Recently, I asked one of Roadmap’s customer about her objectives for the coming years. She smiled and told me she didn’t have any yet. Her original goals had been to cut cost, travel less, conduct more online meetings, double down on working from home, and reduce her company’s CO2 emissions. Sounds like a five-year plan, doesn’t it? But the coronacrisis helped her meet all these objectives within months. “Congrats,” I said. “Well done! So, now what?”
“I just want to keep employees safe and healthy,” she replied.
And that’s what’s next for most companies.
Losing weight and spending time with loved ones
Here’s the thing with the pandemic: it has taught us our bodies and minds are our most important assets, so we should take very good care of them. The lockdown was an eye-opener. Many have realized that traveling can be unhealthy, time-consuming, and expensive. The other day, I talked to a frequent business traveler who lost 10 pounds over the past three months because he didn’t travel. Others told me they’ve spent quality time with their loved ones, and they wouldn’t have wanted to miss it for the world.
Stories like these make us wonder whether we should go back to the travel volumes of 2019. Maybe — just maybe — it’s time to adjust a thing or two (or 10).
Improving travel is key
People are still traveling. But the ones who hop on planes and trains do not work at the C-level. Instead, it’s the truly important people that cross borders now — those who need to keep machines running and make sure your company continues to exist. They’re employees who are critical to your business. So, how do you keep them safe, healthy, and productive?
We have observed that programs now tend to focus on ‘essential travel only,’ while companies work on a ‘return to travel as usual.’ But is the latter necessary? Like Eric Bailey wrote , “Whatever we do next must be better than what we did before.”
So, what can we do better? Well, some key elements of travel management should improve. Volumes will continue to drop for a while, which means you’ll save more on costs. That objective has been met. On to the next one: taking care of your all-important travelers. And, on top of that, our beloved planet. I’ll tell you this — in the past three months, I’ve worked remotely from Amsterdam, and I’ve never seen the sky so blue. It’s made me very happy.
Briefly put, the way in which we return to travel is crucial, and it could be a win-win situation!
Time to turn into a travel manager rock star
You need to stay relevant and improve travel while volumes continue to drop and traditional suppliers struggle. What do you need to change to achieve this? Once you’ve answered that question, you should take action. Engage with management to make it happen. You are not alone. Roadmap can help you every step of the way. Our platform has been designed to drive change, innovation, and technology in corporate travel programs.
Do you want to roll up your sleeves and get to work, but do you find it difficult to figure out where to start? Be sure to contact us. We’re happy to help you become a travel manager rock star!