Travelling is going to be the most significant issue post COVID-19 lockdowns. Since virtual workspaces and online functioning are limited solutions, it is important to consider the safety aspects of travel, reducing travel risks and revising travel expenses in a very strategic manner. It means your travel policy needs to be designed in a way that it ensures your employees' safety with an improved duty of care.
LCC Travels & Rentals have considered 13 most vital points that you must include while creating a corporate travel policy.
To manage the travel demand, companies now need to assess what is permissible travel across various destinations. In order to assess, company needs to internally review its preparedness, traveler's confidence and Govt. permissions. This will determine what is
permissible for every trip request.
Creating An Extraordinary COVID-19 Travel Policy:
Companies will need to work with HR, Legal, Security and other stakeholders to create a one page, high level travel policy which needs to answer questions like – Have you clearly defined essential travel ? Is it safe to travel ? Who is allowed to travel and for what reasons ?
Safety & Well Being: Companies may need to check a traveler's pre trip, on trip and post trip health status. Hence it is important that you get familiar with the duty of care tools from an established travel management company. Also, organizations will need to increase employee engagement and connect with the Govt. approved testing labs to generate satisfactory results.
Constant engagement is extremely important as one needs to listen to the travelers, understand their concerns and mutually find solutions to address the same.
Choosing Air Travel:
For travelling to certain destinations, choosing air travel would be wise in the present scenario. Airlines are revising their policies and making diligent efforts to ensure safety of their passengers. It is therefore wiser to book an air ticket through your Travel Management Company (TMC) who will provide essential solutions as per your need. Preferences will be given to airlines who maintain high safety and hygiene standards.
Upgrade your hotel booking policies to select hotels which offer touch less technology for physical interaction, room only food services, and spaced out common areas. In case companies opt for alternate accommodation like Air BNB, they may also look for accommodation which offer a buffer of 3 nights between guest stays to eradicate any risk of contaminated surfaces.
Rental cars will play a pivotal role as most of the companies have ramped up their safety protocols like airlines and hotels. Instead of choosing trains, buses or cab apps where you may
compromise your safety, it is better to have rented transport or multiple rented transportation services in a day that adheres to hygiene standards.
Self Booking Tool:
Usage of Self Booking Tool is advised in order to reduce contacts between the traveler and travel desk with pre-defined company policies, in built payment solutions, expense tracking, online check-ins, online tickets, boarding passes etc.
Reduce Hard Copy Bills:
Many corporate still insist on submission of hard copies of bills. Vendors such as hotels, cars and TMCs must be advised to submit soft copies of invoices to reduce touch points.
Duty Of Care Tools :
Travel managers and travelers need to adopt Duty Of Care tools to stay updated with pre-trip and on-trip travel alerts which help in reaching out to travellers for support if required.
Insurance is essential for all types of trips including international and domestic travel as this will provide peace of mind and support both to the traveler and the company in any emergent situation.
24 X 7 Support:
A constant support is required to travelers in different time zones at any given point of time to have any immediate readdress of services and support. It is important that your TMC provides you 24 X 7 X 365 days support.
Entry Restrictions & Installation of Apps:
Keep travellers updated about entry restrictions before they start planning their trips. As many countries are easing their borders, it is advised to check whether installation of certain Apps are mandated by local governments.
Being prepared, being aware, will help you and your team to regain confidence to travel. This list is an ongoing work in progress as the situation demands. Start unlocking your travel bags, now is the time to turn up stronger.