When you travel more responsibly for work, you help your company save time, money and stress.
Business Travelers and the organizations they represent are partners that share the same goal. Both parties want to bring value to the business, and there are small things Travelers can do in pursuit of that aim.
Travelers should always expect support from their organizations, of course. In return, Travelers can consider these 5 ideas for helping their companies make the most of their travel programs when they travel more responsibly.
1. Travel Judiciously
The best way to save money on business travel is to avoid unnecessary trips. Your company may have a strict approval process and a firm definition of what constitutes “essential” travel. But employees can play a part, too, choosing to travel only when it adds real value to the business.
What types of trips add value? Traveling to meet with prospective clients, to develop new partnerships, or to maintain relationships with highly valued existing clients are essential. Even trips to meet with your colleagues to work through challenging projects can add value to the organization.
Also, consider what business trips can easily be replaced by virtual meetings. If you’ve traditionally traveled for something that can be handled by Zoom, consider skipping the travel.
2. Get to Know Your Travel Policy
Travel policies exist to ensure that organizations enjoy a return on their investment in travel while also protecting business Travelers before, during and after their trips. The more you comply with your organization’s travel policy, the better it will be for both you and the company.
There’s good news on this: Most companies have introduced travel technologies that make compliant booking and traveling easier than ever before. The more you use travel technologies, the easier it will be to follow your corporate travel policy. More on this in a moment.
3. Highlight Your Personal ROI
As noted in No. 1 above, companies are looking for a clear return on their investment in business travel. So look for ways to demonstrate your personal ROI. How have your business trips directly impacted the bottom line?
Depending on your role, and depending on what tools your department uses, there may be ways to track your ROI over time. For example, if you work in sales, you can use Salesforce to indicate when your business trips have generated new business. This is a great way to highlight your individual contribution, and it’s also a great way to make the case for additional business trips in the future.
4. Embrace Travel Technologies
We’ve already talked about how technologies help you stay compliant with your company’s travel policy so that you travel more responsibly. But there are other benefits to embracing the travel technologies available.
- Support: When you’re familiar with your company’s travel technologies, including mobile apps, you always have access to support when you need it. This is particularly true when weather or mechanical issues disrupt your trips. Support can help you get back on track quickly.
- Duty of care: All companies have a duty-of-care responsibility to keep their Travelers safe while away from the office. When you embrace travel technologies, your company is better able to connect and help you should something happen during your business trip.
- Self-service: Technology allows you to book trips, file expenses and perform other travel-related tasks without help from others. Save everyone time by using technology for self-service.
Technology is meant to make life easier and more efficient. That’s certainly the case for Travelers when companies pair their needs with the right technologies. If Travelers are reluctant to adopt new technologies, though, they miss out on those benefits.
5. Strive for Sustainability
There’s a growing emphasis on sustainability in business travel. While companies around the world are committing to lowering their emissions, there are small things that Travelers can do to support these efforts:
- Re-evaluate your preferred vendors: Some vendors are more sustainability-minded than others. For example, some airlines have started using sustainable aviation fuel, which is better for the environment. Look for these airlines and other vendors that are doing their part to boost the sustainability of business travel.
- Keep trips short: The shorter the trip, the smaller your carbon footprint. You don’t always have control over where your business trips take you. If you must visit a client in Seattle, you have to fly to Seattle. But there are meetings that can be scheduled for anywhere, and you can also choose to attend conferences and expos that are closer to your home.
- Take a water bottle: Airports are now equipped with water fountains that make it easy to refill water bottles. Rather than plowing through plastic water bottles that need to be recycled, take along your own container for refilling.
- Choose sustainable destinations: Some cities allow you to leave a smaller carbon footprint than others. Again, you don’t always have a choice about where your business trips take you. But, when you do, look for a city that allows you to minimize your carbon footprint.
The tips above aren’t meant to take corporations off the hook. Large organizations are positioned to make a huge difference in sustainability by creating environmentally friendly travel policies and taking other action. These tips are meant to be ways that Travelers can partner with companies that care about sustainability.
Get the Support You Need From JTB Business Travel
When your company works with an effective travel management company, that TMC can help the organization travel as sustainably as possible. At JTB Business Travel, we work with companies to define essential travel and create policies that match the travel environment in a world that is still recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goals are to help companies maximize their travel spend while helping Travelers enjoy comfortable, productive itineraries.