New Research Reveals Top Concerns Among Business Travelers
Business Travelers Report Feeling Unsafe, With Female and LGBTQ+ Travelers Regularly Experiencing Harassment According to an SAP® Concur® Survey
BELLEVUE, Wash. — Oct. 30, 2019 — SAP SE (NYSE: SAP) has announced the results of a new SAP® Concur® survey revealing that more than three in four female business travelers have suffered harassment while traveling and more than one in two change their plans because of safety concerns. SAP Concur is the world’s leading brand for travel, expense and invoice management solutions. The SAP Concur survey results identified concerns of personal safety while on the road and frustration that some companies seem to put self-interest ahead of employee needs. Notable highlights of the responding 7,850 business travelers in 19 global markets include:
- Travelers often feel unsafe:
- Of the respondents, 58% say they have changed their travel arrangements because they felt unsafe, while 52% of business travelers cite travel safety as the most valuable training their company could provide.
- Millennials are more sensitive to current events: In the last 12 months, 42% of business travelers in this age range have reduced travel to a location because of political unrest or health hazards, compared to 36% of Gen Xers and 23% of Baby Boomers. Nearly as many of the Millennials (40%) selected a flight based on aircraft type, compared to 33% of Gen Xers and 21% of Boomers.
- Nearly one third (31%) of business travelers prioritize their own safety as the most important factor when taking a business trip, yet over half (54%) believe safety is not their companies’ top priority.
- Female travelers report high levels of harassment and sexism on the road:
- More than three in four female business travelers (77%) have experienced some sort of harassment or mistreatment while traveling. Women are asked if they’re traveling with their husband (42 %), ignored by service workers (38%), or catcalled on the job (31%).
- Nearly half of young female business travelers face discrimination. Forty-six percent of Gen Z women report having been asked if they were traveling with their husband compared to 31% of Boomers. At the same time, 41% of female Millennials have been ignored by service workers compared to 23% of Boomers.
- LGBTQ+ travelers hide aspects of their identity when traveling for work:
- The vast majority (95%) of LGBTQ+ travelers have hidden their sexual orientation while on a business trip, with the most common reasons being to protect their safety (57%).
- Eighty-five percent have changed their travel arrangements out of concern for their safety, compared to just 53% of their non-LGBTQ+ colleagues.
- Business travel isn’t getting easier or less stressful:
- Sixty-seven percent believe their company lags behind when it comes to adopting the latest technologies to make business travel easier.
- An overwhelming majority of business travelers (94%) are willing to share personal information to improve their business travel experience – an impressive number in an age of data privacy concerns.
- Thirty-seven percent of business travelers feel the most stress before a trip when they’re planning, booking and organizing travel. On the flip side, when a traveler returns home, 24% of business travelers say they would rather have a cavity filled at the dentist than complete an expense report.
“Societal issues and employee experiences are increasingly impacting the way we travel. With these shifts come new expectations from traveling employees that shouldn’t go unnoticed,” said Mike Koetting, Chief Product Strategy Officer, SAP Concur. “While companies continue to try and maximize traveler satisfaction, the reality is that employees are hungry for more empathy, guidance and better technology as they run into both common frustrations and unique individual concerns, leaving room for improvement among organizations of all sizes.”
Additional findings from the study include:
- Delays in getting reimbursed for expenses are affecting business travelers’ trust in their companies: 43% report they forfeited expenses in 2018, either because they did not think the expense was worth filing or because their employer never paid them the money owed. On average, in the past year business travelers forfeited $893 from expenses that weren’t reimbursed by their employers.
- Employees are eager to embrace booking and expense reporting tools: More than half of respondents say this is the area of business travel that companies are most behind in adopting. In fact, business travelers who use traditional online booking tools (OBTs) say they offer better information (66%) and are more convenient (65%). Mobile apps are also a focal point, with 73% wanting a mobile app that includes robust booking features.
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The survey was conducted by Wakefield Research (www.wakefieldresearch.com), a leading independent provider of quantitative, qualitative and hybrid market research, among 7,850 business travelers defined as those who travel for business three or more times annually from the following markets: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Japan, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Malaysia, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States. The survey took place July–August 2019.
About SAP Concur
SAP® Concur® is the world’s leading brand for integrated travel, expense, and invoice management solutions, driven by a relentless pursuit to simplify and automate these everyday processes. The top-rated SAP Concur mobile app guides employees through every trip, charges are effortlessly populated into expense reports, and invoice approvals are automated. By integrating near real-time data and using AI to audit 100% of transactions, businesses can see exactly what they’re spending without worrying about blind spots in the budget. SAP Concur solutions eliminate yesterday’s tedious tasks, make today’s work easier, and help businesses run at their best every day. Learn more at concur.com or the SAP Concur blog.
As the Experience Company powered by the Intelligent Enterprise, SAP is market leader in enterprise application software, SAP helps companies run better. SAP applications and services enable our customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.
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