Cuts in the use of first class travel is costing UK business’ £15,624 in lost productivity per employee every year.

Nearly half of business travellers revealed their employers had stopped their First Class travel despite 86 percent of business passengers admitting to being more productive when travelling in first class.

More than 70 percent of people said they felt ‘unable to work’ if not travelling First Class due to business cost cutting. More than half said they enjoyed the benefits of larger seats, more space, power sockets, complimentary refreshments and a table – just some of the many of the advantages that can be enjoyed in First Class.

The study into 1,000 business people across the country was conducted by CrossCountry trains, one of the UK’s largest rail franchises, which has been researching the real costs of UK business travel cuts since the economic downturn.

Professor Cary Cooper, distinguished Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health said; “During tough economic times, First Class travel is considered a luxury and almost one of the first things that businesses cut. However, companies should look carefully at the true cost of cutting First Class travel and consider the effect this is going to have on the productivity of their employees and the profitability of their company.”

“In addition, businesses should also consider the networking opportunities that will be lost by sending their employees in Standard. First Class has always been a prime place to form business to business relationships which can potentially lead to added revenue for companies.”

Industry wide, the research showed Accountancy and Law firms are the most affected with 44 and 43 percent respectively cutting First Class travel, yet over 46 and 38 percent respectively of employees said they only work on the train if they were to travel First Class. Bigger seats, more space, individual tables were motivators around this.