As you’re packing for your next business trip, stop for a moment and ask yourself this question. What if you would need to be evacuated during a tsunami or fire? As a business traveler, do you know what to do in an emergency? Whom to contact? What number to dial?
Of course, most people will never face such extreme situations, but more common, everyday occurrences can equally put travelers at risk. From a bad flu or a twisted ankle, to a stolen passport, business travelers might require assistance during a trip.
With recent world events affecting all of our daily life, concerns over travel security and safety are increasing. Business travelers are requesting further information on how to respond to an emergency. Last year, 56% of corporate buyers saw an uptick in the number of business travelers reporting heightened personal safety concerns. As a response, Travel Managers at companies are starting to prioritize travel safety and are adapting their programs to deal with unplanned events in a more effective manner.
Duty of care
As a traveler, the first thing to know is your company has a series of responsibilities towards your well-being and security. That’s called duty of care and it refers to the moral and legal obligations employers have to their staff in maintaining their well-being, security and safety when traveling for work. For any business, having a duty of care policy and a reliable travel risk management plan is essential. Before a trip, employees should familiarize with the set guidelines and act accordingly in an emergency.
A well-thought-out travel policy will include a separate set of rules to cover duty of care obligations. These rules will define:
- Clearly defined responsibilities
- Step by step actions and information required in the event of an emergency
- Expense limits
- Insurance policies
- Key contacts
- Phone number for medial and security advice and assistance
This way, your company is able to clarify how it protects employees once they start a business trip. Bear in mind that the company may not be responsible at all time, for example, if leisure days are added to a work trip.
During a business trip, some travelers may not feel comfortable with the idea of letting employers know where they are at every stage of the trip. However, this could be an essential requirement for an effective and prompt response in an emergency.
Booking within the company’s preferred channels will help travel managers quickly locate travelers on the road and respond when crisis hit. Corporate tools like Hotelzon offer a global view of where travelers are staying across the globe, at any given time.
In the event of an emergency, rely on a communication plan to reach your employer and family.
Prevent problems with minor precautions
Planning a response to a tsunami or a terrorist attack is complex, but travelers can prevent less extraordinary events and problems taking minor precautions and careful planning before the trip. If you travel abroad, particularly to high-risk areas, educate yourself about the destination before you set off. Learn emergency numbers and where to seek medical assistance.
It often goes unnoticed, but business travel poses a major cyber security threat. Travelers often carry sensitive data on several devices, and are eager to log on as soon as they find an available network to stay connected and resume work. Connecting to an open airport or a hotel Wi-Fi can put travelers and their organizations at risk.
Update software before you go and adopt a strategy to protect yourself from unauthorized exploitation of your devices. In high-risk areas, go for disposable phones and don’t use mobile phones, laptops or tablets. After travel, change all business and personal passwords.
If you’re hacked or suspect your computer has been compromised, disconnect from any network and isolate your computer immediately. This will prevent the hacker from attacking other computers and continuing to obtain files and data.