Business travel remains an essential part of business but with the recent terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris, they have highlighted the need for all companies with travelling executives to have the right travel procedures in place to protect their staff. It need not be a major disaster, but a lost passport can cause delays and a lose in productivity, therefore it is important for a companies to have the right travel processes in place. Besides, protecting staff is a legal requirement under Duty of Care legislation.
Tips to safe business travel
- Share itinerary – in the event of a terror attack or similar it may be necessary to contact you to check on your safety or to make alternative travel arrangements for your safe return back to your home country. Business travel accommodation bookings are not always the made by PA’s or those in an executive assistance role, but rather by the employee themselves ahead of their travels. With many serviced apartments and Hotel websites now offering quick and easy online booking systems it is not surprising that employees often choose to make their own travel arrangements (unless company policy dictates otherwise). While this gives individuals a lot more freedom of choice the down side is that the safety of the employee could be compromised if their business travel itinerary isn’t shared with the company. Without advocating the need to breach an individuals privacy, making if compulsory to pass on your travel schedule and accommodation details could work to your favour in the very rare situation that something does go wrong and you can’t be immediately contacted via your iphone at least then there are other options available.
- Effective channel of communication – equally if you have any concerns for your safety while travelling abroad or even in your own country you will want to know who you can contact to offer immediate help to implement a plan of action to resolve the situation quickly and with the minimum of stress and discomfort as possible.
- Informed traveller – knowing local laws and customs, flight details, medical contact numbers and your overall schedule will not only take the stress out of your trip but minimise the risk of missing a flight or train journey, dressing inappropriately – being empowered is the key to keeping you as safe as circumstances will allow and guaranteeing effective and efficient business travel.
- Travel light – limit the amount and weight of your luggage to avoid ‘weighing-down’ your movements through airports, train stations and to your hotel or serviced apartment. Packing light, preferably with only a carry-on, can help streamline your entire travel process. The lighter your luggage, the more likely you are to remain alert and have your attention focused on your surrounding environment remaining continually vigilant.
- Stay in touch – Stay in touch with a your employer or PA as well as your family or friends so that they know that you are safe.
Duty of care responsibilities for companies whose staff are on business travel internally or abroad, have been elevated to new levels. Knowing what these are is important to avoid breach of legislation.
As a serviced apartment provider we take steps to assist in the safety of our guests. Relative to a hotel stay, serviced apartments provide a few additional features that help in keeping business travel safe and less stressful – they have a kitchen and dining table so you can cook and eat in particularly if travelling alone and have concerns about commuting around a town or city alone at night. They are also inclusive of a washing machine, iron and ironing board so you can travel light but still maintain your same level of cleanliness (ladies – add scarves and jewellery to your suitcase to change the look of each days outfit so travelling light doesn’t mean having to compromise on your need for style and sophistication). Detailed information is sent to guests ahead of travel with a map showing where to park in the secure parking garage to avoid unnecessary walking around. Customer reviews published on TripAdvisor or on the providers website give a good indication on the merits of the serviced apartment to reassure that it is a good choice and a place you will feel secure and relaxed in during your business travel.