What To Know About Airbnb and Corporate Travel
As an employer, you have likely felt the shifts that impact corporate travel. There are travel apps, differences in airline bookings, and many other large factors that change how employees travel for work. Some of these changes are beneficial to the bottom line and the efficiency of an organization, while others might present some obstacles.
One area of change comes from the shift away from hotels as lodging and more toward Airbnb. This can be good for travelers because it lets them have more home-like amenities and more choices when they’re traveling for work. They also aren’t having to worry about things like hotel folio itemization.
However, some things need to be weighed when it comes to Airbnb and corporate travel. The following are considerations to keep in mind.
Safety and Duty of Care
Travel managers have plans in place to keep employees safe and secure when they travel. Using Airbnb can make that more difficult. For example, while it’s fairly easy to know how safe and secure a hotel and the surrounding neighborhood are, it can require more research when Airbnb accommodations are booked.
Employers will have more on their plate when it comes to duty of care plans if employees are booking Airbnb’s outside of tourist neighborhoods where hotels are typically located.
Also, hotels can have security staff and others who can help if an emergency or a threat arises. With Airbnb, corporate travelers are likely to be on their own, so how does this factor into safety planning on the part of the employer?
Just because employees can book Airbnb as their travel accommodations, there still need to be guidelines in place. Travel policies need to be updated in general to reflect the option to book through Airbnb. There also need to be specifics added to travel policies that reflect what employees can book through Airbnb.
When creating travel policies that include booking Airbnb rentals, travel managers and employers should have plans in place that address what happens if things don’t go well. For example, if an employee arrives at their rental and they find that they feel unsafe, what is the backup plan? How is all of this managed?
Using Airbnb for Business can be helpful in many ways. It does vet the listings to see if they’re appropriate for business travel. Airbnb does also have features that make it easier for employers to keep up with expenses and travel itineraries.
Weighing the Costs
Businesses focus significantly on their bottom line when employees travel. Yes, they want to balance travel expenses with employee satisfaction, but cost control is often a top priority.
Sometimes Airbnb can be a better deal than hotels, but that’s not always the case. Companies can also negotiate with hotel chains and individual hotels for better deals, and that’s not an option with Airbnb.
Providing employees the option to use Airbnb for corporate travel isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and it can actually be a positive. However, travel managers and employees need to make sure they’re ready on their end for this kind of change.