Today we caught up with Megan Ritter to find out about modern business travelers. She was able to share an interesting infographic with stats about who these people are, how they travel, and what technology they prefer. Megan is an online journalist and technology geek from Southern California. As an entrepreneur, she enjoys writing about start-ups and small business strategies. Her writing also covers business globalization, virtual communications, and media marketing.
That’s a Lot of Zeroes
Travel hasn’t been cheap recently, but it has been beneficial to the global economy. Since many businesses have headquarters in multiple states and even countries, traveling for business purposes has not only created jobs and tax revenues, but it’s also been a significant expense for American companies. In fact, estimates show that companies and individuals will spend $1 trillion on business travel alone.
Business Travelers are Going the Distance
Almost three-fourths of business travelers stay (relatively) close to home—they don’t travel more than 250 miles away. However, 7% go further than 1,000 miles for business purposes—often to another country where a company has expanded to. Some of these countries are unable to locally find those who know the business best, so they import expertise from overseas to accomplish their business objectives in those countries.
The average business trip only takes around 3 nights, so business is done in relatively quick order. They’re also done somewhat frequently at around 5 trips a year, so business travelers will find themselves out of their state or country around 15 days a year. Don’t think that the downtime in the airport or on the plane is any reason to rest—a lot of business executives look to get their work done while in transit.
Office On The Go
The rise of mobile devices has allowed many functions that would normally get done in an office to be done on the go—almost half of an average company’s employees are mobile. Although this is a rising trend, there’s a few things about a mobile employee that you should know. They tend to work for companies with at least 100 employees, they’re college educated, almost 50, and carry at least three mobile devices with them.
These mobile devices could include a smartphone, a laptop, and possibly a tablet, allowing for maximum productivity away from the office. This is good especially for long waits in the airport, where one must check in three hours before for international flights. Transfers from one airport to another, which could take as little as a couple of hours to almost an entire day just waiting in the airport, also present opportunities for productivity or even leisure—there’s even an app for any mobile device that can help business travelers pass the time while at the airport.
Where do they feel most productive? Opinion seems to be split on the matter—46% prefer that they still work at the office, while 38% feel most productive at home. Some employees feel that they are most productive in truly mobile areas such as on an airplane (2%), a hotel (2%), a cafe (2%), or even public transportation (1%). Nine percent said they have no preference, making them productive anywhere.
Choose Your Device
Business executives chose the iPhone as their preferred device (37%), namely because of its brand recognition and ease of use. The iPhone has free text messaging to other Apple devices, making it convenient for not only local users but international ones as well, where roaming charges can get notoriously high very quickly—a term called “bill shock.” In fact, many articles are written about how you can avoid bill shock when you’re traveling overseas, and the iPhone sidesteps that by allowing free communication between itself and other Apple devices.
Business travelers use mobile devices for checking their flight status, reviewing their itinerary and finding their destinations. A growing number of people are also using their mobile devices to book flights online as well as hotels—some websites allow people to book both at the same time, and some offer discounts if you do as well. It was also reported that just a bit over half still used only one device while traveling for business.
In addition, most business travelers researched travel plans on a desktop computer, but booked on a smartphone, tablet or a laptop. For those who used their tablet to research travel plans, they also tended to book on a tablet but equally booked on a smartphone or a laptop. For those who decided to use their smartphone for researching travel, many ultimately booked on a laptop , although a significant number of people still used a tablet or their smartphone to book their travel plans. This is a sign that many people are using their mobile devices, as plans can come up at the last minute and the convenience of using smartphones helps relieve the stress of booking travel plans.
Business Travelers Taking Flight
Mobile business travelers don’t have time to get to a desktop. They need to access information on the go and be able to change travel plans at the flick of a button in an ever-changing business environment. As many people continue to jump to mobile devices as their main method of keeping in touch and doing business, you’ll find that the office isn’t just in a cubicle anymore—it’s wherever you want it to be.