Business travel to play a central role in the future of work

The whitepaper explores culture-driven paradigm shifts moving business travel from transactional to transformational

American Express Global Business Travel (Amex GBT) and cultural analysis firm CULTIQUE, have teamed up to pen a whitepaper detailing why travel is essential for cultivating winning cultures and achieving business goals in the post-pandemic era.

In Business Travel is the Center of the New Company Culture, Amex GBT and CULTIQUE help businesses decipher change, refocus business goals and identify opportunities to reinvigorate a fragmented company culture through travel.

The whitepaper explores culture-driven paradigm shifts moving business travel from transactional to transformational

The whitepaper posits that corporate leaders should adopt a Chief Journey Officer mindset as we enter a new era of work and travel. This will help organisations seize opportunities arising from the evolution of work with a travel programme that aligns with company culture. With their executive oversight and leadership, the Chief Journey Officer can reframe how the company views travel: no longer as a commodity but instead as an investment in long-term prosperity and culture.

David Reimer, executive vice president, global clients and general manager, Amex GBT, said: “Companies are working to solve the challenge of building company culture and tackling the feeling of isolation within their dispersed workforces. Culture isn’t built in isolation. It’s driven by the ability for teams to interact and get connected to an organisation’s purpose and vision. By elevating the role of travel in strategy and decision-making, and revisiting travel policies designed to support pre-pandemic operating models, organisations can use travel as a catalyst for progress.”

Sarah Unger, partner and co-founder, CULTIQUE, said: “Thinking like a Chief Journey Officer underscores the integral role travel should play in a distributed workforce. It’s a powerful way to differentiate. To better relate to new employee desires and societal expectations, companies need to shift their business travel mindset from automated to intentional.”

The whitepaper also explores how getting clear on how, where and why a company is investing in travel can help showcase its values and bring it closer to its employees and customers. For example, industry leaders are already assessing how they can amplify their sustainability, diversity, equity and inclusion goals through their travel programme, helping achieve strategic objectives and empowering employees to make travel choices that align with their own values.

Mark Cuschieri, global head of travel, UBS, said: “These days, we are more conscious about what we do and how we do it. It’s our responsibility to provide the right information at the right time in order to make more informed choices – choices that are better in terms of sustainability will be key. We are already seeing that sustainability will be an essential component of our programme. It will drive a change in mindset as to the purpose and reasons for why we need to travel. The ROI conversation about travel will be different. We need to work out how culture will figure in the future ROI conversation.”

Building on the Chief Journey Officer mentality, Business Travel is the Center of the New Company Culture also provides insight into how travel can be a tool for businesses to respond to essential workplace needs across five key spaces: company culture, worker wellbeing, professional development, employee empowerment and corporate values. The whitepaper includes actionable takeaways to guide corporate decision-makers and travel managers in repositioning their organisation’s approach to travel, meetings and mobility.

The full whitepaper can be found here.

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