02
Sep

Flying for ‘purpose, rather than presence’ – confectionary giant Mars highlights how appetite for business travel will change after pandemic

It was back in the late 1950s that the enduring slogan ‘a Mars a day helps you work, rest and play’ was coined to promote the chocolate snack. Now, more than 50 years on, the company Mars has provided the world with perhaps another milestone moment after revealing its associate-centric, hybrid and sustainable future of work concept.

The confectionary and pet food giant revealed in Aug-2021 that with work looking different than it did before the COVID-19 pandemic, and recognising the many lessons learned over the last 18 months, it has “a tremendous chance to reimagine our workplace rituals, policies, and habits”. This includes some significant changes in its travel policy that provides a viewpoint into the future of corporate travel.

The flexible, hybrid future of work strategy from Mars is  one that reimagines where, when and how work gets done, it says, to “maximise efficiency and empower” associates, all while “preserving what’s best about our culture”.

This is based around the four key pillars of hybrid ‘working’, ‘office’, ‘travel’ and ‘meetings’, which are heavily linked together. It is the ‘travel’ and ‘meetings’ that will alarm the corporate travel sector the strongest.

Notably, Mars calls for travel for “purpose rather than presence,” and aims to cut business travel globally by at least half compared with 2019 levels in a move to “improve the health and wellbeing of our people, enhance business performance, and positively impact the world we want tomorrow”.

For meetings, Mars says they “must be purposeful” in the future and find “a sustainable balance between” collaboration in meetings – whether face-to-face or virtual – with time for focus. This it hopes to achieve by “decreasing hours spent in meetings” and increasing the use of “tools that allow associates to contribute on their own timetable, using asynchronous collaboration”.

It was clear that businesses would reduce travel levels post-COVID, with further substitution of meetings through technology, but the levels suggested by Mars are higher than many may have perhaps envisaged.

READ THE FULL STORY via CTC – Corporate Travel Community: Flying for ‘purpose, rather than presence’ – confectionary giant Mars highlights how appetite for business travel will change after pandemic