Positioning business travel as the new center of corporate culture

Skift grip

It’s a smart way to think about this new hybrid world of work: to approach travel less as a transactional function than as a strategy for developing corporate culture. Worth reading.

Rafat Ali

Even though business travel is resuming much faster than expected, one of the big questions facing everyone is what role do they play in a distributed world of work, where the future of work is heading? .

One thing is certain: employees and teams within companies who have not met for two years are now traveling in droves to meet and this is where much of the current business travel demand lies. . Although it’s still too early to tell, this new travel demand could offset lost business travel due to the adoption of new meeting technologies, such as Zoom and others.

To address and contextualize this new mixed world of work, business travel and meetings, American Express Global Business Travel has published a white paper titled “Why Business Travel Is Central to the New Corporate Culture “. This caught my attention because while loaded with jargon, it hits the nail on the head what a lot of companies – including us at Skift as a now permanently remote company – are navigating through.

The premise: how and where we work are changing and traveling to meet everyone and outside is now intrinsically linked to this evolution, and therefore the keystone of creating and maintaining corporate culture. Centering travel within organizations is the way to go to “reframe business travel from a transactional mechanism to a transformational tool,” as the document puts it. Travel teams should take an active, cross-departmental approach, working with HR, data, finance, DE&I and sustainability.

This chart below illustrates this well, although the renaming of the Travel Manager to the newly invented designation of “Chief Journey Officer” is too much of a buzzword for me.

As for creating culture in a hybrid or remote enterprise, the paper suggests making enterprise-wide mobility a way forward. As travel becomes a more meaningful touchpoint for in-person collaboration and connecting people to corporate culture, its role expands to include:

  • How new recruits and future employees experience the corporate culture.
  • How entire teams or companies align, bond and collaborate in retreats, off-site or in plenary meetings.
  • How companies exercise thought leadership at events and conferences.
  • How employees maintain and build relationships with customers.
  • How companies present their priorities and values ​​to all internal and external audiences.

Read to think about the possibilities of moving within companies, even if it will not play out as radically for everyone.