SAP SE has announced the results of a new SAP Concur survey revealing that more than 4 in 5 Canadian female business travellers have faced harassment while travelling. SAP Concur, the world's leading brand for expense, travel, and invoice management solutions, identified concerns of personal safety while on the road and frustration around ineffective booking and reimbursement experiences.
"This research clearly shows employees aren't getting what they need from their employers while travelling for business," said Victoria DeBoon, Director of Sales at SAP Concur Canada. "Organizations of all sizes shouldn't let these concerns go unnoticed. Employees want more support, resources and technology that will improve their overall experience and increase feelings of security while on the road."
The survey of 7,850 business travellers in 19 global markets included 500 within Canada. Notable highlights are:
Globally, LGBTQ+ travellers are hiding aspects of their identity when travelling for work:
• The vast majority (95%) of LGBTQ+ travellers have hidden their sexual orientation while on a business trip, with the most common reasons being to protect their safety (57%).
• Further, 85 per cent have changed their travel arrangements out of concern for their safety, compared to just 53 per cent of their non-LGBTQ+ colleagues.
Among Canadians, female travellers face striking levels of harassment and sexism on the road:
• More than 4 in 5 Canadian female business travellers (81%) have experienced some sort of harassment or mistreatment while travelling, and nearly half (46%) have been asked if they were travelling with their husband.
Canadians are stressed when planning for a business trip, but expense reimbursement is the real pain point:
• A lack of clear-cut policy is impacting employees who are feeling more stressed at the office than on the road. To Canadian business travellers, before the trip (47%)—when they have to plan, book and organize—is the most stressful stage.
• Though Canadian business travellers dread planning their trip the most, the processes after the trip are still a notable pain point. In fact, over 1 in 4 Canadian business travellers (26%) would rather have a cavity filled at the dentist than fill out an expense report after a business trip.
• The primary reason for loathing expense reports is the delay in reimbursement. Canadian business travellers report that employers have taken, on average, up to 11 days to reimburse them for a business trip expense.
• These delays in reimbursement for expenses are affecting Canadian business travellers' trust in their companies: Over half (54%) of Canadian business travellers report they forfeited expenses in 2018, either because they did not think the expense was worth filing or—more troublingly—because their employer simply never paid them the money they're owed. They have forfeited an average of $1,421 CAD from expenses that weren't reimbursed by their employers.
Canadian business travellers turning to technology to improve employee experience:
• Canadian business travellers have become accustomed to using apps and smart devices to enhance their daily lives, but they don't believe their companies have kept up with the times.
• Canadians surveyed have the third-highest rate of agreement that their company is behind in adopting the latest technologies to manage travel (73%), compared to the global sentiment (67%).
• Canadians who say their company is lagging note booking and expense reporting tools (61%) and travel safety tools (57%) as the technologies that need the most attention.
• Even those whose companies are taking advantage of technology see room for improvement. More than 3 in 5 business travellers who use an online booking tool (62%) report their companies are behind in adopting booking and expense reporting tools, compared to the 53 per cent of those who do not use an online booking tool.