How exactly is the online service takeover shaping corporate America's travel and expense trends?
The following are five hidden trends that will give you new insight on how online services are affecting the corporate travel world.
1: Employees aren’t using taxi services
One of the most prominent historical market interruptions occurred when rideshare applications like Uber and Lyft were introduced as a replacement for taxis. However, this interruption not only grabbed the attention of consumers but of business travelers as well.
Uber and Lyft dominate 93% of rides for business travelers. Therefore, your employees are spending more on rideshare applications than ever before.
How does this benefit your business?
Uber and Lyft both have an option for your employees to switch to a “Business Account.” This tracks pick-up and drop-off locations, date and time of trips, selected vehicle options, trip duration, and more. This feature means that you can separate your employee’s business trips from personal trips.
2: Employees have more freedom than ever
Long before we had booking.com, employers gave their employees a curated list of hotels, car rentals, and sightseeing options. Recommendations depended on which companies the employer had developed a relationship with.
Today, employees are given the freedom to choose which hotel they’d like to stay in, which car rental they’d like to drive, and which sights they want to see, all within the expense limit, of course.
So how does this positively affect your company?
Online services like Booking.com are making it possible for your employees to choose from a vast array of options. This means that because your employees have the freedom to make their preferred choices, employee satisfaction and productivity are likely to increase.
3: Employees are opting for alternative housing options
Not only are alternative housing options for businesses growing at two times the rate of traditional options (hotels, motels, etc.), but also more than half of these bookings are for two or more guests. This means employers are opting to have their employees stay together in a shared apartment or room through companies like Airbnb. In fact, over 250,000 companies used Airbnb for business in 2017.
This opens collaborative and productive opportunities for your employees. It allows them to be closer to the location they are conducting their business in some cases. Plus, booking one apartment or home versus two individual hotel rooms brings down your travel expenses.
4: Employees are dining in
Online platforms like Uber Eats and Just Eat are taking over dine-out options for employees. They’re choosing the convenience of delivery over the luxury of eating out at a restaurant.
How does this save your company money?
Not only do food delivery apps make it easy for your employee to track and report their meal costs, so you don’t have to track numerous receipts. It also gives them more food options without having to use a rideshare application to get to another location.
5: Employees are spending more at Starbucks
When employees do decide to eat out, they’re opting to have their lunches at Starbucks. Again, this is likely due to the convenience factor of being able to have a cup of coffee and lunch at the same time.
What does this mean for you?
Although Starbucks is expensive amongst most coffeeshop choices, because employees are buying their lunches there too, you are also likely to save on costly lunches at restaurants. In fact, the average business expense for a meal at Starbucks is approximately $13, including the coffee.
So as more and more new technology hits the market, companies can now easily track employee spending with travel and expense management applications that are available online to get a better idea of where money is spent and why. Not only is employee satisfaction high due to expense reimbursements being paid in a timely manner but less time is spent tracking them down back at the home office.