Services provided by the sharing economy have increased adoption rates for shared transportation during business trips. But according to a new survey from Chrome River, the adoption rate for shared accommodation hasn’t reached the same levels.
Instead of using Airbnb, HomeAway, or VRBO, business travelers are still opting to stay in hotels for their accommodations. Furthermore, the survey reveals more than half or 54% of the businesses surveyed don’t have any plans to adopt these services as part of their travel and expense policies.
For small businesses providing accommodations through these sites, there is a great opportunity to tap into a huge market. The Global Business Travel Association reported spending in the segment reached $1.3 trillion in 2017, with US business spending accounting for $292.2 billion of the total.
Small businesses currently not using this type of accommodation for their employees when they are traveling, it may find this worth considering. This is especially important when there are popular conferences across the country with tens of thousands of attendees flooding a city.
For companies looking to see what is available in terms of accommodations for their business travelers, here is a more complete picture. In a press release, Alan Rich, co-founder, and CEO of Chrome River, explains:
“Organizations want to see the full travel picture — not just the data from their booking tool. By integrating sharing-economy services into their formal travel policy, they achieve a new level of visibility.”
Businesses need to improve the total travel experience for their teams by offering more choices including mobile tools for planning their travel and submitting expenses, Rich adds.
More Sharing Economy Business Policy Statistics
The Chrome River survey was carried out in the US with the participation of self-identified travel and finance professionals.
When it comes to sharing economy lodging services, 54% of the respondents said the issue hasn’t been addressed in their policy and they don’t plan to incorporate it in the future. Twenty-one percent said it is addressed in their policy, and another 25% said it is not addressed but they plan on doing so in the future.
This is not to say companies are not flexible on this issue because 45% of the respondents said they do not have a preference where their employees stay. An exact third or 33% of organizations said they prefer hotels but it is not mandated, while 18% mandated hotel lodging where possible.
Some businesses outright prohibit their employees from staying at shared economy lodging, but this is at a low of 3%. Meanwhile only 1% of respondents said their business policies mandated shared economy lodging where possible.
The story is very different when it comes to ride sharing. While adoption rate of shared accommodations is low, rode sharing enjoys a 51% adoption rate by companies as part of their policies. The reasons businesses give for using ride sharing include everything from cost savings (33%) to ease of use (22%), greater choice and flexibility (21%), employee preference (20%), and even being perceived as a forward-looking company according to 4% of the respondents.
Speaking of forward-looking, only 20% of businesses say they allow their employees to use electric scooter services (like Lime or Bird) while they are on business trips, with the vast majority or 80% saying no to this option.
One way you can avoid misunderstandings when your employees are on a business trip is by creating a travel and expense policy with strict governance to ensure everyone is on the same page.
You can take a look at the infographic below for the rest of the data in the Chrome River survey.
Photo via Shutterstock
This article, “Companies Adopt Ride Sharing – But Not Room Sharing – in Business Travel Policies” was first published on Small Business Trends