Keeping Business Travel Costs in Check

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Skift Take

Business travel is back, but managing costs is more and more challenging. As companies work to balance the need to get to in-person meetings with the objective of reducing overhead, a new report from Uber for Business offers a pathway to success.

The world is open again, and airports are busy with professionals who are back to doing what they do best: hitting the road to forge new partnerships and close new deals. That time on the road is a critical ingredient of success, too. According to research from U.S. Travel, more than 50 percent of large-company CEOs believe that reducing business travel brings negative long-term consequences for their bottom lines.

However, there may be temptation to pull back on those bookings, particularly as high airfare and hotel costs have contributed to persistent inflation. An avalanche of economic uncertainty has been rolling down the mountain of the professional world, leading to sizable layoffs at blue-chip companies and spreading concerns about the potential for a rough ride ahead through a recession. In fact, recent Skift research shows that companies are still well below 2019 levels of business travel.

Cutting back on travel even further than current levels would likely only make the situation worse. If every employee shifts back to Zoom and Teams calls, productivity will prove to be elusive. “Face-to-face experiences inherently have the potential to generate and sustain focus,” Robert Hooijberg, a professor of organizational behavior at IMD Business School in Switzerland, wrote in a Harvard Business Review piece on the importance of in-person connections. “When we are physically together, it is more difficult to give in to all kinds of distractions.”

To continue to help employees and business partners be physically together, travelers must embrace new solutions and approaches to keep costs in check during a trip. A new report from Uber for Business, “Secrets for Saving Money on Business Travel Costs,” offers a recipe for success and explores emerging best practices to help companies keep budgets in check.

As more companies look for ways to streamline business travel expenses management, many are turning to Uber for Business to help.

“Business travel is . . . probably the number-two or number-three expense in our company,” said Mritunjaya Chandra Mohan, senior manager of corporate travel at cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks. “One of the biggest challenges is compliance. So we implemented Uber for Business all across the globe. In the IT industry, without business travel, you cannot survive. Uber for Business brings compliance to your policies, it helps bring you savings, and moreover, you can rely on the product.”

While Uber may be most recognized for its mobility offerings, the report offers a holistic look at just about every corner of the business travel journey. From dealing with elevated expenses for event participation to managing reimbursements for food, travel managers will receive actionable insights to keep team members on the road while controlling costs.

Also in this report:

  • Money-saving tricks and tips for travel managers: Practical tips to save on common work expenses including flights, event tickets, traveler meals, and ground transport
  • Navigating questions about travel policy: Considerations for how to adapt corporate travel policies to better align with budgeting goals
  • Balancing budgets with big-picture priorities: How to save money on corporate travel while still pursuing company objectives for sustainability

This content was created collaboratively by Uber for Business and Skift’s branded content studio, SkiftX.

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