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UK employees make 'fewer' business trips than EU counterparts

Enterprise car park

It has been revealed that UK employees make fewer business trips than their EU counterparts, and are the least likely to consider travel a perk, according to research from Enterprise Rent-A-Car and National Car Rental.

The survey data shows that only around a third of UK adults (32%) travel for business, compared to 36% in France, 38% in Germany, 45% in Spain and 44% in the Republic of Ireland.

Equally, only 35% of British business travellers see travelling for business as a potentially pleasant perk of working life, compared to 46% of business travellers from Germany, half (50%) of those from France, 38% from Ireland and 39% from Spain.

Enterprise and National’s assistant vice president of corporate sales, David McNeill, said: “Travelling for work is a part of life for many people across Europe.

"Many see this as a perk and take advantage of the potential to blur the lines between business and leisure, bringing some fun into a work trip. Equally, there can sometimes be downsides such as long hours and a sense of isolation.”

However, one in six UK business travellers (16%) say that there is nothing that they like about business travel. This is more than in any of the other countries surveyed, and twice as many as in France or Spain.

Around one in eight Britons (12%) say they choose a job specifically because it does not require business travel, compared to only one in 25 workers in Spain (4%) and around one in 15 workers in Germany (6%) and France (7%).

There is a consensus among European workers that business travel provides an opportunity to see new countries and places (39%), to have expenses covered by the employer (33%), to stay in nice hotels (28%), and to eat and drink out every night (19%).

Around one in seven (14%) also value the opportunity for ‘me time’ away from their family.

However, respondents also noted downsides to business trips including long, tiring hours (32%), being away from home (28%) and having to live out of a suitcase (21%). Around one in five people (19%) also say business trips cause them to feel isolated.

McNeill said: “Businesses can help by ensuring employees feel supported through business travel. One way to do this is by making sure that transport is available with speed and convenience.

"Master rental agreements and express lanes can allow travellers to bypass the car hire counter and just pick up their vehicle directly, knowing that all their preferences have been respected and their needs met.

“The right transportation can help to reduce the stress of being alone in an unfamiliar place. It can also facilitate that all important ‘downtime’.

"In addition, activities such as going shopping or visiting a local sight could easily enhance the business travel experience.”

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