More than a quarter (30%) of companies said they cut back on business travel last year, and among those companies, more than one-third (37%) said it had a negative affect on their business, according to a new report from CareerBulider.
When asked how fewer business trips affected their bottom lines, companies reported the following:
*Less effective internal communication – 12 percent
*Fewer sales – 11 percent
*Less effective execution on internal business initiatives – 10 percent
*Less customer loyalty – 8 percent
When it comes to business travel in 2011, the majority of companies (77 percent) report that business travel levels will stay the same as last year. Eleven percent said their companies will take more business trips this year, while 13 percent said business travel will decrease.
“Business travel is an important part of many companies’ operations as it lets them stay connected with clients and employees across the globe," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder.
"Some companies are revisiting their policies, though, to ensure they’re maximizing the effectiveness of their business travel initiatives."
In addition to keeping a close eye on how much travel is taking place, nearly one-third (32 percent) of companies said they are also placing specific restrictions on business travel for employees since the recession, asking them to fly coach, lowering entertainment budgets, and having them only travel domestically.
Web conferencing is another way companies are keeping business travel budgets in check. Forty-two percent of companies said they rely more on phone/Web conferencing now to conduct business with clients, with 31 percent saying they get just as much out of virtual meetings as face-to-face meetings.