In recent years, business travel has undergone many positive changes. New trends for 2020 point to making this type of travel more convenient and less of a burden on both employers and employees alike.

One recent trend is that corporate travel policies have become more flexible. Generation Z and Millennials now make up the majority of employees traveling for business across all industries. This group of travelers expects to have the flexibility they want to ensure that business trips are no longer all work and no play, sometimes extending a business trip over a weekend (“bleisure”).

Many businesses are competing for talent. One of the ways to gain a competitive edge is to offer more flexible travel opportunities. Several apps let employers set the parameters employees need to follow when scheduling a business trip. This means employees can, within these parameters, choose their own itinerary and hotel accommodations.

Artificial intelligence (AI) comes into play when planning business travel. Employees who have already traveled regularly for work can get assistance in choosing hotels based on past choices. Due to the use of this technology, businesses will sometimes set more relaxed travel policies than they otherwise could.

Expense reporting has also been streamlined with AI. This avoids staff filling out cumbersome paperwork and employers from having to manually process that paperwork.

The good news for businesses that frequently have staff traveling is that today’s technology makes it easier to set a budget for each team member’s travel. As a result, travel expenses can now be considered a strategic investment.

Countries are embracing these new trends differently. Businesses throughout New Zealand have taken to partnering with rental companies that facilitate team members staying in more comfortable accommodations, including houses and condos. It also allows them to choose smaller airlines that normally wouldn’t be an option when booking company travel.

Keeping up with these new trends is important for every business that sends its employees on travel. As staff expectations change, business travel is changing right alongside it. Savvy businesses know to embrace these trends in order to attract and retain staff.