Why Travel Is The Key To Happy Employees
DEC 4, 2016 @ 12:52 PM
William Arruda, Contributor
As a public speaker, I travel every week. It’s a requirement of the job; clients never send 500 people to you. So as someone who reaches executive platinum status with American Airlines before Summer every year, I don’t think of travel when I think of fun. But according to a recent FlexJobs survey, I am the exception to the rule.
According to their survey, travel is one of the key reasons millennials work. 70% of millennials identified travel as their primary reason to work. The only thing that ranked higher was paying for basic necessities. The study also revealed that 15% of millennials identified themselves as digital nomads. Here are a few other examples of the “don’t fence me in” mentality revealed in the FlexJobs report:
• While millennials tend to be associated with freelance work more than other generations, only 42% of millennials were open to freelancing as a flexible work arrangement. 47% of gen X and 44% of boomers expressed interest in freelancing.
• 34% of millennials have actually left a job because it did not have work flexibility.
• Work schedule is a more important factor to millennials when considering a job prospect (65%), compared to 57% of gen X and 62% of boomers.
And it’s not just millennials who seek flexibility and enjoy travel . When I deliver personal branding programs across the country and around the world, participants work on an exercise related to uncovering their passions. The number one passion that is identified in virtually every group is travel. In fact, it is one of the only passions that comes up in virtually every workshop I deliver regardless of the participants’ location, industry, job function or seniority.
So if travel is so important to workers of all generations – it impacts what job they select, and it makes them happier, how can travel be more integrated into your company’s culture?
Here are some ways companies can tap into this seemingly universal desire:
• Let employees work from anywhere
• Locate office facilities near the airport making it easier for employees to jet off on Friday afternoon and return on Monday morning
• Encourage taking time off (according to Project: Time Off, more than half of American workers left vacation time unused in 2015)
• Adopt a limitless vacation policy (LinkedIn is just one of many employers currently offering this extremely attractive benefit)
• Start a travel club at work where employees can share travel experiences and advice
• Allow business trips to have buffers on one or both ends so employees can add some fun to work-related travel
• Reserve space on your intranet for travel-related conversations
• Use vacations and free airline tickets as incentives. Even small businesses can get in on the act because airlines have reward programs for smaller organizations, providing points that employees can use for upgrades and free trips.
• Adopt a plan that lets employees keep the frequent flyer miles they earn for business-related travel. Believe it or not, some companies don’t allow this.
• Encourage more team off-sites in desirable locations and bring back all-team meetings, which have been replaced by video teleconferences
• Choose a company credit card that maximizes employee travel opportunities – like bonus points that can be used on airlines and at hotels
• Encourage sharing stories about travel-related experiences in team meetings
• Survey your people to understand their preferred travel destinations so you can align event venues with your people’s preferences
William Arruda is the cofounder of CareerBlast and author of 13 Things All Successful Professionals Do To Fuel Their Careers.