Kim Albrecht, SAP Concur
"We can and should do better - especially in the age of advanced technology - to support all employees as they travel as part of their jobs."
Quote from Kim Albrecht, CMO of SAP Concur, in an article on PhocusWire this week on how technology can improve traveler safety.
Each Friday, PhocusWire dissects and debates an industry trend or new development covered on our site that week.
When it comes to discussion about how to improve business travel, the conversation inevitably turns to the booking experience – specifically, how to make the process better for employees, who want the same relative ease and flexibility of booking leisure travel.
What employees also want is assurance their companies are looking out for their safety on business trips. But according to SAP Concur’s study, it would appear this is where corporations are currently falling short.
The statistics are somewhat alarming: More than half (58%) of business travelers say they’ve changed their travel arrangements in the past year because they’ve felt unsafe, and the majority of women (77%) say they’ve faced harassment on business trips.
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It gets even more concerning for LGBTQ+ travelers, with 95% - read that again, 95% - saying they’ve hidden their sexual orientation while traveling for business, primarily to protect their safety.
So why isn’t employee safety - particularly for women and LGBTQ travelers, which, as Albrecht notes, face vastly different experiences related to personal safety - a more dominant point in the discussion of improving business travel?
Travel managers have a lot on their plates - that much we know. And priorities shift from organization to organization, whether that’s around platform improvements, content needs, etc.
But most organizations are indeed investing in technology - just read any story from our theme month on the topic for evidence.
That technology investment can and should include a more concentrated focus on traveler safety. As Albrecht notes, safety features should not be considered “added” to any travel program - they should be common and expected.
The technology to accomplish this is getting there. Company buy-in should, as well.
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