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Corporate Travel Management: How to House Employees

We hear a lot of contradictory information about the impacts of corporate travel on employee satisfaction. For example, you may hear the concern that many employees feel put out by travel requirements and would prefer to stay home. Yet, a recent study found that 70% of travel-bound employees prefer their time away from the office.

What are some of the ways that you can increase employee satisfaction when it comes to corporate travel? Which corporate lodging options work best for companies and employees alike?

Every company has a unique corporate travel management program. We’re going to look at different strategies and options you can use when securing corporate lodging.

Read on to find out more about the different types of travel housing to consider for your next corporate trip.

Should You Reimburse Employees for Travel Housing?

One of the easiest ways to increase employee satisfaction regarding travel is to reimburse them for most expenses. In fact, not doing so is considered unusual and borderline unethical. After all, you’re asking your employees to travel for work, not allowing them to travel for pleasure!

Typically, you should reimburse employees for the following travel expenses:

  • transportation (including plane or train tickets, gas, and rental vehicles)
  • lodging
  • a set allowance or stipend for additional costs such as food

Of course, you want to ensure that corporate travel doesn’t put your business in a financial bind, either. Choices you make surrounding corporate travel management and things like corporate lodging will make or break a reasonable travel budget.

Should You Allow Employees to Pick Their Own Travel Housing?

One of the big debates regarding corporate travel is how much of the planning you should leave up to your employees. Naturally, you don’t want to compensate outlandish travel accommodations of your employee’s choosing. However, what if you give them a budget and allow them to choose accordingly?

Letting your employees pick their own travel housing comes with some serious pros and cons.

The upside is that your employees may enjoy the freedom of choosing their own accommodations. Some may even be willing to cover any extra expenses out of pocket in order to upgrade their arrangements. You do want them to feel both safe and comfortable wherever they’re staying.

The downside is that relinquishing control over things like corporate lodging can lead to problems down the line. For example, your employees may choose accommodations that are not convenient for themselves or for clients. You may even worry that certain lodging choices will create too many distractions.

What Types of Travel Housing Are There?

What are the different types of travel housing to choose from? Which accommodations are best suited to a standard business trip? Let’s take a closer look at your options and how you can guarantee employee satisfaction with your lodging selections.

Hotels and Motels

Hotels and motels are standard when it comes to corporate lodging. Motels tend to run on the cheaper side and include fewer amenities. While motels may work for short or low-budget trips, we recommend opting for hotels whenever possible.

Most hotels take care of issues such as grabbing that morning cup of coffee or hitting the gym after a long meeting. We all know what to expect from a hotel and hotel stays are usually more satisfying and relaxing than motel stays.

Independent Vacation Rentals

With companies like Airbnb on the rise, does it make sense to start using independent vacation rentals for corporate lodging? The answer is, “Not often.”

Independent vacation rentals will likely require that your employees are more spread out across a town or city. They may cost more for access to amenities that your employees won’t really need. Plus, it’s a lot more likely to get into costly disputes with an independent vacation rental owner than a hotel manager.

Resorts

On rare occasions, you may find that it makes the most sense to set your employees up in a resort. This may work when you also need a large amount of conference space, when off-resort accommodations are limited, or when you’re looking to impress. Keep in mind that resorts are by far the most expensive corporate lodging option.

Best Approaches to Corporate Travel Management and Corporate Lodging

Ready to improve your corporate travel management game? We’ve compiled our best tips for finding great corporate lodging in your budget that will ensure employee satisfaction.

Select the Housing Yourself

Ultimately, we do think it’s best to select the housing, yourself. While some employees may enjoy the freedom of choosing their own, many will not enjoy the stress of having to find lodging within the allotted budget. You can also cut down on meeting commute times by selecting a location close to any conferences or meetings your employees will attend while away.

Keep Employees in the Same Place

It’s easiest for both your travel planners and your employees to house everyone in the same corporate lodging. Plus, you can often receive discounted rates when booking a block of hotel rooms. As long as everyone has private quarters, your employees should not mind staying in the same location.

Get Extra Savings With Corporate Lodging Planners

The best way to save money and time is to work with a company that can help you secure corporate lodging. Third-party corporate travel management companies can do the research needed to find the best options within your budget. They often have a list of partnering hotels that provide additional discounts to them, saving you even more money than you could on your own.

Keep Your Traveling Employees Satisficed With Great Corporate Lodging 

Corporate travel management can be as thorough or as loose as you prefer. However, we do recommend taking a more involved stance when it comes to selecting corporate lodging. With a third-party company, you can get bigger discounts for some of the top hotels around the world.

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