With COVID-19 still dominating domestic and international headlines, open, transparent and timely communication is the key to reducing anxiety amongst business traveller as travel starts to pick up again.
Travel managers need to take the lead to reassure travellers that their wellbeing is paramount. Here are our tips and guidance to ensure your travellers are supported before they fly, whilst they are away and once they’ve returned.
Communicate openly and regularly
The inherent uncertainty around COVID-19 is naturally unsettling, which is why factual and timely updates are important. Keeping the lines of communication open with your employees and travellers also sends a clear message that you take their health – and that of your clients – very seriously. Clearly communicate your preparedness and any new strategies you are putting in place.
Listen and reassure
Understanding the concerns of travellers is important. Vulnerable employees with underlying conditions have genuine reasons to be concerned about travel and should be offered alternatives, such as video conferencing. Recognise that some travellers will also experience increased anxiety due to the possibility of their travel being disrupted mid-trip.
Recognise that some travellers will also experience increased anxiety due to the possibility of their travel being disrupted mid-trip. With the international situations changing quickly, suspended services and quarantine restrictions can catch travellers unaware.
Keep to the facts
Reassure travellers that good hygiene is very effective against contracting the virus. And ensure good hygiene is also followed in the workplace as returning travellers circulate at work – especially given that the virus has a 14 day incubation period.
Keeping communication factual will also build trust. Arguably the most important fact is that in general, the virus only causes mild symptoms in most people.
It’s important to have good real-time methods to communicate with all employees, especially those travelling. Ensure that your travel management company has robust risk management procedures, including a mobile app to contact travellers if the situation changes and a 24/7 emergency hotline.
Revise policies if necessary
Be flexible and open to adjusting company policies to reflect the situation. This includes travel policies, work from home policies, sick/carer leave and workplace hygiene procedures. Also commit to reviewing policies as the situation changes, potentially allowing more employees to telecommute or to work more flexible hours. Involve employees by asking them what issues they see potentially arising from business travel.
Draw on your Travel Manager’s resources
Travel programme managers and traveller bookers can call on the in-depth industry knowledge available to them through their FCM travel manager. Our experts have the resources to advise on travel policy changes, traveller risk management and the latest country travel restrictions, along with advanced technology to communicate quickly and efficiently with travellers.
Travel news and updates
Get up-to-date travel information and advice via our Traveller Information Hub. Here you’ll find:
- The latest air, hotel, and border updates from across the globe
- An interactive map to help you assess your destination’s risk
- Chatbot assistance for any Covid-related travel questions
Rules and restrictions vary by country and are changing regularly, so don’t forget to check the latest information on your departure and any transit countries.
Need help with your travel programme during COVID-19? We're here to help.