Rail operator LNER has published a new report looking at the future of business travel in the post Covid world.

Entitled Railway to Recovery: The future of business travel, the report finds that 89 per cent of office workers are confident that face-to-face meeting will become the norm again by the end of the year, with around 60 per cent seeing see “some office attendance as vital for sharing business intelligence and better client servicing”.

Over a third of respondents said that a lack of face-to-face meetings had harmed new opportunities, with nearly 60 per cent reporting a pick-up in business/trading since face-to-face interactions resumed.

LNER said that it is currently seeing above five per cent growth in business travel week on week, adding that it “does not predict this abating in 2022”.

“Our conversations with businesses have found that face to face meetings are more important than ever as people continue to reconnect and recover after a challenging couple of years, said David Horne, Managing Director at LNER.

“Whilst virtual platforms have grown enormously, our research has found that people want to get back out and travel for business, and to reap the benefits of meeting clients and colleagues in person.

“To help businesses navigate the complexities of the current landscape, at LNER we’ve identified the drivers of business travel, the pressures employers are facing and the new needs of the business traveller.

“We hope our findings will help inform and advance the travel policies of businesses throughout the UK, as they look to grow in a sustainable and responsible way.”

The full report – commissioned by LNER in collaboration with Thread & Bloom and Nina&Pinta – can be seen here.