Business traveler in an airport

SAP Research: Employees Prefer Dentist to Business Travel

Business travel can be stressful, as can filing an expense report when you return home – so stressful, in fact, that many employees prefer going to the dentist than submitting and expense report or wrestling with outdated booking tools, according to a new survey by SAP Concur. The study polled 7,850 business travelers in 19 global markets. 

Key findings of the report include:

Travelers often feel unsafe: Fifty-eight percent of respondents said that they have changed their travel arrangements because they felt unsafe, while 52 percent of business travelers cite travel safety as the most valuable training their company can provide. Millennials are the most sensitive to current events; in the last 12 months, 42 percent of business travelers in this age range have reduced travel to a location because of political unrest or health hazards, compared to 36 percent of Gen Xers and 23 percent of Baby Boomers. Nearly as many of the Millennials (40%) selected a flight based on aircraft type, compared to 33 percent of Gen Xers and 21 percent of Boomers. Finally, nearly one-third (31%) of business travelers prioritize their own safety as the most important factor when taking a business trip, yet over half (54%) believe safety is not their companies’ top priority.

Female travelers report high levels of harassment and sexism on the road: More than three in four female business travelers (77%) have experienced some sort of harassment or mistreatment while traveling. Women are asked if they’re traveling with their husband (42 %), ignored by service workers (38%), or catcalled on the job (31%). Additionally, nearly half of young female business travelers face discrimination. Forty-six percent of Gen Z women report having been asked if they were traveling with their husband compared to 31 percent of Boomers. At the same time, 41 percent of female Millennials have been ignored by service workers compared to 23 percent of Boomers.

LGBTQ+ travelers hide aspects of their identity when traveling for work: The vast majority (95%) of LGBTQ+ travelers have hidden their sexual orientation while on a business trip, with the most common reasons being to protect their safety (57%). Eighty-five percent have changed their travel arrangements out of concern for their safety, compared to just 53 percent of their non-LGBTQ+ colleagues.

Business travel isn’t getting easier or less stressful: Sixty-seven percent believe their company lags behind when it comes to adopting the latest technologies to make business travel easier. An overwhelming majority of business travelers (94%) are willing to share personal information to improve their business travel experience – an impressive number in an age of data privacy concerns. Thirty-seven percent of business travelers feel the most stress before a trip when they’re planning, booking and organizing travel. On the flip side, when a traveler returns home, 24 percent of business travelers say they would rather have a cavity filled at the dentist than complete an expense report.

Related Stories

Why Sustainability Will Be More Important to Events Than Ever in 2020

Domestic U.S. Airfares Fell to Record Low in 2018

U.S. Travel Association: Domestic Travel Remains a Bright Spot

Research Shows Opposition to Higher Airport Taxes