How (And Where) Business Travelers Stay Productive On The Road

hotel bedAre you productive when traveling for work? The easy answer is that it depends on how much you travel. Frequent business travelers know how to maximize productivity while on the road, and those who are able to quickly acclimate to new environments may also be good at this trick of “on the go productivity.”

I, personally, am writing from a hotel bed while eating Pringles from the mini bar. That’s all about productivity, no?

Were I in San Diego (74%) and Seattle (69%), I’d be best primed to be “work-life” productive on a U.S. overnight business trip, a new survey from Cambria Suites found. I’d also do well in Boston, Chicago, Orlando, San Francisco, Denver, New York, Phoenix or San Antonio.

The survey showed that nearly all travelers state that work-life balance is an important goal for business travel. Seventy-one percent of respondents say the key to achieving work-life balance is focusing on “work-life productivity” while traveling, which means living their entire life more productively and putting equal focus on work and personal needs.

As such, the study explored how travelers stay productive on the road and what tools best help (or hinder) their experiences.Employer Expectations Grow Even As Travel Budgets Shrink

On the heels of reports that U.S. business travel continues to grow, so do the expectations of employers. The survey shows that road warriors feel employers are demanding greater outcomes and higher efficiencies from each and every business trip.

Almost a quarter (23%) of business travelers say that they are staying less frequently at hotels that are full service or luxury class, and more than one out of five (21%) say they are facing greater scrutiny over outcomes from their business trips.

Technology Critical to Balance Top Personal Challenges on the Road

The Cambria Suites survey found that spending time with loved ones (62%) and missing important events and milestones in their personal lives (42%) are two of the top five challenges cited by business travelers while on the road. Others include: eating healthy and on a regular schedule (68%), getting proper sleep (62%), and exercising regularly (60%). Caring for pets at home (24%) is also a concern for some business travelers.

According to the survey, technology is a top tool for business travelers to balance personal and professional needs; nearly two-thirds (66%) of business travelers cite technology as critical in achieving greater overall work-life productivity. While technology has made business travel more efficient and productive for nearly eight of 10 travelers (78%), it is equally significant in helping them stay connected with loved ones on business trips (81%).

Right Hotel has More Impact on Staying Productive than Flight or Rental Car

The survey also revealed the importance hotels play in achieving balance and productivity when traveling. More than half of road warriors (56%) say that the hotel component has a greater impact on their ability to work productively than other trip components, such as their flight or rental car. Comfortable beds and bedding (65%), closely followed by free Wi-Fi (62%) are cited as most important when it comes to hotel services and amenities. Friendly, helpful staff (39%), free parking (30%) and a spacious, well-appointed hotel guestroom (26%) complete the top five must-have hotel services for business travelers.

More Women Than Men Use Technology to Stay In Touch with Loved Ones

The survey found women value and use technology more than men to stay connected with their personal lives on business trips. Women are more likely (plus 13% points) than men to say that social media in particular has enhanced their business travel experience by keeping them in touch with their personal and professional networks (42% compared with 29%). Eight of 10 female business travelers state that technology is just as important in their business and personal life to enhance their overall productivity, compared to seven of 10 men. The survey also revealed that achieving work-life balance is more important to female road warriors, with 96 percent of women saying work-life balance is an important goal compared with 82 percent of men.

How do you stay productive and balanced while on the road?