Confession of an angry employee: what irritates travellers on business trips
Inconvenient time of departure and wrong logistics irritate business travelers most of all. Unfamiliar cuisine gets on the nerves. Experts of the Russian Association of Business Travel (ABT-ACTE Russia) have collected feedback from those who have to travel a lot on business, listened to their complaints about business trip planning and classified the data received.
Badly planned logistics is what annoys business travellers most of all. It definitely includes night flights (especially when they can be avoided), not connected flights, departures from inconvenient airports or departures from an unknown station. "My train to St. Petersburg arrived at Moskovsky railway station. And the return train left from Vitebsky railway station for some unknown reason, and nobody told me about it", one of those questioned by the Association complains.
Negative emotions are also caused by the need to make multiple moves during the business trip. Especially when the destination is in another climatic zone and there is a need to carry a lot of luggage with you.
In general, the luggage problem arises rather often. Tickets "without luggage" cause disturbance, especially when such a fare wasn't discussed beforehand. Or the need to carry something bulky and heavy: samples of goods, printed materials, souvenirs. The issue of transportation of goods should be settled separately, without shifting this task to the shoulders of an employee, sometimes quite delicate ones.
Travellers who are focused on the main task of their business trip, find it very annoying when their event schedule is disrupted, which results in extra bustle. Employees, who as the result don't have enough time to fulfill their operating tasks, also become indignant.
There is a number of consistent complaints about catering. Employees who have to spend a long time away from home start complaining about the lack of possibility to eat something they are used to. "I am not picky about food, but after the host party in China was trying to surprise me with the fancies of local cuisine for 21 days in a row, nothing made me happy except for the usual food", purchase manager of a large company shares his impressions. There were situations, when professors of medicine who went to another city to attend a congress had only a couple of rolls from a student canteen for the whole day. And it is not a metaphor. There are the opposite situations, when you return from a business trip with extra kilos and a hard feeling that you did not have time not only to try, but even to see enough of everything you could eat. The truth is primitive, but it is good to know when enough is enough.
A stay in an unfamiliar language environment and inconveniences caused by the time difference cause unnecessary stress. When you use several devices, you forget on which you them you have changed time and on which you have not. And you seldom manage to notice whether the clock on phone has changed automatically. At the same time, you have to observe both the local time in order not to break the schedule, and your home time to keep in touch with colleagues. Complains about accommodation were less serious that those about transport. The main thing is the hotel`s convenient location relative to the final destination. But here everyone has his own reason for indignation. Some are annoyed when their time of stay at the hotel doesn't correspond to the time of their arrival and the departure. After a working day all you would like is to have a shower and to lie down, and not to wait for your flight for six hours sitting either in the lobby, or right in the airport. Early check-in and late check-out are the business traveller`s best friends. Others are unpleasantly surprised with the accommodation of two persons in one room. It can be justified when team building or a corporate event is held in a friendly trip style, but in all the other cases it obviously doesn't encourage a working attitude. There are complaints about wake-up calls, if they are not made exactly at the appointed time. Key cards without a room number irritate you as well. When it is your fifth hotel in a week, there is no chance to remember a three-digit number of the room you live in. And here you are standing again at the reception looking like a three-year-old who has forgotten how to put on his tights, passing a blank piece of plastic to the desk man and guiltily asking to remind you the sacred number.
"Infrastructure becomes more convenient and easier to understand, planes and hotels more comfortable, and new technologies help us to plan the schedule. Still, frequent business trips bring you not only the pleasure of new experience, but also tiresome work. When you plan a trip, it is important to remember that the employee will be able to work efficiently only when his basic needs for comfort are satisfied. A travel manager`s expertise consists in finding the right balance between the travel policy of a company and the employee`s human needs", is the opinion of Irina Mikhalkova, executive director of the Russian Association of Business Travel.
ABT-ACTE Russia (the Russian Association of Business Travel) is the largest international organization in the field of business travel on the territory of Russia and the CIS.