COVID-19 has affected almost every populated region of the globe and it’s had a huge impact on every aspect of daily life for billions of people around the world. When the virus first hit the UK, there were questions around the necessity of employee travel, and so the decision was made by the majority of executives to postpone training courses, face-to-face business meetings and networking events.
While we are currently severely restricted in the places we can and can’t travel to right now, when the lockdown ends and constraints are lifted, it’s likely we’ll have to adapt to yet another new normal. With this in mind, there are some considerations a business must make with regards to business travel within the organisation.
Make sure you take a pragmatic approach to business travel post-COVID-19. Consider the destination the employee will be travelling to; do they have restrictions which differ to those in your area? For example, if you operate from London and the meeting is in Scotland, is this travel permitted by both governing bodies? Journeys should always be re-assessed.
Has the individual had Coronavirus? If so, are they clear of symptoms? If they are displaying signs of the illness, under no circumstances must you allow them to travel. You should also consider their feelings on the matter. If you’re requesting they travel and they voice concerns, it would be prudent to listen and perhaps find a way around it.
How long will the trip take? If it’s just an hour meeting across the other side of the country, the chances are, this could be done over the phone. If the travel requires an overnight stay or longer, there is a higher chance of infection being passed from one person to another. You must also think about the population of the destination; if it’s heavily populated, this could be a problem.
There is always another way of doing things, and this pandemic has shown us that. With some careful planning and forward-thinking, travel can be avoided, or at the very least, cut down.