More than half (54%) of Australian business travellers have domestic security concerns while travelling for work, according to a survey commissioned by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT). The survey, of almost 2,000 business travellers around the world, also revealed that almost one in five business travellers have had to reschedule business travel due to safety concerns, indicating a potential impact to costs and productivity.
- Concerns regarding safety and security during domestic trips only 7% below international travel level;
- Employers urged to ensure address duty of care systems for domestic business travel.
Despite duty of care processes and technology for business travellers being a greater focus for employers, current thinking and discussions have often focussed on concerns regarding international business travel. Interestingly, traveller concerns over international travel by Australian business travellers was 61%, only 7% greater than concerns over travel within Australia.
Jo Sully, GBT’s Vice-President & Regional General Manager, Australia & South Asia, says companies must ensure duty of care appropriately covers all types of travel.
“It’s important for Australian employers to remember people have legitimate safety concerns about travel in their own backyard. Domestic safety concerns remain significant in many countries around the world,” said Ms Sully.
“Depending on a company’s travel needs, staff may not always be staying in major cities with a strong security presence, and this needs to be properly considered from a safety perspective. Even if your travellers are not in actual danger, travelling alone, particularly at night, in unknown areas outside of major cities, can cause significant unease which can impact traveller peace of mind, and productivity.
“While hotel accommodation continues to be the major preference for companies when arranging business travel, sharing economy accommodation options are rising in popularity. Employers need to provide guidance if they feel there is a greater risk from a safety and security perspective, with certain accommodation options.”
Despite this, most Australian business travellers have faith in their employer’s ability to aid when needed, with 91% reporting confidence in receiving support.
“It’s certainly not doom and gloom for work related travel – employers simply need to provide systems, and technologies that will help ensure their travellers feel supported. Most importantly, duty of care efforts need to be backed up by strong internal communication. Australian employers for the most part are appropriately investing in processes and technology, but it’s important that this is clearly communicated,” said Ms Sully.
Additional key insights from the report:
- Duty of care: Travelers believe it is important for their employers to invest in technology to support them in times of emergency or travel disruption, but they are conflicted about location-based technologies they feel might infringe on their privacy.
- Bleisure: Even though three-quarters or more of travellers from each country say their company supports the idea of blending business and leisure travel, very few employees actually take advantage of this opportunity. Only between 25 and 45 percent have taken such a trip in the past 12 months.
The full findings from this survey are available here.