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Technology boosts productivity of business travellers, study finds

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Technology, especially smart devices, has changed the way we work and play and a common comment we hear often is, “I can’t live without my smartphone”.

This is the same sentiment shared by business travellers who, despite carrying carry different types of tech devices including tablet and laptop while on the road, consider the smartphone their one indispensable device.

A new study released by Carlson Wagonlit Travel from a survey of more than 1,900 global business travellers aged 25-65 shows business travellers are bringing more devices, and feel more productive conducting their business

According to the CWT Connected Traveler Study, more than 80% of global travellers use their phone to conduct business, stay in touch with family and for health and security purposes.

Most travellers (88%) believe travel is easier to navigate today with technology, with a majority (78%) seeking opportunities to travel for work and just as many (72%) finding business travel to be stimulating.

More than half (55%) of travellers rely on prior travel experience to plan trips, in addition to hotel websites (54%) and airline websites (50%). Airline and hotel apps make up the bulk of app usage for travellers (45%) while map apps also see heavy use (41%).

Travellers also use different methods to connect with co-workers or family/friends – former using email (44%), calling (24%) and texting (14%), latter with calling (44%), Skype (24%) and text (17%).

Simon Nowroz, chief marketing officer of Carlson Wagonlit Travel said with technology the business traveller could be more productive now as compared to a few years back.

“Think about the advances where a business traveler used to have so much down time 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, travelers don’t feel out of touch as they carry out business.”

Here are some other highlights from the report:

Two key areas of concern

  1. Two-thirds (67%) of travellers say they believe travel is safer today. However, nearly half (46%) remain concerned about their safety. This has led more travellers (68%) to “sometimes or always” purchase travel insurance.
  2. Maintain routines and wellness is a problem faced by many business traveller; more than half (54%) say that their exercise and wellness habits are disrupted when they travel.

Travellers concerned about safety will buy insurance (Image credit: everydayplus/iStock)

Regional differences

  • Travellers from Asia Pacific (APAC) feel more in control (84%) in being able to manage their responsibilities compared to travellers from the Americas (76%) and EMEA – Europe, Middle East and Africa (73%) travellers.
  • Travellers from APAC (53%) are also more likely to say that travel took time away from other work, causing their co-workers to pick up some of the slack.
  • About a quarter of travelers from the Americas feel that travel strained their relationship with their spouse or significant other (27%), more than their EMEA and APAC counterparts (22%). This may be the reason for travellers in the Americas (50%) trying harder to stay connected with family, than their counterparts in APAC (31%) and EMEA (27%).
  • APAC travellers were more likely to miss important events, with more than half (51%) missing at least two social events or occasions within the past 12 months compared to travellers from EMEA (44%) or Americas (42%).

“There are many variables that can make a business trip a success or a failure in the eyes of the traveller,” said Nowroz. “The easier we can make it for travellers to be organized, the more we help them have a better overall experience.”

Here’s the infographic showing a summary of the survey findings (click image to view a larger version).

Featured image credit: AlexBrylov/iStock  

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