Employees will still travel in the aftermath of 9/11, although for many, the incentive to do so is gone. So say two recent surveys, one of human resources managers conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (www.shrm.org) and another of corporate travel managers conducted by the National Business Travel Association (www.nbta.org).
Fifty-two percent of SHRM study respondents reported that employees would not consider travel as glamorous after the attacks. Thirty-seven percent predicted that business travel would be curtailed, and 20 percent said business travel will most likely be made optional in their companies.
When asked about the most significant changes to their workplaces, the change in the perception of travel was preceded only by “people being more caring to each other” (66 percent) and “an increase in security” (56 percent).
In an online focus group survey of 60 corporate travel managers, 58 percent said their companies will reduce travel, while 19 percent said the level of travel would remain the same. Of those reducing travel, 65 percent were doing so immediately. In an early October follow-up survey of travel managers at 200 corporations, 70 percent said they anticipate a recovery in business travel within three to six months; 12 percent anticipated recovery in nine months, and 18 percent said it would take 10 months or longer.
The survey also asked corporate travel managers what the basis would be for lifting travel restrictions put in place in response to the attacks. Forty-six percent said increased security would be the deciding factor, while 30 percent said the economic condition of their individual company would be the most important factor.
“Ensuring passenger safety is the number one priority for getting companies back on the road,” said Marianne McInerney, NBTA executive director.
The SHRM survey was conducted with eePulse and based on the responses of 5,673 HR managers. The NBTA surveys included 60 and 200 respondents, respectively.