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Behind closed doors: Routines of UK business travellers

The routines of UK business travellers have been revealed, shedding light on what employees are doing during their downtime from out of office duties.
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The research of UK business travellers comes from Staycity Aparthotels, which surveyed over 2,000 British professionals who are regularly away for work to determine their habits.

Respondents revealed how long they’re usually on a business trip for, with average times at two days for the UK, four days for European trips and seven days for visiting the rest of the world.

On average, UK business travellers engage in just one meeting during work trips, with just 90 minutes of interaction with other people taking place within a 24-hour period.

As such, it was revealed how UK business travellers manage their free time, with the top answers ranking as:

(1) Video calling family/friends – 49 per cent

(2) Watching TV/films – 43 per cent

(3) Exploring the local area – 34 per cent

(4) Reading/browsing the internet – 21 per cent

(5) Listening to music – 16 per cent

Others like to get dirty and flirty – four per cent find themselves cleaning their accommodation, while three per cent had jumped onto dating apps to track down some company.

The search for romance shouldn’t be too surprising. Another study found that 61 per cent of UK business travellers admitted they return home with “adventurous” desires in the bedroom.

Jason Delany, director of brand, product & marketing at Staycity Aparthotels, said: “Business travel, be it domestic or international, is a requirement of many job roles, and despite huge technological developments that allow us to organise conference calls with colleagues and associates from countries around the world, sometimes a face-to-face meeting is essential.

“It’s somewhat surprising to see just how little time those travelling for work will spend interacting with others, and how long they are alone.”

That loneliness is something of a fear in some cases too – 52 per cent admitted of UK business travellers that they’d feel either embarrassed or uncomfortable dining alone in a restaurant, which usually results in a hotel room takeaway.

“The fear of eating alone in a restaurant is also one that seems to plague many; although, in our opinion, after a couple of solo dining experiences, any trepidation about being stared at by others seems to disappear and eating alone will feel perfectly normal,” added Delany.

“However, finding self-catering accommodation for business travel can offer a lot more flexibility in terms of cooking along in the comfort of your own space and having a home-from-home feel.”

With food in mind, a study of 6,000 bed and breakfast owners revealed the strangest breakfast requests they’ve received.

“King prawn vindaloo and a boiled egg”.

“Chicken and salad with vegetables”.

“A plate of fried onions.”

“A bag of uncooked pasta and a jar of Lloyd Grossman tomato and garlic sauce” (which the guest then cooked inside the kettle in his room).

“Corn Flakes in Carling Lager.”

“Smoked salmon and scrambled eggs for the dog.”

“Five rashers of bacon in porridge.”

 “Steak and Spaghetti.”

“Ribeye Steak and Chips.”

“A Curry omelette.”

“Eggs and Lea and Perrins Sauce”.

“Dry Weetabix.”

“Smoked Salmon and HP Sauce.”

“Scrambled egg on toast ‘with no egg’.”

“Miso soup.”

“Yoghurt with pepper.”

“Weetabix spread with Marmite.”

“Muesli with no milk.”

“Chicken, steak, garlic pasta and curry are unusual choices for breakfast, but I guess that one of the pleasures of a holiday is that we’re able to enjoy ourselves whatever time of day it is,” said Thomas Messett, a director at bookings platform eviivo, the business behind the food-based findings.

“One of the biggest puzzles is a dry Weetabix spread with marmite. We tried this out in the office.  It doesn’t taste great and worse still, it takes about 19 minutes to eat.

“What our B&Bs find is that catering for every reasonable taste is a great way of increasing bookings.  Our data show that 2017 is shaping up to be a very strong year for British B&Bs with a weaker pound influencing British and International holidaymakers to choose a stay here.

“Even if some of their breakfast tastes are a bit unorthodox, more and more holidaymakers are choosing the ‘Full British’ B&B experience.”

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About Author

Zen Terrelonge

Zen Terrelonge is the deputy editor of Real Business, specialising in media, innovation, technology and the digital sector. A media professional with eight years worth of experience he has worked for both startup and established publications.

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