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Pic: 123RF/MICHAELJUNG
Pic: 123RF/MICHAELJUNG

For years, corporate travel policy has been cost-centric in nature, quite often to the detriment of a traveller’s wellbeing. As the search for talent becomes more challenging, that’s slowly changing.

The term “traveller friction” has emerged in corporate corridors, with a renewed focus on preventing burnout during business travel and improving staff retention.

The threat of traveller friction makes it necessary for companies to balance their cost-centric travel policies with traveller-focused policies that boost employee wellbeing and job satisfaction to achieve better business performance.

What is traveller friction?

The godfather of traveller friction, tClara CEO Scott Gillespie, coined the phrase five years ago. Gillespie put a name to the impact on morale and productivity that the wear and tear of too many nights away from home, too many time zone crosses and too many early morning wake-up calls to catch flights have on travellers.

“Traveller friction is not new at all, but the attention our industry is paying to it is. The industry is learning more about the true costs of travel. Replacing skilled talent is expensive, which is why traveller friction mitigation is becoming important,” says Gillespie.

Travel management companies (TMCs) such as FCM Travel Solutions can add strategic value to the area of traveller friction.

Your Essential Guide to Modern Travel Risk Management.

The role of TMCs and technology in mitigating traveller friction

Technology plays a key part in helping TMCs manage traveller friction proactively, explains FCM Travel Solutions South Africa general manager Euan McNeil.

“Companies can red-flag travellers who have the potential for burnout due to too much duty travel by leveraging the data their travel technology platform provides. This empowers an employer to make policy changes or intervene before losing a stressed employee,” he says.

“Our platform, FCM Connect, provides traveller tracking, programme reporting and data analytics, which gives management the tools to assess proactively when their staff run the risk of traveller friction. This technology enables the company to track travellers accurately and inform them proactively of any potential disruptions, delays or threats to their safety, helping to mitigate potential sources of friction.”

Take a look at how you can use technology to keep your travellers safe 

In addition to delivering proactive insights to avoid travel friction, a good travel technology platform to which travellers can connect any time, on any device, anywhere in the world, helps mitigate traveller stress.

“Travellers have access to an integrated suite of technology through FCM Connect that assists with many aspects of their journey, including trip approval and online booking,” says McNeill.

“Companies are increasingly understanding that business travel and business performance are intrinsically linked."

The less travel friction experienced by a business traveller before, during and after the trip, the more productive the journey and the greater the return on investment from that trip.

Contact FCM Travel Solutions on 0877 40 5151 for your enterprise corporate travel requirements.

Click here for more information about FCM Travel Solutions.

This article was paid for by FCM Travel Solutions.