Some businesses are permanently shifting to a hybrid or fully remote model, leading to an uptick in business travel and work from anywhere (WFA) environments.
A third of business travelers (34%) now have a remote work schedule and 35% of them will travel more and longer as a result, according to the Winter 2022 Global Rescue Travel Safety and Sentiment survey. In addition, 75% of business travelers have already traveled domestically for business and 27% have traveled internationally, according to the survey.
The survey, conducted in January 2022, collected responses from 1,400 current and former members of travel risk management firm Global Rescue to determine the current state of business travel and risk.
Dan Richards, CEO of Global Rescue, says the bar for traveling to a meeting has been raised forever. “Virtual substitution for in-person meetings is here to stay. The pandemic has demonstrated that productive work can be done from almost anywhere, and that is leading to people taking advantage of that circumstance,” he said.
Ninety-three percent of travelers are "less or much less" concerned about travel since the height of the pandemic. Growing traveler confidence will drive more WFA.
The biggest challenge in this evolving environment will be the ability to manage a location-independent workforce. “Managing the remote workforce will be a new challenge as unprecedented numbers of employees log in from the beach, mountains and other places where they’ve chosen to live,” said Richards.
Employers need to make certain their duty of care legal requirements are comprehensively detailed.
“Company leaders like CEOs, chief security officers, travel managers and human resources directors are accountable for the development and oversight of policies, programs and logistics that protect traveling staff. They carry a duty of care responsibility to their people, to take care of them and avoid exposing them to any unnecessary or undue risk,” Richards said.