Corporate Traveller - Youth Day Gen Z LP

Just when we thought we had millennials all figured out, here comes Generation Z to shake things up in the corporate travel world.

Don’t be fooled by stereotypes about Gen Z being glued to social media or having short attention spans. This cohort is showing us there's much more to unpack when it comes to their approach to business travel. Their tech-savviness is matched by a desire for authentic experiences and environmental consciousness that clashes with some conventional corporate travel norms.

Youth Day corporate travel realities

As it's national Youth Day on 16 June - it's a good time to check in with our young travellers. What should we expect as Gen Zers hit the road for work trips? Here are the Youth Day realities versus your expectations. 

  • Expectation 1: Gen Z workers are more into avocado toast than ambition

    Reality: Think again. Research shows over a third of Gen Z workers say business trips have actually helped propel them into promotions. One in three Gen Zers feel travel for work has increased their passion for their jobs. And unlike older colleagues who cite networking as a top perk, 29% of Gen Z say it’s also boosted their mental health. So, stereotypes aside, Gen Z seems to be embracing their wanderlust through business travel. They’re racking up those frequent flyer miles not just for fun but to actively push their careers forward.

  • Expectation 2: Gen Z is all about social media

    Reality:  Forget the notion that Gen Z is always online, glued to screens like digital zombies. While they spend a fair bit of time online, their digital prowess goes beyond mindless scrolling. Gen Z values efficiency, convenience, and automation. They’re not just connected; they're purposefully digital. What can travel managers learn? Make sure your tech is mobile-friendly, and streamline your processes for quick responses. Embrace their digital expectations to provide the seamless experiences they crave in trip planning and beyond - whether they are a first time business traveller or have a few miles under their belts.

  • Expectation 3: Gen Z is self-absorbed

    Reality: Sure, Gen Z is in touch with their needs and feelings, but they're just as dialled into sustainability. Don’t overlook this generation’s passion for protecting the planet when it comes to business travel. These eco-conscious pros will get amped about carbon-cutting transportation like rail over air travel. Accommodations with energy-saving initiatives and zero-waste programmes? Sign them up.

  • Expectation 4: Gen Z avoids IRL interaction like the plague'

    Reality: It’s easy to peg Gen Z as the hyper-online, socially anxious recluses who do their best work from the refuge of a laptop. Gen Z workers are actually enthused at the prospect of business travel for some IRL collaboration. It seems Gen Z recognises the tangible benefits of looking colleagues in the eye, reading body language cues, and fostering those real-world rapport-building moments. 

    Highlight the opportunity to break free from virtual call fatigue and nurture real-world social skills. Position it as a growth accelerator, not just another trip on the books. Gen Z doesn’t want just to check the transactional meeting box either. Build in incentive travel, meaningful team excursions, collaborative mentorship workshops, and networking events to foster relationship-building.

Here's your 16 June message from Bonnie Smith, GM of Corporate Traveller.

“Gen Z’s youthful passion for progress shakes up business travel in the best way possible. This Youth Day in South Africa make a commitment to listen to what these young minds are all about, and we can revolutionise the entire corporate travel experience for the next generation workforce."

Your Youth Day corporate travel checklist

What's the take of a business travel expert? Here are Smith's tips to make your corporate travel programme more appealing to the young adults of Generation Z:

Corporate Traveller - Youth Day Gen Z Icon

Sustainability initiatives

Incorporate eco-friendly options into your travel policy, like promoting green transportation and supporting sustainable accommodations. Show Gen Z your commitment to environmental responsibility.
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Wellness focus

Prioritise employee wellbeing on the road with wellness perks, healthy food choices, and access to fitness facilities. Support their health and balance during business travel.
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Recognition and rewards

Recognise their contributions with unique  incentive experiences or surprise upgrades. Make them feel valued and appreciated for their hard work.
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Incentive travel

Offer exciting experiences as incentives, such as incentive travel adventure workshops or travel rewards tied to achievements. Make it fun and rewarding for Gen Z to hit their goals with the carrot of incentive travel.
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Flexible travel policy

Make booking and travel planning easy with flexible options and user-friendly tools. Let Gen Z personalise their trips within company guidelines for a smoother experience. And don't forget about inclusivity.

Are you updating your travel policy? Be sure to make it align with Gen Z needs!

Get in touch with our team and embrace efficiency, eco-consciousness and tech-savvy solutions!