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Poll: Business travel cut-backs may be harming sales

February 20, 2011

Poll: Business travel cut-backs may be harming sales
By Career Builders

CHICAGO, February 16, 2011 – As companies carefully watched their budgets in 2010, many were reluctant to send their employees on planes, trains and automobiles. A new CareerBuilder survey reports that three-in-ten (30 percent) companies said they cut back on business travel last year, and of those companies, more than one-third (37 percent) said it negatively affected their business. The nationwide survey was conducted among more than 2,400 U.S. employers and more than 3,900 U.S. workers between November 15 and December 2, 2010.

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 they will 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.

The majority of workers (68 percent) surveyed said they never travel for business, while 6 percent said they travel every other week or more. Five percent said they travel every other month. In addition, 19 percent of those who travel for business said the amount they travel negatively affects their home life.

When asked what most unusual experience they’ve had on a business trip, respondents reported the following:

Woman next to me asked me for a drink from my water bottle.

Our plane was stormed by the Columbian military who thought there was a drug lord on board.

A client mooned the plane.

A naked guy tried getting in my cab in Indonesia.

A drunken passenger next to me insisted my headphones were a bomb.

U.S. marshals arrested a passenger when the plane landed.

A guy next to me had a carry-on bag filled with candy, which he kept offering me over and over and over again.

A woman gave birth on the flight.

After waking up, I accidentally walked into the hotel’s hallway instead of the restroom in my underwear. Got locked out and could be viewed by the elevator which was all glass windows.

Manager punched a co-worker on the plane.

Fell asleep in the airplane restroom.
Survey Methodology This survey was conducted online within the U.S. by Harris Interactive© on behalf of CareerBuilder.com among 2,482 U.S. employers and 3,910 U.S. employees (employed full-time; not self-employed; non-government) ages 18 and over between November 15 and December 2, 2010 (percentages for some questions are based on a subset, based on their responses to certain questions). With pure probability samples of 2,482 and 3,910 one could say with a 95 percent probability that the overall results have a sampling error of +/- 1.97 and +/- 1.57 percentage points, respectively. Sampling error for data from sub-samples is higher and varies. About CareerBuilder® CareerBuilder is the global leader in human capital solutions, helping companies target and attract their most important asset – their people. Its online career site, CareerBuilder.com®, is the largest in the United States with more than 23 million unique visitors, 1 million jobs and 32 million resumes. CareerBuilder works with the world’s top employers, providing resources for everything from employment branding and data analysis. More than 9,000 websites, including 140 newspapers and broadband portals such as MSN and AOL, feature CareerBuilder’s proprietary job search technology on their career sites. Owned by Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Tribune Company, The McClatchy Company (NYSE:MNI) and Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT), CareerBuilder and its subsidiaries operate in the United States, Europe, Canada and Asia. For more information, visit www.careerbuilder.com.

  
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