There’s a lot of talk these days about work/life balance and increasing efficiency. As a company, you care about your employees, but also about your bottom line. So, how do you generate revenue and keep your employees happy at the same time?
Job seekers are now being urged to look at a prospective employer’s travel policy before accepting a job offer, and businesses are taking notice. New research from ACTE Global and American Express Global Business Travel has shown that job seekers expect their ideal employer’s travel program to be flexible and prioritize quality of life.
So, what is your company doing to enhance its travel program? And how expensive are these adjustments? Do services that increase productivity and save time truly affect the bottom line, or are they just additional costs?
What travel perks do businesses offer employees?
While some company’s travel departments focus on a rigorous RFP process to control costs, others look into travel perks such as priority status with airlines and hotels to create a more comfortable travel experience for their employees. Realistically, higher airline status means better seat choices, priority when flying standby and a more streamlined and pleasant travel experience for the employee.
Some companies are testing services that offer cash back incentives for purchasing less expensive plane tickets and hotel rooms. Other companies offer programs with discounted rates at certain restaurants that the employee can use even when they’re off the clock. Some companies allow their employees to keep and spend the points they earn on their company credit card, while others allow first-class travel and updated accommodations, but keep the points.
The reality is, some companies simply can’t afford to offer these travel perks. Travel expenses greatly impact the budget, so many business travelers are forced to fly coach on budget airlines and stay in less than desirable hotels. This means no room service, low per diems and dealing with strict travel policies that don’t even allow bottled water to be purchased from the mini-bar.
These are the little (but BIG) things that can make or break a potential employee’s decision to work for your company.
Is your travel policy costing you employees?
With an elevated focus on travel policies, your company’s travel perks and offerings can affect an employee’s decision to stay at your company, or accept employment with you in the first place. Time spent away from home takes a toll on employees and their families, and work/life balance is important to them. The bottom line, frequent business travelers expect to be taken care of and feel there should be some form of compensation in the way of perks or travel benefits.
What if your company can’t afford to offer upgraded status on airlines or hotels?
What else can you do for your travelers? Consider adding a service like DUFL to your business travel program, which gives employees their time back (3-5 hours per round trip), alleviates the top stressors of travel, and makes employees feel valued.
DUFL is a travel service that launders, stores, packs and ships your travel wardrobe directly to your hotel. It eliminates the need for travelers to pack, do laundry, pick up dry cleaning, unpack or lug their suitcase with them through the airport, to client meetings, conferences, restaurants or ANYWHERE ever again.
How does it work?
DUFL users register online, order a welcome kit to their home, then send all the items they normally travel with (clothes, shoes, business materials, etc.) to the DUFL warehouse. All of these items are laundered, photographed, inventoried and stored in a remote closet in a secure warehouse. The user’s virtual closet then lives on their phone in the DUFL app, and when they are ready to travel, they can pack in about 60 seconds by tapping on the photos of the items they would like to have packed. DUFL packs each bag with everything specified by the user in the app, and ships it to your hotel or destination. Users are notified prior to leaving that their suitcase has arrived at their hotel. When they arrive at their destination, they can hit the ground running without having to worry about that suitcase.
After the trip is finished, the user simply requests a pick up in the DUFL app, affixes the shipping label that is provided in the bag for each trip, and drops the suitcase at the front desk (or wherever FedEx picks up in the hotel). Then, your employee can focus on business the rest of the day, fly home bag-free, and not have to worry about unpacking when they get home. Their suitcase is shipped to the DUFL warehouse where everything is laundered, inventoried and stored in their DUFL closet until they are ready to travel again.
What does it cost?
DUFL costs about as much as the bag fees most companies are already paying for — and if you’re paying for hotel dry cleaning and laundry for your travelers, you’ll be saving money. A DUFL trip is $99 in the US and includes shipping to and from your hotel as well as laundry and dry cleaning, international trips are quoted in the DUFL app.
How does DUFL increase productivity?
Employees save 3-5 hours of time per round trip with DUFL (time normally spent packing, doing laundry, dry cleaning, and unpacking). For a frequent traveler (2 trips per month), that averages out to about 96 hours per year — time that could be spent working. Even if your employees use half that time for personal reasons, you have now given your them 48 hours of their time back, making them happier, less stressed, and feeling more valued. The company has most likely reaped the benefits of getting an additional 48 hours of work from that employee over the course of a year.
If you don’t think lost productivity affects the bottom line, think again. As Uber states in a recent article about how time-saved matters, “Tracking the less-obvious “time saved” metric can translate into hard numbers and even greater savings company-wide.”
By adding a travel service like DUFL to your company’s travel policy you’ll not only save money, but make your employees feel valued and increase productivity. Bottom line — an investment in your employee’s travel experience is an investment in the success of your business.