November 01, 2016

Improving their work/life balance is modern business travelers' top priority, according to a new study published last week by the Association of Corporate Travel Executives (ACTE).

Based on a survey of 255 business travel managers, ACTE's Meet the Modern Business Traveler study found that nearly half of travel managers (46 percent) have seen an increase this year in the number of business travelers inquiring about improved work/life balance.

Because business trips can disrupt their wellness efforts -- including healthy eating, exercise and sleep -- 23 percent of business travelers are asking for time as compensation for time spent traveling, according to the findings.

"Modern business travelers are less frenetic and more deliberate. They travel for two reasons: to meet their corporate objectives and to support their life's objectives. For a growing number of them, the first is meaningless if it doesn't contribute to the second," said ACTE executive director Greeley Koch.

Work/life balance isn't business travelers' only priority, however: Convenience and autonomy also are important, according to ACTE, which said 79 percent of travel managers have seen an increase in the use of app-based ground-transportation options, while approximately half (48 percent) have seen an increase in the use of ridesharing options.

"The modern business traveler is more independent than his or her predecessors and willing to share more through social media," ACTE reported, adding that more travel managers are replacing traditional performance metrics with "traveler-centric key performance indicators that are more closely related to the return on the business travel investment and a better gauge of traveler performance."

"ACTE has been pioneering traveler centricity as a means to meet work/life balance expectations and corporate objectives, without compromising savings," the organization concluded.