The Coronavirus impacted every sector this year. One of the hardest-hit industries was travel, planes were grounded, train schedules drastically altered and even the roads were quieter. This did not impact people’s holidays, but also how their working life.
From people’s everyday commutes, like Clapham Junction to Thornton Heath route, to international business trips. A lot of people are wondering what will the future of business travel look like?
When Will it Start Again?
Currently, this question does not have an easy answer. The BBC spoke to Charuta Fadnis, senior vice-president of research at travel analytics firm Phocuswright. Fadnis explained how there were no protocols the world could follow and it hasn’t had to deal with anything like this virus. Major events in history like 9/11 or the financial crisis in 2008 the recovery took a couple of years but didn’t have to factor in people's health or global lockdowns. It's even harder to predict the future of international travel. She said, “This crisis is really new, in terms of the magnitude of the impact.”
A positive to come out of the pandemic is its impact on the environment. This year many companies - albeit maybe accidentally - look like they’re on track to meet their sustainability goals. This is because no international travel could happen and employees were not travelling to the office. There are currently discussions about how will Covid-19 change businesses sustainability in the future. There is a difference of opinion. Some companies want to get back to normal and reach their former level of productivity, while others stress the need to learn from this past year. It is hoped that the levels of sustainability achieved this year could continue going forward.
Work From Home
When business travel can resume, will people want to start travelling for work again? Working from home began as a necessity but over time people began to adjust and even enjoy the new format. 9/10 people in the UK want to continue working from home after the pandemic, in some form or another. This report conducted by Cardiff University and the University of Southampton showed that people were being more productive at home and enjoyed the flexibility it offered them.
The pandemic has drastically altered the traditional working day. At this point in time, it’s impossible to predict what business travel will look like in the near future. Would you start commuting again or would you prefer to work from home?