By Greg Russell, freelancer and guest author on various business sites
Business travel is both a privilege and a requirement for some professionals.
Depending on the destination, it can be an opportunity to experience different cultures or see the wonders of the world first-hand, whilst striving towards business and career ambitions.
From a business perspective, the associated costs are equally as important as the potential rewards of the trip. Thus, cost-effectiveness is often a priority for companies. However, finding a balance between employee satisfaction whilst travelling and cost-effectiveness is an important consideration that shouldn’t be ignored.
A valued employee will drive better results
The mindset and comfort of the employee or employees that will be travelling on behalf of the company shouldn’t be disregarded. A business trip is an exciting opportunity for an employee to gain new experiences, both personal and professional. Booking the cheapest accommodation possible or depriving them of any real down time is unlikely to inspire a professional to do the best job they can and will ultimately make them feel undervalued. On the other hand, an employee that feels valued is likely to put more effort into their performance, which will drive better returns for the company.
Smart travel choices can be practical and cost-effective
Striking an appropriate balance between employee comfort and cost can be achieved with intelligent planning and decision-making. City accommodation, especially in places like London and New York, can often be exorbitantly costly. Hotels, while sometimes cheaper per night, aren’t conducive to employee productivity and are often uninspiring.
Compare this to a serviced apartment in a city like London, which offers a separate space for work, relaxation, food preparation and sleep. This environment will allow for higher productivity and is a much more inspiring environment which should allow for a more profitable business trip. Furthermore, a serviced apartment will often be more cost effective for longer stays or for multiple travellers.
Cost is still important
Travel and expense costs should never be unrestricted. While ensuring an employee has a comfortable and satisfying trip is important to ensure success, keeping an eye on costs should still be a factor. The difference between cost-cutting and cost-effectiveness is weighing up the potential influence and reward of a certain activity. Things like the type of accommodation could be more influential than the allowance for food, but it is important to consider what your employees may value more and what is more likely to impact their job performance.
Business travel should be a positive experience for both employer and employee. Cost-cutting is rarely a smart idea for corporate travel, unless a company is in serious financial trouble. A business trip should directly or indirectly contribute to revenue and profit, so just like using the cheapest components won’t lead to the best product, opting for the cheapest travel and accommodation arrangements is only going to diminish returns from a business trip.
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