How to Support Employees Returning to Business Travel
May 30 2022 - With travel restrictions lifting and concerns about the pandemic easing, business travel is resuming in many industries. This is fantastic to see because business travel can be an integral element of operations and a perk that employees can enjoy. But it is also understandable if people are feeling uneasy about returning to travel after such a long period and with the pandemic still being somewhat of an issue in the background. So, what can you do to support employees returning to business travel?
First, it is important to offer a gradual return so that staff can get used to travelling again. Instead of sending them on a 12-hour flight halfway around the world, you could start off with a local business trip or a visit to somewhere nearby, such as a domestic or European venture. This should help to build their confidence and allow them to get used to travelling for work.
Listen to Feedback & Suggestions
You should also encourage staff to come forward with their own ideas, suggestions and concerns surrounding business travel. Often, it is the employees that have the best ideas as they are the ones that are doing the travel. In addition to getting the best ideas, this will also be helpful because staff will feel valued, listened to and respected. As an example, they might have concerns over their accommodation so you could explore alternatives such as serviced apartments in London as opposed to putting them up in a hotel.
Encourage Conversations About Health & Wellbeing
In todayís day and age, employee wellbeing is hugely important and this needs to be something that there is open dialogue about. You should also make it a priority when it comes to business travel, which can be stressful and take its toll. Encourage staff to come forward if they are struggling and find ways to support the health and wellbeing of staff during business trips, such as giving them time to relax, recharge and enjoy their new surroundings.
Leading on from this, you may also want to allow flexibility so that people can get more value from their trip. This is being seen with what is called "blesiure" trips that allow people to mix business and pleasure while away from the office. Many people have not travelled at all in the last two years, so you could benefit from allowing them to make the most out of their trip - you could even encourage them to bring their partner or family along if itís an extended stay.
The resumption of business travel is fantastic to see after such a long period with travel restrictions, but you might find that it is not a case of "business as usual". These tips should help you to support staff as they return to business travel and hopefully help them to enjoy being able to travel for work again while alleviating any concerns that they have.