A Human Resources executive recently posed a question about navigating employee travel with lingering concerns about the spread of COVID-19. State by state, country by country, business travel is beginning to resume, although in most places it is limited to travel considered essential. This HR executive was concerned about ways the company could support employees while thinking forward about what kinds of risk and liability could come from required travel. COVID-19 has opened a Pandora’s Box of risks for employee travel security that a great many organizations have not, in the past, explored in-depth.
When is the right time to put employees back on the road or air?
There are no easy answers as travel resumes, but there are a few things companies should keep in mind. Aside from a general travel safety plan that can accommodate a wide range of employee needs, one of the key elements to successful navigation of this issue is already proving to be flexibility. For example, if remote work is not possible and employees must travel for their jobs, are there options available that might help them feel safer, and are they empowered to make those choices? For example, if they need to engage in domestic travel, are they able to choose whether to fly or drive? This recent article offers some valuable information that can help them make more informed decisions: https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/05/30/865340134/coronavirus-faqs-is-it-safer-to-fly-or-drive-is-air-conditioning-a-threat
Is your company able to make reasonable accommodations for employees who may have specific concerns about travel? Mandatory travel for jobs before the pandemic may need to adapt in order to address potential health and safety concerns. An immunocompromised employee, as an example, may not be able to resume business travel alongside other employees who do not share similar health concerns. Or, if they do, what reasonable accommodations may need to be provided? Some companies have strict travel parameters that must be adhered to when travel is booked: lowest fares, lowest cost rental vehicles, preferred hotels, even mandated use of ride share services to save on travel costs. Are policies and parameters able to flex to accommodate various employee health concerns?
All business travel can be accompanied by some risk. Not all risks can be anticipated and mitigated, but when it comes to employee travel safety, preparedness matters. The most important work companies can do right now, before the world re-opens entirely, is re-evaluate their “new normals” for all traveling employees. Because situations can be fluid when business travelers are on the road, it’s important to have options for emergency evacuations, local medical support and simple, rapid communication. As a society, we don’t know what we don’t know yet when it comes to the spread of COVID-19, but what we, the experts, know from experience is that there’s no such thing as too much planning when it comes to employee travel security.
IMG GlobalSecur Employee Travel Security Services
IMG GlobalSecur has decades of experience in the security industry. Our team of safety experts stands ready to help you alleviate travel fears with our corporate travel security services including executive travel security expertise and more. In addition, our FoneTrac safety app backed with 24/7 on-call security professionals can assist you in staying safe while away from home or office. Contact us today!