There is a misconception about corporate travel that revolves around pampered travellers relaxing on spacious Business and First Class seats and their plush hotel rooms. However, the reality of business travel is not as picturesque as it is. There are unforeseen occurrences, such as delayed flights, limited or weak wi-fi or substandard rooms that induce stress among travellers. How can this stress be managed to maintain traveller productivity?
Over the years, global focus on employee well-being has rose steadily, thus the impacts of business travel on staff and their productivity have come under scrutiny. Employers are recognising that business travel can take its toll, with more companies adopting strategies and tools to help improve the traveller experience.
The majority of corporate travellers feel some degree of stress on each trip. Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) has also identified the following factors as common sources of accommodation stress for travellers:
• High cost internet connection
• Standard rooms with limited facilities
• No late checkout availability
• The cost of dining within the hotel
Business travellers view their hotel accommodation as the place where they can refresh and revitalise, however when accommodations that do not function as well as they trigger frustration. It’s a well-documented fact that the higher the stress levels of travellers, the lower their work productivity. Although traveller stress is difficult to capture in dollar terms, but when factoring in the average hourly rate of employee time, there is clearly a significant amount of productivity lost.
However, companies can reduce stress, by ensuring work trips are comfortable. FCTG believes the solution is to focus on traveller needs and comfort as much as cost-saving policies. Employees don’t necessarily need to travel less – they can often travel smarter.
In 2013, FCTG launched its innovative global SmartSTAY program to give business travellers value-added extras in their accommodation, at no additional cost. Every SmartSTAY property offers guests a minimum of three complimentary value-added services, one of which is available exclusively to FCTG corporate clients. Ranging from free room upgrades to wi-fi, breakfast, car parking and late checkout, the services are available year-round and benefit guests with greater comfort and convenience.
SmartSTAY helps companies optimise their travellers’ well-being while staying focused on their travel policy and savings. It helps take the stress out of business travel for employees and gives employers peace of mind that their people are travelling comfortably and productively.
Benefits included in the stay vary across different lodging.