Nearly a quarter (23%) of business travelers would consider looking for a new job if their travel schedule doesn’t improve, according to a survey of 3,850 global business travelers across 25 markets and 700 global travel managers across seven markets unveiled during the SAP Concur Travel Industry Summit. Charlie Sultan, president of Concur Travel, said this year’s survey revealed that a degree of unhappiness and anxiety persists among business travelers and travel managers worldwide. If things don’t change, he said, nearly a quarter of global business travelers will consider looking for a new job — “bad news for any business struggling with attrition, skills gaps and a labor shortage.” Among the findings of the survey:

  • Three in five business travelers (61%) report that their current travel schedules are falling short of their expectations. Many say a change in corporate travel direction may be to blame; around four in five business travelers (82%) report their company is returning to pre-pandemic levels but with a “more travel on fewer shoulders” approach.
    • But that doesn’t mean travelers are willing to compromise on their newly elevated expectations for business travel. In fact, those expectations remain largely unchanged from 2021: In 2022, 91% consider some flexible travel and booking options as essential to allow them to protect their health and safety when they travel for business — compared with 89% in 2021.
    • Additionally, business travelers are feeling empowered to decline a business trip if it doesn’t match their expectations or comfort level:
    • Four in five business travelers (82%) say their business travel has been impacted by the war in Ukraine, and safety concerns for traveling to certain parts of the world is the most common reason business travelers say they’d decline a business trip, with over half of business travelers (53%) saying they’d do so.
    • Half of business travelers (51%) are willing to decline a business trip their company assigns if they have COVID-19 related health concerns about the trip.
    • A quarter of business travelers (26%) are willing to nix a business trip assigned by their company if they’re feeling burnt out with travel and need a break.
    • A quarter of business travelers (24%) would decline a trip assigned to them if it required using nonsustainable travel options.
    • Nearly one in four business travelers who are not traveling at their ideal travel frequency (23%) say they’ll look for a new position if their travel schedule doesn’t improve. At the same time, aware of the labor market, travelers aren’t willing to accept a position that requires more travel without added perks: 92% say they’d need additional salary, benefits or travel flexibility to take a position with more travel.
  • Meanwhile, travel managers are also feeling the pressure: All surveyed travel managers (100%) expect their role to be more challenging in the next 12 months compared with last year, with nearly half (49%) reporting that the stress is coming from above, through increasing pressure from senior leadership to demonstrate the ROI of their role