Travellers now have more of a say in how they travel for business than ever before and an increasing number of travel managers are balancing the needs of their employees with the needs of the organisation as a whole, as a way of boosting employee satisfaction and engagement.
Although increasing the comfort, convenience and simplicity of business travel as way of thanking your travellers for their time ‘on the road’ might seem like a nice idea in theory, realising and implementing these changes in a way that doesn’t undermine efforts to reduce travel spend or compromise your organisation’s duty of care is a much greater challenge.
So how do you go about improving your travellers experience?
Make it easier to book travel
There are still many business travellers hopping from travel website to travel website, booking flights then rail and then their hotel stay.
This wasted time can lead to travellers feeling frustrated at the mere thought of having to book even the simplest of trips and so as a travel or procurement manager it’s worth looking into single solution booking options.
If you’re currently using a travel management company (TMC) and are finding that travellers aren’t content with the process of booking their business travel then have an honest discussion with both your TMC and your travellers. For example, travellers may be avoiding using your TMC’s booking system because they don’t feel confident that they know how to use it properly - something that is easily fixed with a little extra training. They may also prefer an offline solution simply sending their requests to a dedicated travel consultant who can do all the work for them.
Introduce a dynamic travel policy
Strict and limited travel options are a very common source of frustration for travellers and can often lead to travellers going rogue and booking out of policy - something that then becomes a source of frustration for travel managers.
However, introducing a dynamic travel policy enables organisations to increase the amount of choice that travellers have when booking, whilst also remaining in control of their travel spend. Unlike a traditional business travel policy that is a static set of business travel guidelines, a dynamic business travel policy’s controls will adapt depending on the options available at the time of booking.
To discuss your travel with us get in touch on email@example.com or call us on +44 (0)131 467 7000
Duty of Care in Business Travel
What does duty of care really mean for organisations that send it’s employees away on business?
It is a phrase that is often talked about especially by travel companies but what does it really mean and what are the implications?
Passenger safety has become an obvious concern especially recently with the Coronovirus pandemic and various other incidents we have witnessed around the world. This is a real and genuine concern as the health and wellbeing of travelling employees is paramount to all business'.
Travel can be stressful and take a toll on the body and mind that could affect an employee’s performance in a key meeting, as well as having a cumulative impact due to issues such as poor diet and disrupted sleeping patterns.
In the UK, employers have a legal duty-of-care for their employees wherever they are based or travelling, while the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations mean that companies also have the responsibility of undertaking risk assessments. This means that all of their time spent away from home is the responsibility of the employer. Organisations should have clear policies regarding their responsibility for employee health and wellbeing while abroad as there is a clear duty-of-care and legal responsibility. Companies should undertake risk assessments for every traveller to “identify any potential risks and seek to reduce the risks to an acceptable level”.
The standard of accommodation also has an effect on risk, particularly when considering things such as food poisoning and location within a city, which can be significant depending on the country being visited.
If a foreseeable risk exists and the employer fails to advise travellers or misrepresents the severity of that risk, then they can be liable for a health-related issue in the same way as a safety and security issue.
Examples could be failing to provide adequate immunisation advice for travellers going to a high-risk area of diseases like malaria, cholera or hepatitis.
Working with a TMC like us at The Travel Company Edinburgh will help to eliminate these risks because as well as giving your travellers and travel bookers adequate advice and information we can also work with your HR department to ensure we are meeting your requirements when developing a travel policy for you.
It’s not just about booking the cheapest airline ticket, if that’s going to be bad for the traveller and cause them lots of stress due to the timings or the routing. You might save money on the airline ticket, but then the employee could be off sick because you have made them take unnecessarily long or inconvenient flights, which will cost you more in the long-run.
I believe these are some of the questions that you should be asking yourself as an organisation if you haven’t already:
What business class policy should you implement to ensure travellers arrive rested?
What should the company position be on employees self-driving after long-haul flights, especially when crossing time zones when jetlag is a factor that could increase the risk of an accident?
Where do travellers go for a single source of facts on the current Covid-19 restrictions or the other health risks and advice?
Should extra layers of approval be built into the travel approval policy for destinations with high health risks?
If you need help with your travel policy and want to see if we can help reduce your travel expenditure please contact us.
firstname.lastname@example.org or call on +44 (0)131 467 7000
The Travel Company Edinburgh
Security in Business Travel
One thing that is so important when considering your travel policy is the security and safety of your travellers.
Companies often overlook this element, not on purpose of course as they have a company-wide travel insurance policy in place and then assume that this will cover everything they need. A normal company travel policy or insurance does not usually provide the cover that is required to all destinations especially if your travellers are travelling to a destination that is advised against travel by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) or there is a change in the advise while they are abroad.
The help and advise that we, as a travel management company (TMC), can give is invaluable.
We can arrange and assist with numerous things, the below is just the tip of the iceberg:
Get intouch to discuss options for your company, we are here to help and make life easier for you and your company!
Call us on +44 (0) 131 467 7000 or email on email@example.com
The Travel Company Edinburgh
Why You Should Use a TMC
'Why should I use a TMC when I can just book everything myself?' is something that we have heard alot in the past.
I love it when someone asks us this as there are so many answers depending on the company or situation of the person. A big one right now is that we are watching the developments on the Covid-19 travel restrictions globally so that we can inform all our clients of the situation in the destination they want to travel to and the situation with quarantine upon returning. Therefore if the traffic light system in the UK changes then we will let you know and help you get home or to the destination you need to go.
With regards to and other thing that people also say; "I can just book everything online": You can still book everything online if you want to, using our booking system, or you can just ask us to do it for you and save a lot of time with all the searching especially when it is a busy destination! PLUS you have the backup of a 24 hour team of experienced professionals to help should you need it.
Why wouldn't you use a TMC?!
Just image this situation:
SOLUTION: Just give us a call:
When using us as your TMC there is no need to panic we can help you. We have all the information in one place and can tell you exactly what flights and hotels are booked and for who and help sort all the flights, re-book alternative flights, book trains if flights are grounded, book hotels where required or anything that you need.
So the answer to the question is:
Why would you not use a TMC when you have the support of our team of experienced professionals to help you and we have all the up to date information about the travel restrictions with regards to Covid-19.
Get in touch and we can tell you how we can help you with your situation email us
The Travel Company Edinburgh
+44 (0)131 467 7000