A business trip is a type of travel that can be undertaken for a variety of job-related reasons. Business trips can be necessary to meet or entertain clients, visit other facilities within the same company, or attend trade shows and seminars. These trips can be either mandated or optional, and they are usually paid for by the employer. Business trips can also be tax deductible in some areas, as can various expenses incurred during these trips. In some cases, business travel can be avoided in favor of voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) teleconferencing, and other telepresence technologies that are less expensive than physically sending employees to distant locations.
Travel for business is an activity that can have a variety of different purposes, from scouting new business opportunities to entertaining clients. Many jobs require no travel at all, while others are likely to require a business trip from time to time, and certain professions involve constant travel. One reason many people are sent on intermittent business trips is to attend trade shows and conferences. Employees are often paid to attend these events, since insights into new technologies and concepts are often provided, and having employees there to represent the company may be useful to a business in a variety of ways.
Due to the many different reasons for this type of travel, each business trip can be different. It is sometimes even possible to combine a pleasure trip with a business trip, though that can depend on the policies of the specific company. This type of combined trip can affect the expenses that may be deducted for tax purposes, because lavish and unnecessary spending does not usually qualify for tax deductions. Some employers may also disapprove of family members or friends accompanying their employees on business trips, due to potential for distractions and other factors.
The existence of teleconferencing and telepresence technologies, especially those that make use of the Internet, can affect the decision making process when determining whether to send an employee on a business trip. These trips are often expensive, and can result in reduced productivity due to disrupted work schedules. Many activities that were traditionally accomplished during business trips, such as training personnel in other company facilities, can be easily accomplished using various teleconferencing solutions. Some businesses still see an advantage in face to face contact, especially when entertaining clients, but the choice of whether to use a business trip or long distance communication technologies can often be purely economic in nature.