Pandemic restrictions are beginning to lift across the world. The business industry has adapted to the new normal through remote working and virtual conference calls. As international and domestic travel reopens, many businesses are likely to use a flexible approach. Most international trips will be reserved for important conference calls, and technology will be used for the rest.
There is a whole new set of challenges for business trips in the post-covid era. Airports are likely to be filled with sanitation zones, rapid testing kits and social distancing guidelines. If you are in charge of business travel in your company, you need to understand travel regulations fully. Here are a few key things to watch out for when booking a business trip.
Cancellations and flexibility
Every country has different rules, regulations and testing policies. Always aim to get flexible tickets and bookings to be eligible for a refund if circumstances change. You will be faced with far more cancellations than usual. Be prepared for plans to change, especially concerning accommodation and flights.
Many airlines have adapted to the pandemic with add-on trip insurance, allowing you to reschedule and cancel the trip. If you can’t obtain a full refund for the journey, push it as far back as the company will allow you to.
Domestic travel over international
Business travel will be different to how it was pre-pandemic. Hopefully, employees will be able to find a better work/life balance without so much travel.
Domestic travel is likely to increase in demand. Employees can participate in face-to-face meetings without needing to travel abroad. Companies can host meetings in person, travel safely and maintain the same networking experience. An employee could take a train from London to Bradford and back in the same day with minimal contact. Domestic travel offers a safer experience while keeping the business industry alive.
Is the trip essential?
You need to assess whether the team member feels comfortable and safe travelling abroad. Travelling during a pandemic is a high-stress situation that can be easily avoided with a virtual meeting.
However, some important meetings need to be done face-to-face. In this case, do a quick risk assessment of the destination, the country’s covid circumstances, and your employee’s health. Ensure the travelling employee is aware of the covid guidelines, like washing your hands frequently, wearing a face mask and social distancing.
If your company practises social distancing daily, the employee is likely to be familiar with these guidelines already.