Time spent in transit is one of the biggest challenges for North American business travelers. From the hours on a plane or train to the time lost during a layover, to the frustration of changing a flight reservation, wasted time not only negatively impacts productivity—it can crush job satisfaction.

According to the global study by Sabre and GBTA, frictionless travel is critical to employee engagement, retention, well-being, and business outcomes. While cost-saving measures are important, companies that leverage travel-centric programs often see that value-driven benefits are worth much more.


The Link Between Travel and Employee Well-Being

While age, traveler frequency, and position within the company all play a part in job satisfaction, GBTA found that, on average, 84 percent of North American travelers say the quality of their travel experience impacts business results. When it comes to their employer’s travel safety and security policies, 77 percent of travelers say they are less than satisfied. And when asked about employee well-being policies for travel, 75 percent say they are less than satisfied.

With the majority of employees claiming dissatisfaction with their organization’s travel program, travel managers are working to identify areas for improvement. GBTA found that North American travel programs are reducing traveler friction and boosting well-being by providing 24/7 support to travelers (91 percent) and automated expense management tools (62 percent). Other variables helping to improve the traveler experience: empowering employees to book flights based on convenience not cost (59 percent), approving business class travel on longer flights (56 percent), including referred hotels with fitness facilities or access to one (45 percent), taking steps to measure traveler satisfaction to mitigate pain points (37 percent), and offering subsidized memberships with preferred suppliers (12 percent).

Before Travelers Leave the Office

North American business travelers leverage travel information to help reduce uncertainty and stress before they begin their journey. GBTA found that 83 percent of North American travelers expect travel providers to recommend relevant information and products based on personal preferences.  For 53 percent of these travelers, information on the destination is important. 

Technology and Travel

Travel providers can boost cost savings with streamlined travel processes and information that helps with frictionless trip planning. In North America, 51 percent of travelers say having automated travel information enhances their experience. Other helpful innovation includes mobile expense reports (42 percent), itinerary-management apps (41 percent), mobile payment capabilities (39 percent), and safety-tracking apps (31 percent).

North American travelers say their experiences are elevated with access to mobile booking capabilities, trip information consolidation, itinerary management, expense report capabilities, safety and security information, and mobile payment capabilities.

Reduce Stress, Increase Productivity

By taking steps to mitigate traveler stress, companies benefit from an increase in productivity that can be as high as 32 percent. When organizations consider the cost to replace a senior-level employee is 300 percent of his or her salary, the link between business travel experience and employee happiness is crystal clear.

Download the Insights Deck, “Creating a Frictionless Travel Experience” for tips and insights on reducing traveler friction.