Nothing quite beats the feeling of getting a bargain. When travelling away on business suitable accommodation is the last thing you want to worry about because the focus should be on the project or assignment. During the London Olympics 2012, Airbnb usage grew as tourists were attracted to the low cost accommodation provided by temporary landlords who sought to make profit due to the huge demand for accommodation. Since then the company has experienced a battle with councils and governments for their working practices in London, New York and San Francisco. New laws will soon allow people in London to offer their home or a spare room to travellers. For leisure travellers staying for a couple of nights Airbnb is ideal, but surely this isn’t an option for businesses and their assignees? Isn't it worth investing a little more in business travel?
Another example of entrepreneurs bucking the system and offering cheaper alternatives is Uber. Black cab drivers, and people within the industry, have accused the mobile app transportation company of illegal taxi operation and destroying the driving profession in London. But it’s not all budget taxis, as Uber offer high-end ‘Lux’ services for those who prefer to ride in style. In a recent blog, we explored why companies fly their staff business class instead of sending travellers economy class on a budget airline. For those who are responsible for the travel management of their assignees, is it more important to cut costs or to make the assignee as comfortable as possible?
Business travellers should look forward to relocation and the opportunities offered in new cities. If a company is tightening the purse strings then it’s unlikely the traveller will be getting overly excited about their next three months of living arrangements. A comfortable ‘home from home’ serviced apartment should be part of the package. Providing your staff with the ideal homely environment might not be as cheap as Airbnb but you’re more likely to see a return of investment in productivity. Arriving after a comfortable journey to an apartment that meets expectations could lay the foundations for an industrious business assignment.
Does your company see a higher business travel budget as a sensible investment? Let us know in the comments section below.