TUI is taking its own remote working further with free hotel stays | Tech US News


TUI’s remote working policy, launched during the pandemic, is evolving as the travel giant looks to offer its staff free stays at its network of hotels and resorts.

The so-called Workwide scheme was created in August last year, and allows employees to work anywhere in the world for up to 30 working days, which is equivalent to six weeks. They can also tag holidays on either side to extend the duration.

It proved a success. In just over a year, employees achieved a collective 10,000 days of remote work. If he were an employee, that’s the equivalent of 38 years, TUI managing director Sybille Reiss calculated. It’s almost enough to retire, but Reiss is just getting started.

Mix travel with work

TUI moved relatively early in July 2021 to offer remote work (where possible) to its 60,000 workers, several months before Airbnb.

A month later it launched Workwide because employees said they needed more flexibility, especially if they had moved during the pandemic and wanted to spend time with family in their home country.

Now, for the next phase, Reiss said TUI will look to offer free accommodation. That means keeping enough rooms available for a growing number of applicants, which sounds like a revenue manager’s nightmare.

“We’d like to take the approach a bit further. What we’d like to do now, starting maybe at the end of the spring season, we’re letting rooms out sometimes, and we’d like to offer that to our people, so that our people can participate in the TUI hotel experience. Even on a cruise,” Reiss said.

“We would like to merge the TUI resort feel with our TUI Workwide approach, we give it for a limited price. The thinking is that they would only have to pay for the food, but the hotel rooms are free… this is our current thinking” , he added.

Surprising Destinations

There are many findings that non-travel businesses can learn from. First, it’s not just about staff going to exotic destinations. TUI’s most popular Workwide destinations are the UK, Spain and Germany.

“Sometimes people from our Caribbean office travel to London and want to work from London or Berlin,” Reiss said.

TUI is also pushing ahead with its digitization process, and that means staffing developers. Access to their resorts, or the ability to work anywhere, is a valuable tool when hiring. “In recruitment, especially in the digital space, we have new fields in which we can recruit. From the banks, because not many employers offer this flexibility”, said Reiss.

And Reiss also believes it doesn’t have to be complicated. Staying below 30 days means staff are not caught by any tax rules.

“I would recommend to any other chief of people that they give that flexibility,” he said. “Because we know that people would like to change jobs and are looking for flexibility, in time and place. This is something that has a very low cost for the employer, but it gives the possibility to choose our people”.

Parallel notes

Expect to see stricter travel policies, along with more ambitious goals to reduce flying, in the near future. That’s the main conclusion of a new survey carried out by pollster IPSOS.

It polled more than 2,500 employees in the US, UK, France, Germany and Spain, and a large majority said their employer should act to tackle global warming.

Of course, there is always a discrepancy between what people think should happen and what happens: the “say do” effect. And these findings should also be taken with a pinch of salt, because the report was commissioned by a campaign to reduce emissions, called Travel Smart. It calls on companies to return no more than 50 percent of 2019 levels when it comes to business travel.

But the numbers are relatively high: 77 percent of company employees believe that a company has an important role in the fight against climate change.

And 74 percent say that to reduce levels of corporate flying, a company should set goals and include travel policies.

The survey also found that almost three-quarters of employees believe that an important factor in reducing a company’s carbon footprint is to reduce levels of corporate flying.

So it’s relatively good news for travel management companies, less so for airlines.

“Business flying habits have changed and employees want a new normal where companies take responsibility for reducing their share of emissions,” Denise Auclair, director of corporate travel campaigns at Transport & Environment, said in a statement. “Change will happen with clear goals and policies that align with employee expectations. This can only help companies in today’s race to recruit and retain top talent.”

The survey also found that only 27 percent of employees currently fly as often as before the pandemic. Only 11 percent said they flew more often.

The survey was conducted in October.

Skift will be speaking with Travalyst, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance to deepen corporate intent during next week’s GBTA Sustainability Summit in Brussels.s.

10 seconds of corporate travel updates

Who and what Skift has covered in the past two weeks: Accor, Airbnb, Best Western, Hertz, Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, Lufthansa, Marriott, Sabre, SAP Concur, Selina, virtual speakers, Visa, Wyndham.

In summary

Saber deepens technology partnership with BCD Travel

Dallas-based travel technology giant know signed a new agreement with BCD Travels, with the long-term strategic collaboration expected to help the agency become more agile. The two companies will jointly invest and collaborate on creative solutions to manage the growing complexities of post-Covid travel, evolving customer expectations and bringing products to market faster. BCD Travel also expects to increase its booking levels with Sabre.

“Over the years, we’ve tackled industry challenges, innovated and grown together. Today, we take another important step in our partnership as we mutually commit to advancing the future of travel,” said Saber President Kurt Ekert. Saber reported this week that September was its strongest month for airline booking volumes since the start of the pandemic, mainly due to increased international travel.


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