Are you excited or anxious about travelling for work again? Whatever your outlook, business travel is unlikely to return in the same shape it was before. The events of the past year have cast uncertainty over the industry’s future as video conferencing technology and remote working patterns have become the norm.
Sustainability concerns have also crept in as international trips have become less feasible. Domestic business travel looks set to restart in the short term at least – though it may be some time before we see numbers close to the 9 million visits made in 2019.
Many businesses and employees will still be feeling uneasy about the period ahead, and understandably so. Below are some key ways they can manage risk as travel opens up again.
The UK’s vaccination campaign has moved through age brackets at a rapid rate, while many European nations are now catching up after slower starts.
There’s still some way to go however, and with many countries and travel providers now adopting mandatory vaccination policies, it will pay to factor these requirements into any travel planning. Timeframes should also allow time for vaccines to become effective.
Covid-19 testing is likely to remain a common element of all travel even while vaccination campaigns progress. For those unvaccinated, some countries are demanding evidence of a negative PCR test within a certain window of travel.
If they haven’t done already, businesses may want to source private providers of Covid-19 tests who can be relied upon to provide certificates for travel promptly as and when needed.
Using trusted travel providers
Using trusted booking, transport and accommodation providers is an effective way to ensure a certain level of service. Whether searching for comfortable serviced apartments in London or clean coworking space stateside, many operators have launched their own safety schemes to assure travellers of what to expect.
Flexible cancellation policies should also be crucial for personnel in charge of bookings.
The wider travel picture is evolving all the time as countries and localities experience and react to the pandemic differently. Staying attuned to the latest news on what’s happening where will help businesses keep their staff safe and up to date.
Close monitoring will reassure employees that they won’t be caught out and stuck abroad or in a higher-risk area in the UK.
The rise of remote working has created a wealth of new cybersecurity concerns, and travellers will naturally be at higher risk from opportunistic criminals. Businesses should assume their data is more likely to be exposed than it was before, making on-the-go security and clear company policies essential.
Travelling for business again is bound to feel a little uncomfortable at first. But with a clear understanding of the risks involved, both businesses and staff can mitigate disaster and make each trip valuable.