Business travelers around the world believe the pandemic and related travel restrictions have negatively impacted their effectiveness on the job as well as the ability of their employers to develop business, serve clients and maintain business relationships, according to a survey by Chubb, the insurance company. At the same time, according to the survey, business travelers report that they have personally missed traveling for work and leisure and are eager to get back on the road. The survey polled 2,100 business travelers across North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and Latin America. Among the findings of the survey, entitled “Time to Fly: The Impact of Covid-19 on the Present and Future of Business Travel,” are the following:
- Globally, 80% or more of business travelers believe they are missing something important when they cannot see body language or other visual clues that you can get only in an in-person meeting.
- Nearly three out of four business travelers (74%) say they are less effective in their jobs due to the pandemic and severely limited travel opportunities. Areas that have been negatively impacted include client service and the ability to maintain relationships with clients and business partners.
- With the proper precautions, respondents are twice as likely to feel more comfortable traveling for business than for leisure. One reason cited: business is important to their livelihoods.
- A large majority of business travelers (69%) expect that company travel budgets will be trimmed in a post-COVID-19 world to reduce expenses.
- 75% of business travelers are willing to pay more to keep the middle seat open when they fly.
- 87% of business travelers have been personally concerned about contracting COVID-19 during the pandemic and take steps to protect themselves, including wearing masks and social distancing. A smaller share (74%) say they always follow government rules. Another 24% say they sometimes follow restrictions.