December 01, 1998
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts December 1998 Current Issue
December 1998
Short Cuts:

What do frequent business travelers have in common? Among many things, they work long hours on the road, get less sleep than at home and spend a lot of precious (and frustrating) time waiting in lines.

The American Express 1998 Road Warrior Technology Study, an online poll of 546 business travelers who take at least 10 overnight trips a year, found that a typical road warrior’s day involves nearly 11 hours of work. (They work pretty hard at home, too, logging an average of 9.5 hours at the office.)

More work doesn’t necessarily mean less play it means less sleep. Travelers surveyed get an average of six hours of sleep per day on the road; they try to catch up on the plane. Tired as they may be, respondents squeeze in some downtime an average of 2.73 hours of it per trip for entertainment, shopping, sporting activities and tours.

Perhaps most disturbing is the time spent doing nothing at all. The typical business traveler whiles away more than an hour just getting from home to the hotel room on the average business trip. Where does the time go?

  • Making reservations: 11.6 minutes
  • Baggage check: 9.2 minutes
  • Gate check: 11.6 minutes
  • Baggage claim: 11.2 minutes
  • Rental car counter: 10.7 minutes
  • Taxi/shuttle stand: 8.3 minutes
  • Hotel check-in: 8.3 minutes
  • Technology helps travelers stay productive, despite idle waiting time. Ninety-six percent believe technology has improved business travel. The greatest benefits cited: improved access to office and clients (27 percent), time-savings through instant communications (18 percent) and virtual office capabilities through laptops (17 percent).

    But Ma Bell doesn’t have to worry yet. The traditional phone call (87 percent) and voice mail (61 percent) are still road warriors’ top communication tools. More than half (57 percent) also rely heavily on e-mail.


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