From pop-up policies to bio-security well-being – Corporate travel management takes on new complexities – Skift | Instant News



Many international organizations have rightly responded to the pandemic by re-emphasizing the safety and well-being of their employees, but some of these new well-being surges, which tend to be associated with to the risks that the deadly Covid-19 virus may pose while traveling, may end up finding a permanent home in the company’s travel policy. Because in the same way that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of virtual technology, among other things, it highlights the importance of taking care of the traveler. Much work was certainly already being done around well-being, and of mental health in particular, by companies before Covid, but as travel is slowly coming back, it’s back on the radar as they work on policies that will be adapted to the coronavirus era and beyond. Join us for our World Skift Forum online conference from September 21-23 “Covid-19 has changed the health and safety conversation, putting it at the forefront for all travelers,” according to the booking and travel platform. SAP Concur expenses. Its recent 2020 Business Travel Survey found that ensuring personal health and safety while traveling was the most important for business travelers, with 65% placing them in their top three considerations. which surveyed 4,850 business travelers in 23 global markets and 800 trips. leaders in eight global markets, he also found that they expressed more positive emotions with the prospect of returning to the road than negatives – but 97% expect changes in travel standards, reflecting an upturn in travel standards. interest in safety and well-being. “With these changes in place, 45 percent of travelers now say that the trip itself is the most stressful part of the trip, a 50 percent increase from last year,” added SAP Concur. So what’s on Travel Manager’s radars right now? would have encountered this term in their travel policy, not being accustomed to the smallest details of HEPA filters, nucleic acid testing and Hilton’s latest partnership with cleaning brand Lysol. Today, of course, these are all the hotels, airlines and airports that speak to reassure customers and passengers. “We’ve worked a lot over the past year, like a lot of travel buyers, on wellness, but it has been focused on physical wellness, jet lag, fatigue, hotels have access at a gym, “said Alice Linley-Munro, Global Travel Analyst at Oil Spill Response.” We started to focus more on wellness than mental health, but now with Covid, wellness bio-security as well – because that in and of itself affects all other areas of wellness, ”she added, while speaking to WIN Global Travel Network and Hickory Global Partners’ ITMC virtual event the last week. just be a complement to the policy. For us, it was important to have conversations with our travel management company about how we can really integrate it from the start so that it just becomes the culture. In other words, companies have to plug their reservation systems into a lot of new hygiene protocols, no easy feat when they’re constantly updated. It’s a lot of work, and one where travel management companies also have a role to play. Focus on technology It’s not just a matter of making sure a traveler is not booked in an intermediate seat. “Customers want more end-to-end control and predictability. -finish a business travel experience, which allows them to better manage essential travel and reassure their employees that their health and well-being are valued beyond the costs ”, declared Manuel Brachet, Vice President of Commercial, Multinational and Global at Egencia. “Travelers want to have access to essential information, such as hotel health and hygiene measures, directly in the reservation path so that they can book with confidence.” Besides agencies, medical security and travel service companies are also stepping up. International SOS, for example, is providing Singapore Energy Drilling Management with its new ICC AOKpass – an app that stores an individual’s Covid-19 test result. This has helped its employees to travel to Thailand, which has strict entry requirements for Covid-19. It is no easy task, but being able to dynamically provide updates to the traveler, during his trip, they will be able to remove some of the stresses and anxieties they may feel, having to follow several protocols. “All of this information is in different buckets,” said Cindy Heston, director of travel and events for insurance company Anthem. “It’s great from a buyer’s point of view, because you really have detailed information on each supplier, but there are a lot of different brands, and all the brands have different protocols and solutions.” Also speaking at the ITMC virtual event, she added that Anthem was discussing how to universally bring all of this information together, using a dedicated business information system, and overlaying the data with its booking tools. “What are the rules in this market, regarding masks, restaurants, temperature controls? They change every day, every minute, so how do you put this information together accurately? She continued. “We don’t have the solution. Agencies help us collect this data. It has been a great learning experience. When you look at duty of care, protecting your travelers, that’s one of the most onerous things we’re going to deal with. As far as partners are concerned, we have found excellent solutions. In the future, suppliers and agencies can expect companies to place more emphasis on technology and the data that can be transferred to help keep the traveler informed every step of the way. In addition to companies turning to agencies for help with data, a trend for more flexibility is emerging. In today’s environment, staff are aware of the risks and of course employers cannot force an employee to travel. However, some companies have cultures that penalize those who are not ready to travel, especially in high pressure sales roles. Ouvid has now forced companies to be more prepared to learn more about the situation and the story. of the individual before his departure. a business trip. And now, a mental health expert believes Covid, finally, is opening the door for more of these conversations, where the number of trips can be called into question, especially in light of the adoption of virtual meetings. “You need to be aware that not everyone will feel the same when they go on a trip,” said Matthew Holman, owner of Simpila Healthy Solutions and co-founder of the Business Travel Wellbeing community. “How do you deal with these people who no longer want to travel? We need to be able to educate every traveler on the alternatives that exist. What are the levers or pulleys that would make them more comfortable for travel? “We need this front-end interface that allows the traveler to say, actually, I don’t want to spend the night. I’d rather go back for a day. But that might not be what the policy says. How do you start this conversation? ” energy RWE Generation UK, these processes have already started. “I spoke to 12 of our most frequent travelers, who manage teams of technicians and who have to travel to different sites”, Holly Bemrose, Travel Manager, Company Energy RWE Generation UK, told Skift. “We asked them how they would imagine traveling after Covid, in a world where a vaccine has been developed. They said they would like to travel a lot less, maybe 60% less. Before, they themselves expected that any meeting would be face to face. They have now realized it was unnecessary. So instead of one night, they would do two nights to do more, and then they could travel less frequently. Skift also understands that for companies where travel has not been restricted, such as the energy sector where power plants have yet to be maintained, travel managers have created “context policies” to inform and reassure the customer. staff that they planned every detail of the trip. They are implemented for individual projects, where employees work at certain locations during certain periods of time, with dedicated websites or intranet pages filled with safety guidelines and Q&A regarding travel to that region. another example of travel manager innovation – and while they may be seen as temporary solutions or workarounds for critical travel, they are ready to as SAP Concur concludes in its study: “The data suggests that travel will continue to play an irreplaceable role for me. meet critical business requirements. However, the health and safety of travelers, along with a new era of travel preparedness and policies, will be central concerns as travel resumes…. New expectations for personal and community health and safety will mean a new era of decisions, processes and innovations in the travel industry. View full articlePhoto credit: Happy travelers from Singapore’s Energy Drilling Management division, who use International SOS’s new ICC AOKpass – an app that stores an individual’s Covid-19 test result. SOS international



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