Mixed feelings now business travel is back post COVID
UK business travellers reveal that whilst COVID added limitations to business travel, there are mixed feelings now travel is back.
A fifth (20%) are happy to be travelling for work again but 18% are now more concerned about their health and well-being while travelling, rising to a quarter (24%) of over 55s.
According to a new Opinium survey*, commissioned by World Travel Protection, a specialist global travel risk management organisation, the 500 business travellers surveyed reveal that almost one in five (17%) feel less safe when travelling for work than before the pandemic. Hangovers from the pandemic are also causing concerns, such as the ongoing disruptions and staff shortages (14%).
One in ten (12%) now refuse to travel to places they deem unsafe and one in ten (11%) would refuse a work placement abroad as they feel there are too many risks. Nine percent also say they don’t want to be based abroad for work now because of the risk of future disruptions, like a pandemic.
When asked how they feel when travelling for work, tiredness and exhaustion came out top (26%), followed by feeling anxious (22%) stressed (19%) and lonely (16%). Over one in seven (16%) also say they get homesick and miss home, whereas only 13% said they felt freedom from being away from family responsibilities.
Kate Fitzpatrick, Regional Security Director, EMEA, at World Travel Protection, said: “For some the return to business travel has been hard, and this has not been helped by the constant threat of disruption to the best-laid plans. It’s essential, therefore, that business travellers feel their employer is supporting them and looking out for the best interests while they’re away.”
Kate concludes: “To mitigate risk and alleviate concerns, organisations should ensure that travelling employees are provided with the most up-to-date information on destinations and travel routes, and consider using a travel assistance company with a live travel app which provides assistance updates in real time.”
*Opinium online survey conducted with 501 UK business travellers, who travel internationally for business at least once a year, from 23 January to 2 February 2023.