A new Korn Ferry (NYSE: KFY) survey shows that while the majority of professionals are looking forward to travelling for work when it is once again allowed, many still have concerns about returning to the road.
More than three-quarters (76 percent) say they miss travelling for work, with 41 percent saying they miss it very much. The top reason they miss travelling is face-to-face interactions with clients and colleagues (68 percent).
Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) say they are more effective at their jobs when they are allowed to travel, and 93 percent say in-person meetings with clients and colleagues create better long-term working relationships.
However, there is still some hesitation about returning to pre-pandemic routines. Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) say they are afraid to return to travel due to health concerns, even when they are cleared to do so. Two-thirds (66 percent) say companies should mandate vaccines for employees who resume travel.
“For many professionals, business travel has been an integral part of how they form strong ties with colleagues and clients, and how they get the job done,” said Sarah Jensen Clayton, Korn Ferry Senior Client Partner and leader of the firm’s North American Culture and Change capability. “As we plan for the post-pandemic future, business leaders will need to balance the priority of protecting employee safety with the benefits of in-person meetings to ensure teams are both effective and healthy.”
The survey shows that there are downsides to work travel that will linger post-pandemic.
More than half (59 percent) say the largest downside is being away from family, while 26 percent say it’s less relevant in an increasingly virtual work environment. The majority (65 percent) say they are healthier when they don’t travel for work because they eat better, exercise more regularly and sleep better at home.
About the Korn Ferry survey:
808 professionals took the survey in mid-March 2021.
Have you missed traveling for work?
Yes, very much 41 percent
Yes a little bit 35 percent
Not too much 14 percent
Not at all 10 percent
If you miss work travel, what’s the top reason?
Face-to-face interaction with clients/colleagues 68 percent
Seeing new environments 22 percent
Learning from those around me 10 percent
What is the top drawback of work travel?
Being away from family 59 percent
In a virtual world it’s less relevant 26 percent
Being unhealthy (greasy food, no exercise) 15 percent
To what extent would you agree that in-person meetings with clients and colleagues creates better long-term working relationships?
To a great extent 57 percent
To some extent 36 percent
It has no impact 7 percent
Are you afraid to travel for work once you are cleared to do so due to health concerns?
Yes 24 percent
No 76 percent
Should your company mandate vaccinations for workers who travel for work?
Yes 66 percent
No 34 percent
Are you more effective at your job with or without work travel?
With work travel 65 percent
Without work travel 35 percent
Do you feel like you are healthier without work travel (regular sleep, exercise, healthier eating)
Yes 65 percent
No 35 percent
About Korn Ferry
Korn Ferry is a global organizational consulting firm. We work with our clients to design optimal organization structures, roles, and responsibilities. We help them hire the right people and advise them on how to reward and motivate their workforce while developing professionals as they navigate and advance their careers.