a meeting with a client, does he use his personal car or a rental car?
Besides the desire for flexible working, employees have other expectations that impact travel policies. They expect their employer to put people first and support sustainability, according to a article on macro trends in business travel. This can impact how travel decisions are made, particularly if customers are involved.
There is no single answer to these changes, but a transportation company that knows the latest travel trends and has access to a network of mobility solutions can help. Moore added that corporate and national account managers can be that consultant to help travel managers make decisions and create a program that’s right for them.
“Our team of account managers have daily conversations with customers about travel developments,” Moore said. “Transportation is part of the equation. We are here to find short-term and long-term solutions.”
Learn more about how your business can benefit from the Commercial Rental Program offered through the Combined Power of Enterprise and National.
This post was created by Insider Studios with Enterprise and National.