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Who is looking out for you?

It’s an unfortunate reality that today’s travel climate is one of disruption...

Whether it is security concerns, strikes, or even storms and ash clouds, there are uncountable factors that can impact an employee’s ability to travel safely. And of course, when travelling for business, the safety of a traveller is of paramount importance, not only to the individual’s family and friends, but also to the organisation they work for.

Employers – regardless of the size of their organisation – have significant duty of care requirements toward their employees. When they are travelling for work, employees need to be safe, they need to be looked after, and they need to be in regular contact with their organisation. It is a huge responsibility, and not one that can be taken lightly.

While a range of precautions is regularly taken to ensure the safety of business travellers, there is one critical safeguard that is often overlooked. That is: booking travel through selected methods – whether it be with a travel agent, corporate travel partner, or preferred booking tool.

With the availability, convenience and price competitiveness of online travel booking sites, there is often a heavy temptation of travellers to DIY. After all, you can select your favourite airline, secure your preferred seat, input your preferences, sometimes even cheekily expense it on your personal credit card (hello, points), and you’re done in a matter of minutes. However, the risks that come with this non-compliance to policy are significant. When you go ‘off the grid’, there is no way to effectively monitor your whereabouts during the time of a disruption.

That’s why it is so critical to adhere to your organisation’s travel booking policies – not only to meet their travel spend requirements – but to be effectively accounted for, managed and looked after while you’re travelling for business.

By using your company’s preferred travel booking processes to plan your travel, you’ll be setting the wheels in motion to effectively track and monitor your travel. As your whereabouts will be known, your company will be able to implement any support plans should you require assistance in the case of a disruption, medical emergency or being caught in an unfortunate situation whilst away.

What’s more, if you utilise your company’s approved travel management company, they will likely be partnering with your organisation to provide tools for anticipating potential issues before you arrive at your destination. More advanced travel management companies are also able to use their data sources to support travellers in risk assessments and management. Beyond this, as specialists, they will also likely be equipped with the right tools and resources to support you in the case of any travel emergencies.

Another simple – yet effective – way of ensuring your organisation can look after you while you’re travelling, is to simply keep in touch. Whether it’s making use of the range of travel apps available to check-in, or through your company’s regular communication channels – these simple steps can make an enormous difference in the case of a disruption.

There’s no question that our climate is a challenging one, but with the right precautions put into place and appropriate compliance by travellers, you can minimise the risks, and be effectively looked after while you’re on the road.

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