On The Run
Businesses are expanding everywhere. In order for businesses to expand, there’s a good chance travel will be included. However, in order to travel, you need money, and quite a lot of it as well. According to the infographic below, businesses spent $225 billion in 2012 to shuttle their employees to get work done, whether it be across a state line, an international border, or an ocean. Fortunately, it’s more than just about spending money. Traveling employees have also contributed to 3.7 million new jobs, and have generated $35 billion in tax revenue, making your business trip a boost to the national economy.
Leaving On A Jet Plane
75% of business travelers won’t go more than 250 miles away, but there is a small percentage of those willing to travel more than 1,000 miles, which means those travelers need to go cross-country, or even an entirely different country altogether. Many companies are starting to go multinational due to the lower costs of operation in other countries and more relaxed labor standards, which creates the need for businesspeople to travel to make sure that those business functions are running smoothly.
A business trip generally lasts three days and businessmen make these trips five times a year on average, so that’s 15 working days on the road. This number could rise as businesses try to establish themselves in as many markets as possible. Technology has advanced to the point where you can now establish virtual work spaces and collaborate with coworkers, superiors, subordinates and investors on a real-time basis.
45% of all employees in a business are mobile. This allows for businesses to cut costs on rent and allocate it elsewhere. One should consult the numbers; employers can save $11,000 a year, employees can save between $2,000 to $7,000 a year, and the savings on gasoline, an increasingly scarce and expensive resource, would be tremendous as well.
84% of business travelers use a mobile device when they are on the go. Having your mobile devices ready (and fully charged) is quite an asset in a place like an airport. An international flight means you have to check in three hours before, and then there’s other factors such as flight delays and cancellations, and you can check the status of your flights on your mobile devices. This also gives employees valuable time to get work done. If your flight has a stopover, you also have to wait for connecting flights, so time spent at the airport can be spent being productive.
Mobile business travelers are in their late 40s and average $58,000 in salary per year. This means a lot of these people are either middle management or even senior management, assuming they started in their respective industry right out of college. This also means they might not be fully up to speed with working on the go—46% still prefer working in the office and 38% prefer to work at home—but 9% of them are flexible enough to work anywhere.
There are several apps that mobile travelers can use while on the go. Skype, Google Hangout, Google Drive, and Dropbox are just several of the popular options that business travelers can use on their mobile devices—and they all come at no cost to the consumer for their intended functions (although there are several paid features). This allows business travelers to transfer and share files and documents with a single swipe and video conference with coworkers, superiors, subordinates and business partners, so the office doesn’t just have to be four walls or a cubicle with a desktop PC anymore.
Many business travelers prefer iPhones and other Apple products compared to Android products; laptops are still widely used as well as some business software either doesn’t have a mobile-friendly version yet or is not well utilized on a mobile device. Almost all airports have WiFi coverage, so you can stay connected with your team at all times.
The More You Know
Mobile business travelers check flight statuses, itineraries, hotel rooms, and directions; these things are often subject to change without prior notice, so having a mobile device will help business travelers quickly adjust to these changes. They also use mobile devices to book flights, hotels, and research travel plans for the same reasons.
Work is no longer defined as a 9-to-5 gig that is confined to an office. It can be done anywhere at anytime with advances of technology shrinking traditional desktop PCs into a device that can fit in your pocket. Businesses should expect more work to be done remotely as this can help save them money and keep their employees happier and more flexible as the quest to achieve a work-life balance continues to progress.
This post and infographic were contributed by Megan Ritter. Megan works in social media and tech, and enjoys writing and researching business solutions and new technology. Her blog also covers unified communications, as well as the benefits of call centers and VoIP for the healthcare industry.