Business travellers admit work trips are fun and more enjoyable than they may let on, a study has found.
A poll of 1,000 people who travel for work found that despite many complaining work trips aren’t as glamourous as they seem, one in three consider the getaways to be ‘fun’.
And two thirds admit they use their work trips to tick off their own personal travel to-do list, using the expenses-paid trips as way to achieve their own personal goals and travel ambitions.
Almost nine in ten also try to make the most of their downtime on a business trip by getting out and about to explore the city.
Trying local food in a restaurant, café or market is the most likely way to spend spare time on a work trip, followed by visiting a local landmark, gallery or museum.
Others make the most of being somewhere different by going on a guided tour or shopping.
The study, by Crowne Plaza Hotel & Resorts, InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG)’s business travel brand, also found 54 per cent would be willing to earn less money if it meant they could travel more for work.
Mike Greenup, of Crowne Plaza, said: “It’s clear that how people feel about business travel is changing.
“Increasingly people are using their business trips as an opportunity to discover a new place, work on a personal project or simply enjoy some ‘me time’.”
The study found the average work traveller will visit seven different countries a year on their expenses – spending 45 nights away from home.
But despite eight in ten admitting they feel under pressure to continue to work during their free time, 44 per cent try to get out and explore at any opportunity they get.
In fact, 55 per cent admit they seize the day, and are more opportunistic when they travel on business compared to in their usual day to day life.
And seven in ten have even combined a business trip with leisure by adding on a few ‘personal days’ at the beginning or end.
Researchers, from OnePoll.com, also found meeting new people, enjoying good food and drink and feeling important are among the best things about business trips.
And four in ten like to travel as it gets them out of the workplace.
Eight in ten also claimed they see travelling for work as a way to get ahead in their career, with 67 per cent of those saying it’s a good opportunity to get to know the boss better.
But a quarter of those who have travelled with their manager admit the best thing about having them by their side is that they usually pick up the bill.
Mike Greenup, Vice President Brand Management, for Crowne Plaza, said: “Our Crowne Plaza research and guest insights demonstrates that today’s business travellers want to maximise their downtime.
“We know it’s not all about work when you’re on a business trip and our new outlook is that we’re ‘all business, mostly’.
“That’s why Crowne Plaza is working with a series of partners to help guests maximise their downtime, enabling them to put as much energy and ambition into ‘project me’ as they are into work.
“To do this, we’re working with a leading media partner to launch a dedicated ‘Downtime’ channel, as well as Conran + Partners and the School of Life to create an environment that champions the work-life blend.”
Top ten best things about business travel:
1. Benefits of meeting face-to-face and meeting new people
2. Escaping the office
3. Experiencing a new culture
4. Enjoying good food and drink
5. Ticking off a new destination
6. Staying in a nice hotel
7. My company covering the cost of me visiting a new place
8. Gaining air miles or hotel loyalty points
9. The feeling of importance that comes with it
10. Telling people that you’re travelling on business
Top ten worst things about business travel
1. Being away from your family
2. Travelling to a destination but not having time to explore it
3. Sleep pattern getting unsettled
4. Missing out on events back home
5. Eating out a lot impacting healthy eating habits
6. Having to live out of a suitcase
7. Having to spend travelling
8. Working longer hours and harder than you do in the office
9. People’s perception vs reality
10. Being in stuffy meeting spaces
Top ten ways to make the most of your free time on a business trip:
1. Trying local food in a restaurant, café or market
2. Visiting a local landmark, gallery or museum
3. Staying in touch with family and friends back home
4. Staying in your hotel room and watching TV/having a nap etc
5. With my head in my laptop working
6. Doing some shopping
8. Going on a guided tour
9. With my colleagues and clients
10. Relaxing in the hotel spa
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