Business travel has many moving pieces, which leads many companies—in hopes of saving on time, money, resources or headaches—to let employees manage it themselves.
But does this really make sense?
After all, you probably don’t let employees buy whatever office furniture strikes their fancy on the company dime. And you almost certainly don’t let employees manage their own benefits or payroll.
So why do so many companies allow employees to manage their own travel?
Let’s take a look at how unmanaged business travel might be costing your company.
External travel management can also be expensive, so allowing employees to simply book travel ad-hoc can appear to be more cost-effective as well.
But is it?
Either way, a lack of enforced policies typically creates a number of problems:
- higher travel costs for your company
- non-compliance with legal travel regulations
- lack of data
- difficult or non-existent approval processes, resulting in a lack of oversight or knowledge about where your travel budget is going
- frustrated employees, who may unintentionally overspend due to unclear or non-existent policies
Fragmented booking processes also mean that everything happens manually, creating disorganized and ineffective processes that waste time, resources and company spend. It also prevents you from getting consolidated travel data for valuable insights into company trends, travel spend and allocation.
When your employees are traveling for business, you have a responsibility to them—to ensure they can travel safely, adjust travel plans as needed and provide support for any unforeseen circumstances or changes.
If the COVID-19 pandemic showed us anything, it’s that circumstances can change rapidly, especially with international travel. Unmanaged travel processes open your company up to much more risk, both financially and in terms of safety and security.
Business travel management is often avoided because companies think:
- it’s too expensive
- they’re not big enough to warrant a managed travel program
- they’ll encounter too much employee resistance
- it will be more difficult than asking employees to self-book
On the contrary, corporate travel management can actually result in cost-savings through exclusive business discounts, negotiated rates, VAT recovery, better ability to track and manage travel spend,ing and more.
Travel technology also supports process automation, allowing you to more easily enforce
corporate travel policies, automate approvals, manage expense reporting and monitor employee travel.
For example, TravelPerk uses the combined buying power of its customer base to give you access to exclusive negotiated rates and
help you reclaim VAT on your business travel.
You can also add FlexiPerk to your bookings and get 80% of your travel costs refunded, no questions asked. In addition, we offer a
full-service Duty of Care solutionthat keeps you and your travelers fully informed through pre-trip risk alerts and trip reporting to stay up-to-date on any risks or safety concerns in your employees’ trip destinations. And, with 24/7 customer service and a traveler tracker that allows you to see where your employees are in real-time you can rest easy knowing that you can act fast for any changes.
Take a look at some of the benefits and drawbacks of each side-by-side:
With TravelPerk, you get an all-in-one travel booking and expense management platform that allows you to:
- only pay when you travel, and only pay for what you use
- negotiated rates that allow you to save up to 30% on business travel costs
- comprehensive, user-friendly platform that allows you to book and manage all travel-related reservations in one place
- consolidated invoices and automated processes to save time
- 24/7, 7-star customer support and Emergency Assistance