The business travel industry is big business. In the US alone, domestic business trips are forecasted to rise to nearly
500 million by 2022. And while COVID-19 may have put a dent in business travel numbers, the Global Business Travel Association (
GBTA) is expecting to see a quick recovery in the next few years, with volumes surpassing pre-pandemic levels
by 2025. As employees and clients tire of
Zoom fatigueand written communication, many will be looking to get back to face-to-face contact—understandably so, since face-to-face requests have been shown to be
34 times more powerfulthan email.With a return to business travel coming up soon, this is the perfect time to streamline your company’s business travel approval process. Managing the approval process can be confusing, since each company has its own unique policy and multiple people may be involved. However, the business travel approval process doesn’t have to be difficult. By defining a clear policy, centralizing all your data in one place, and communicating clearly with business travel stakeholders, you can ensure everything runs smoothly. Here’s what you should do:
- Administrators: An office travel manager or executive assistant in charge of booking business travel
- Line managers: The manager of the person going on the business trip
- Executives: Additional managers at the director or C-suite level
- Finance: A representative from the finance department who handles business travel (from the perspective of travel costs)
- HR: A representative from the HR department who handles business travel (from the engagement or compliance perspective)
Of course, you’ll want to only involve the people who are absolutely crucial, to avoid creating undue bureaucracy or delays. The important thing is to decide which “approvers” do need to be consulted for pre-trip approval of business travel, and make sure they’re in the loop all the way through the approval process.
Here are some factors to take into account when writing your company travel policy:
- Who’s in charge of booking business travel? Employees, managers, an administrative assistant?
- Do travelers need to fill out a request form?
- What "approvers" need to be consulted for corporate travel approval?
- How does spending work when on a business trip? Who sets and controls the budget?
- How much advance notice is needed to approve a business trip?
- What happens if there’s a last-minute business travel request?
- Are only certain types of hotels, flights, etc. approved for travel booking? For example, can a traveler book a three-star or four-star hotel?
- Is there a certain cabin class allowed for flights (first, business, economy?)
With TravelPerk, you can
integrate your travel policydirectly with the platform. This means business travelers can easily book their own trips while avoiding non-compliance with your company travel policy. If you need business travelers to send their trips to a manager before booking, you can set up that
automated approval processin TravelPerk, too.