Survey: Most companies lack procurement policies for co-working space

Most travel buyers expect hybrid business scenarios to be the dominant setup next year, but most also said their companies don’t yet have to manage co-working spaces, according to a survey of 187 travel managers conducted by Global Business. Travel Association and HRS.

Two-thirds of respondents – 74 percent of them in the US and Canada and the rest in Europe – said mixed working groups will continue even when their offices are fully open. Less than 10 percent said they expect all employees to return to the office full time.

Many companies are planning long-range hybrid setups. About 40 percent of survey respondents said their companies had cut back on office space, and nearly an equal percentage said their companies were hiring more remote workers than they did before the Covid-19 pandemic.

However, the survey also indicated that companies face challenges in managing these new facilities. Less than 20 percent said their company fully manages the purchase of co-working spaces, and 44 percent said they did not know their company’s purchasing procedures. More than 70 percent said they wanted data from co-working spaces integrated with hotel and meeting reservations and that they would like co-working spaces to be bookable from the same technology as hotels.

“The intersection of employee workplace trends and travel management is very hectic these days,” Tobias Ragg, CEO of HRS, said in a statement. “How quickly can we examine the best solution for your workforce while maximizing your operating budgets? This is the issue we see most frequently in company engagements this year.”

At the same time, travel managers report that their travel-related work is becoming more complex, according to the survey. More than half said business trips are returning more quickly than they expected at the start of the year, and 77 percent said they spend more time troubleshooting travellers’ problems. More than half also said they spend more time analyzing data than before the pandemic.

“Travel management teams now have a broader set of issues to address beyond negotiating supplier deals,” GBTA CEO Susan Neufang said in a statement. “Cluster C is likely to promote digitization of more processes, implementation of sustainability initiatives, and steps to enhance satisfaction and security. Leaders adjust and take steps to manage programs accordingly.”

Meanwhile, travel managers are also seeing a positive side in the new settings. Nearly 80 percent of respondents said remote working policies raise morale, and 72 percent said they help recruit talent.

The survey was conducted June 15-29, and included both GBTA members and non-members, according to the organization.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.