The Dichotomy Of Working From Home And Traveling For Business

The landscape of work and travel is evolving, with remote and hybrid work models actually leading to an uptick in travel, as per a recent survey conducted among seasoned travelers worldwide. According to the 2024 Spring Global Rescue Traveler Sentiment and Safety Survey, over half (59%) of respondents cited that a remote or hybrid workplace model is a catalyst for increased travel among themselves, as well as their friends and family.

This is good news for the travel industry as the common perception is that remote and hybrid working leads to less business travel. 

Dan Richards, CEO of The Global Rescue Companies, a prominent provider of medical, security, evacuation, and travel risk management services, emphasized the significant impact of this trend on the travel industry. Richards, also a member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board at the U.S. Department of Commerce, highlighted how the growing prevalence of remote work models is contributing to the ongoing surge in travel, surpassing pre-pandemic levels.

The survey revealed that nearly a third (30%) of respondents travel for work, with a notable 71% of them engaged in remote work, either on a part-time or full-time basis. A noteworthy trend emerging from the findings is the heightened expectation of business-related travel among remote workers, which has doubled since January 2024. Comparing the January and April surveys, the data indicates a significant increase in the percentage of individuals predicting business travel to exceed pre-pandemic levels, rising from 11% to 21%.

Oxford Economics, in its survey, indicated a growing inclination among employers to encourage remote and hybrid workers to travel, primarily for business purposes, while also recognizing and accommodating employee desires for personal travel experiences.

Richards characterized this phenomenon as “FOMO Travel” or “YOLO Travel,” highlighting how remote workers are seamlessly blending work and leisure, fostering meaningful connections and enriching experiences both locally and globally. “Vacations used to be all about a complete escape from work, but now you can check emails from a hammock in the Maldives, take a break from a video conference to surf the incoming tide in Rincon, or finish the workday in Sweden and have plenty of time to view the Northern Lights,” he elaborated.