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The rise of travel in the era of hybrid and remote work


The evolution of work models has profoundly impacted various aspects of life, with travel being a significant beneficiary. According to the 2024 Spring Global Rescue Traveler Sentiment and Safety Survey, hybrid and remote work models are encouraging more travel among individuals and their networks. This trend is reshaping the travel industry, leading to growth surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

Key statistics from the survey

  • Increased travel due to remote work: More than half (59%) of respondents indicated that a remote or hybrid workplace model motivates them, their friends, and family to travel more.
  • Business travel and remote work: Nearly a third (30%) of the survey participants reported traveling for work. Among these, 71% are working remotely, either part- or full-time.
  • Rising expectations for business travel: There has been a notable increase in business travelers’ expectations regarding work-related travel exceeding pre-pandemic levels. In January 2024, only 11% predicted that business travel would surpass pre-pandemic levels. By April, this percentage had nearly doubled to 21%.

Implications for the travel industry

Dan Richards, CEO of The Global Rescue Companies, emphasized that this shift is a boon for the travel industry. The growth in travel is attributed to the flexibility offered by remote and hybrid work models, allowing individuals to combine work and leisure seamlessly. Richards explained, “It’s fostering soul-enriching journeys,” where individuals can balance work commitments with enriching travel experiences.

The role of employers

The trend towards increased travel is also supported by employers. A survey by Oxford Economics revealed that employers are encouraging remote and hybrid workers to travel, primarily for business purposes but also to meet employee travel desires. This trend, often referred to as “FOMO Travel” (Fear Of Missing Out) or “YOLO Travel” (You Only Live Once), highlights how remote work enables individuals to reconnect with personal and professional networks while exploring new destinations.

The new norm: Work and leisure integration

The integration of work and leisure is becoming more common. As Richards pointed out, vacations are no longer solely about escaping work. Instead, people are finding ways to blend work with travel, creating unique and flexible experiences. For instance, one can check emails from a hammock in the Maldives, take a break from a video conference to surf in Rincon, or finish the workday in Sweden and then enjoy the Northern Lights.

Conclusion

The findings from the 2024 Spring Global Rescue Traveler Sentiment and Safety Survey underscore the significant impact of hybrid and remote work models on travel behaviors. With more individuals and their networks motivated to travel, the travel industry is experiencing robust growth, exceeding pre-pandemic levels. Employers’ encouragement of travel and the blending of work with leisure are key factors driving this trend. As remote and hybrid work continue to evolve, so too will the ways in which people travel and experience the world.