Travel that provides ‘connections’ will replace regular business travel as workers spread across the United States, but graduates may be left behind, experts say.


  • Businesses are cutting back on business travel and laying off employees.
  • Young workers who are most eager to travel are likely to miss the opportunity to travel alongside work.
  • The new style of travel will focus on “human relationships” and less on work, experts say.

The focus is fast on the “new normal” as major companies permanently reshape how they do business, with a fluid workforce and high costs fostering unprecedented flexibility.

Airbnb is giving its employees the choice of where to work in a place that is increasingly moving from a fixed job. Meanwhile, consulting firms like BCG and McKinsey are focusing on other perks to retain their employees.

Now companies are wondering how to maintain bonds between employees and increase incentives, especially for younger employees.

Some companies are reluctant to go back to old travel habits.

Travel continues to be uncertain due to the impact of the pandemic. According to data from the Bureau of Transportation StatisticsTotal passenger rides in January 2022 were 19% lower than January 2020 fares. However, relaxed restrictions and vacation bookings assisting leisure recoveryBusiness trips turned out to be more stubborn.

all study According to Deloitte, pre-pandemic travel rates remain elusive, especially for industries that have successfully transitioned to a telecommuting model. By 2023, spending is projected to be only 55% of its pre-pandemic rate. Jason Greaves, brand leader at recruiting firm Manpower, said the company was reluctant to bring employees back to work because of the money they spent on upgrading their telecommuting capabilities.

The percentage of jobs that require travel on the website stood at 8.5% in April and 7.7% in February 2020, despite data from job site Indeed suggesting that travel is higher than before the pandemic. — Nick Bunker, Indeed North America Research Director, this isn’t because more companies are offering it, he told Insider. Instead, it takes a long time to return to a job that does not require a business trip.

‘High value’ travel means young workers can lose.

Deloitte’s transportation, hospitality and hospitality leader Mike Daher told Insider that “companies where telecommuting dominates” (those who spend less than three days a week in the office) are about half as likely to travel again. Said. Spend more time in the office.

Daher said he expected business travel to eventually recover, but said that what employers calculate for the value they place on such travel will change forever.

Daher said he would place a higher value on meetings that typically involve more senior staff.

He said calculations indicate that travel for younger employees, such as training and leadership meetings, is likely to seem unnecessary.

“I think companies are re-imagining ways to bring people together in ways that are very valuable and not just on a daily trip,” Daher said. “I don’t think routine travel meetings matter.”

These young workers are usually passionate about travelAnd Daher said the high rate of labor turnover facing retirement means that businesses may have to sacrifice a little extra to get them to join and retain.

“Businesses are understanding that they need to bring more short-term colleagues together for connectivity,” he said.

Finding ‘Human Relationships’ with a Spare Budget

These connections fuel optimism that business travel will return, but in a different way. Avi Meir, CEO of TravelPerk, a business travel unicorn valued at $1.3 billion in March, said customer travel continues to grow.

In an interview with Insider, he said this business customer had 13% more bookings than before the pandemic. In fact, he said under-35 made up 46% of travel bookings.

He argued that the definition of business trip has changed. That’s because tech clients, whose employees are scattered across the region, don’t come to the office often to “connect” and bond-strengthening campaigns.

Meier said customers’ reduced office budgets have freed up space to spend more on these trips and there is a need to encourage young, in-demand employees to stay.

“Business travel is a clear human need. I know people need these kinds of relationships,” Meier said.

He hopes that this desire for “human connections” can overcome other obstacles.

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