New Research Indicates Rising Business Traveler Stress

The fourth annual SAP Concur Global Business Travel Survey has found that travel costs, rampant travel cancellations and delays, and lingering health and safety concerns are causing business traveler and travel manager stress.

This year's survey included responses from 3,850 global business travelers across 25 markets and 700 global travel managers across seven markets. Among the main findings, the survey found that cancellations and delays are contributing to business traveler stress. While 98 percent of global business travelers are willing to travel for work, they’re concerned about travel cancellations and delays (61 percent), more so than the typically dreaded task of filing the expense report for their trip (39 percent).

Nearly two in five global business travelers (38 percent) say that during the trip is the most stressful stage of travel—a seven-point increase from the 31 percent of business travelers who said this in 2021. As a result, more than half (55 percent) report their job is already as stressful or more now than during the previous year.

The survey also found that health and safety concerns are empowering employees to decline business trips. Ninety-one percent of business travelers are willing to decline a business trip assigned to them, especially if they have COVID-19-related health concerns (51 percent) or if the trip required using non-sustainable travel options (24 percent).

Four in five business travelers (82 percent) say their business travel has been impacted by the war in Ukraine. Safety concerns for traveling to certain parts of the world is the most common reason business travelers (53 percent) say they’d decline a business trip.

Travel managers, those that manage business travel programs, are facing new challenges due to the turbulent travel landscape. More than half (55 percent) of travel managers report their job is already as stressful or more now than during the previous year, and 100 percent expect their role to be more challenging. More than one in three (39 percent) predict challenges from reduced travel budgets in the coming year.

“Year-over-year changes in business travelers’ stress levels are some of the most telling findings about the state of business travel,” said Charlie Sultan, president of Concur Travel. “They remind us that industry challenges aren’t theoretical. The impacts of the pandemic, the 'Great Resignation,' and inflation are very real, and global business travelers are feeling and experiencing them directly.”

Source: SAP Concur

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