There is no shortcut to calculating the true cost of business travel, try as much as you may. This said working out on the money spent on business travel is quite simple, but do you think the figure ever takes into account the traveller’s productivity. Scott Gillespie, a seasoned industry thought–leader, came up with a simple equation for the calculation of the total cost of travel:
Total Travel Cost = Trip cost + Traveller Friction
Now, let’s factor in traveller friction as amounting to half the total cost of your business travel, it is well worth giving the attention it deserves to how and where you can reduce it.
But what exactly is ‘traveller friction’?
Traveller friction is simply the ‘wear and tear’ the regular business or corporate travellers accumulate over a period of time. A study conducted in 2017 mentions that business travellers, on an average, lose 6.9 hours due to traveller friction.
Traveller friction may be due to several reasons, some of which are beyond our control. They include jet lags, unexpected delays, time expunged in an unfamiliar environment, or even bouts of illness because of stress.
Business travellers, time and again, have suffered to some extent through physical ailments, often caused by jet lag and lack of sleep or poor quality sleep. However, it is the long–term effects that are largely disturbing. If travellers stay away from their loved ones for long periods of time or travel at unsociable hours, and unwillingly assume new roles, it can take a heavy toll on business travellers.
Traveller friction can be dealt with taking into account the traveller’s lifestyle. Questions like do they have a family or do they need childcare attention help in the process.
It all boils down to the support offered to the business travellers on and off the trip that can reduce traveller friction. If the travel manager is able to frame a reasonable travel policy and delegate autonomy to bookers or users, travellers can have a positive business travel experience. If the expectations of the employees are covered and clearly defined in the travel policy, there is a greater sense of accountability and confidence amongst the travellers on any trip.
Thiagarajan Rajagopalan of Tripeur says, “There are several areas where you can lend support to business travellers. Over and above using a 360–degree business travel management suite like Tripeur, companies can collect feedback from travellers on trips they have made in the past and ask them to list the priority factors when on a business travel.