Business travel is expected to be extensively monitored as the COVID-19 pandemic presents new challenges.

Verdict has conducted a poll to assess changes made with regard to business travel by companies in response to the COVID-19 pandemic over the next 12 months.

Analysis of the poll results shows that companies aim to decrease business travel over the next 12 months.

A majority 47% of the respondents voted that they will decrease business travel over the next 12 months, while 21% of the respondents felt that business travel will increase.

Further, 20% of the respondents noted that they were not aware of how business travel will change over the next 12 months in their company. A minority 12% of the respondents expressed that business travel will remain unchanged within their company.

Business travel poll

The analysis is based on 410 responses received from readers of Verdict community network between 21 August and 07 September.

Business travel to undergo major shift amid COVID-19 pandemic

Business travel has always been an essential part of corporate life. The COVID-19 pandemic, however, has been forcing companies to replace in-person meetings with Zoom calls and virtual meetings.

Although certain companies have resumed essential business travel, the future for the industry remains bleak as historically it has been more volatile. Corporate bookings declined by 97% in July compared to the same period last year, according to Coupa Software, a business spending management firm.

The current experience is expected to lead to the creation of new corporate policies related to business travel. Each trip may need to be assessed for determining its necessity and require approval at the director level at the company, according to Amadeus IT Group.

Companies may assess each trip on a case-by-case basis based on public information from agencies such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) to make travel decisions. Further, each trip may need to undergo a risk management process based on the destination, need for travel, and COVID-19 infection rate at the destination, according to Employment Conditions Abroad (ECA) International, a consulting, software and training services provider based in the UK.