Travel Safety

Keeping employees safe on the road

"Watching George Clooney breeze through the airport in the 2009 hit Up in the Air might have given an aura of elegance and luxury to corporate travel, but for the true business road warriors, corporate travel is stressful, frustrating and potentially perilous…

"Attention must be paid -- both by the employer and employee -- to secure on-the-road safety for business travelers."

Corporate Travel Safety - USA Today

The Real Factor

Domestic business travel is on the rise, with U.S. business travelers expected to take 471.2 million trips in 2018, according to Statista.

This rise in business travel comes at a time when geopolitical issues continue to make headlines.

A study by American Express Global Business Travel and the Association for Corporate Travel Executives found that more than anything else, today's business travelers want a better sense of security when traveling on behalf of their organizations.

Concern over security is growing at a significantly faster rate than concerns about other topics including work-life balance issues, traveler-centric technologies and alternative suppliers.

Though travel is on the rise and safety concerns are growing, many travelers are unprepared to handle travel safety issues.

According to Business Travel News, 46% of business travelers work for firms with no clear travel security policies.

Four Important Elements

In order to ensure travel safety, it’s critical for a company and its employees to take the time to establish best practices and commit to working together throughout the travel experience – encompassing booking, ground transportation, air travel, lodging and personal safety.

There are a number of critical points involved when evaluating and implementing a company's duty of care structure for when employees are on the road.

We have divided them into four parts:

  • Business Travel Risks
  • Proactive Measures
  • Reactive Measures
  • Business Travel Safety

1. Business Travel Risks

45 percent of business travelers rate terrorism as their most critical concern, though other types of risk are more common.

Travel managers have a responsibility to manage all types of risks travelers face, both real and perceived.

A policy should consider the following parts:

  • Risks travelers perceive
  • Risks travelers face
  • Managing both real and perceived risks

2. Proactive Measures: Prevention

Establish safe booking practices before your employees travel, and make employees aware of the risks associated with ‘going rogue.’

Travelers who make their own arrangements can pose duty-of-care issues in the event of an emergency.

Travel and human resources managers should understand and, if necessary, create the following protocols for employees:

  • Establishing safe booking practices
  • The risks of going rogue
  • Managing travelers who book outside of the plan

3. Reactive Measures: Crisis Management

In times of crisis, it’s important for employer and employee to be connected.

Involve your financial, legal and HR departments as well as any involved vendors or TMCs.

Steps to take in the event of an incident:

  • Get in touch with employees
  • Guide employees to safety

4. Business Travel Safety Resources

Insurance and risk management providers, apps and websites, and industry conferences are excellent resources for bolstering your business travel safety program.

These can include:

  • Insurance and risk management services
  • Apps and websites
  • Industry conferences

Next Steps

How do you achieve business travel safety program success?

In order to develop a working plan, travel managers should take the following steps:

  • Identify the risks
  • Take proactive measures
  • Build a crisis plan
  • Look outside your company

GroundLink's White Paper - Business Travel Safety 101: Keeping Employees Safe On The Road - is available now.

The 11-page document goes into greater detail on all the elements noted above in points 1-4 - a vital resource for any travel manager or travel management company.