The dramatic rise in long-term remote work associated with the shift to a hybrid working model is creating the need for hybrid spend management.
According to SAP Concur senior vice president and general manager (Asia-Pacific, Japan and Greater China) Matthew Goss (pic above), flexibility and agility will be key in all aspects of work, including spend management, as employees split their time between the physical and remote office.
“We are set see the need for more nuanced budget discussions, policies and spend categories,” he said in a statement to Business Today.
“There would be the ones that address various in-office and remote expenses that employees will incur, and companies will now allow so that business is run safely and efficiently.”
He added that data and technology would continue playing a growing role in determining expense categorisation to improve business decision-making, spend management, and overall organisational efficiencies.
Meanwhile, his travel-related predictions are as follows:
- Cautious resumption of business travel: In APAC, business travel is returning, albeit slowly outside of Australia, India and China. “As we kickstart 2022, more companies will put in place clear policies for disruption and changes, including communication platforms that keep travellers informed and protected. Later in the year as immigration policies open up, we are hopeful international travel will start to flourish again.”
- Sustainable travel takes off: According to a key survey, global business travel spend is expected to rebound 14 percent in 2021 to US$754 billion. Simultaneously, record-breaking climate disasters in 2021 have underscored the need for more sustainable travel as we embrace a new era of work. In line with the rest of the world, the bar is getting higher for APAC organisations to build sustainability initiatives into their organisational framework and corporate travel programs. In 2022, more APAC businesses will walk down a more eco-conscious path and adopt technologies that enable responsible travel.
- Better on-the-road protection for employees: Recent SAP Concur research has found that while APAC business travellers are eager to get back on the road for work, they have new expectations for increased flexibility, health and safety protocols, and wellness and mental health initiatives. To appease the 16 percent of business travellers who will leave their current positions over their preferences not being met, we expect more APAC firms in 2022 to re-evaluate and tailor their travel policies with employee needs in mind. Trust, transparency, and a fair duty-of-care compact between organisations and their staff will help raise employee satisfaction and retention.