With the widespread of Covid 19 and the resultant pandemic, businesses around the world suffered a backlash and according to reports business related travel has come down by at least 83%. With the new normal work life relying on video conferencing technologies to host virtual meetings, business travel has been rendered quite unnecessary. Having said that, the impact of face to face meetings can never be underestimated. They are vital for developing long term business relationships and building trust with clients.
With Governments around the world stepping up their health programs and tightening travel restrictions, it will take some time for organizations to resume International Travel. Hopefully this will coincide with the release of a vaccine for CoVid19. But there are things that businesses have learnt from this pandemic- The need for better medical insurance and organized travel operations that can protect their employees travelling abroad. Such proactive measures will help the employees seek quality medical assistance in case they get sick and also provide for evacuation in times of crisis.
With the road to recovery from this crisis proving to be really long, work and businesses will have to resume their operations. Though many meetings will be happening on virtual platforms, face to face meetings will still be unavoidable in some circumstances. Organizations will also have to confront many problems like reluctant employees and their families while securing the business trips in every way possible.
With proper strategies in place, organizations can resume International and domestic travels. This especially is critical for businesses that cannot completely do away with face to face meetings.
Have clear objectives and authorize essential travel - Once the Pandemic loses its intensity, clients and business allies may start preferring real time meetings. But as responsible organizations it is important to be clear with the objectives of such a travel. The host country situation, government regulations and safety measures need to be considered before authorizing the travel plan. In the Post pandemic era, it is important to instill a clear mechanism or governance policy as to who should authorize future business travels and how the criticality of the travel should be decided. The person authorizing such travel will have to assume accountability in order to ensure employee security and well being.
Authorizing only the most needed travel plans and packing multiple events in the same trip will ensure productivity and cost savings for the business entity.
Get Corporate Travel Assistance - Bringing in travel managers or a corporate that provide exclusive travel assistance is a good idea. These firms provide great advisory services that can help you decide confidently. Various factors like destination risk, ease of medical assistance, government response and health care standards followed have to be evaluated before the travel costs. In such difficult times, employees taking business trips are also prone to develop mental stress. The organizations need to step in and provide adequate compensation and secure the employees’ travel.
Revamp your travel assistance program - During these uncertain times your employees will be tentative to travel to foreign lands. In order to drive their insecurities, it is vital to communicate the travel and medical assistance they can avail during the course of their travel. Providing adequate travel insurance and taking good care of you employees increases brand reputation and credibility. Evaluate your travel insurance schemes and upgrade them in line with the existing pandemic.
Communicate and educate employees - Make sure these schemes, their limitations and benefits are easily accessible by the employees. Travel advisory firms also educate the employees on various precautionary measures that need to be followed like wearing masks, practicing social distancing and also the medical care facilities in the host countries that can help in case of emergencies.
Such vigorous planning and strategizing will ensure the travel objectives are attained without compromising on employee health and safety. The pandemic has taught some valuable lessons that organizations need to remember. When situations become difficult only organizations with proper corporate governance policies and strategies have better chances of survival. These insights can offer guidelines for strengthening business entities so that they develop immunity to any adverse situation in the future.