When you or your employees travel on business, it may be the last thing on your priority list. There are potential customers to impress, presentations to perfect, relationships to build and businesses to close. But nothing will be worth it if you don’t get there.
Using an action plan to ensure safety on each trip and making sure each employee learns and follows some basic practices can help avoid inconvenience and help everyone focus on business alone.
Incorporate these safety habits during the trip so that you, your employees, and the interests of the company are safe while traveling on business.
Establish a plan before you leave
Immediately after purchasing airline tickets, you should think about ground transportation. Spend five minutes on travel logistics to the airport, from the airport to the hotel and from the hotel to the airport. Schedule your trip to the airport one day in advance to make sure you arrive on time.
You should even think about your transportation options when you land. It’s really important to have it figured out beforehand when you arrive in a new city or country. Are there shuttle buses at the hotel? How do taxis work at the airport? If the carpool apps option is available, you can order one when you have your luggage.
Use reliable transportation providers
At each airport you will find different transport options, such as shuttle buses, taxis, collective buses and trains. In some cities, some of these options may have a very low and convenient cost, such as unlicensed taxis, vanpooling and limousines around the airport. Although it sounds like a lot of fun to get to the hotel in a limousine, don’t let yourself be tempted.
You have no guarantee as to how safe they can be, how much the trip will cost or whether you will be able to pay the company’s expenses when you return. And while you probably won’t have any problems with public transportation, the last stretch to the hotel could be problematic. An excellent way to get there on time and safely is to use a reliable carpool app with a good reputation and international presence.
Know the basics of your destination
If you travel to a conference in Monterrey and have been there several times, you can get on the plane and relax. But if you’re traveling to a city or country you’ve never been to, knowing a little about the place can help make the trip simpler.
Look for restaurants near the hotel, research local customs and catch up on the subtleties of the local economy. Especially when traveling abroad, the duty of protection obliges you to assess possible risks during the trip and to ensure that employees are aware of issues such as terrorism or civil unrest.
Prepare your phone for the trip
If your phone isn’t working properly, has a broken screen, or doesn’t charge enough, replace it before you travel. It wouldn’t be good if you were stranded or late for a meeting because your phone stopped working when you landed in Munich. And if your company uses multi-factor authentication systems to log in or token codes by SMS, a broken phone can be catastrophic.
If your device works well, make sure you take the necessary steps to avoid problems. Use a sturdy case and screen protector in case your phone hits you when you’re on the road. While adapters can be useful, be sure to carry a portable charger (with full battery) in addition to the common cable, so you never run out of battery.
Share your location with apps
It is important that you use apps so that your co-workers and family members know where you are, especially when traveling alone or to new countries. In the worst case (or if you get lost) it will be easier to find you and you will be able to get help more quickly. Sharing your location with apps like Uber will also simplify coordination with other travel companions.
When you order a trip with Uber’s app, you can easily share your location with colleagues so they know where you’re going and when you’ll arrive. This is quite useful when you’re not in a place you know. For travel managers, there are enhanced duty of care features available at Uber for Business through its partnership with International SOS. This helps your company have access to important information about the location and safety of employees and can take action in risky situations.
Protect your information during the journey
When you’re on the road, protecting your personal information, company intellectual property and customers’ private information should be a priority. The chance of devices being lost or hacked is very high. Follow these steps to keep your information safe when you’re traveling:
Use a PIN or biometric lock on all your devices
Your cell phone, laptop, tablet, and other devices must be locked with the appropriate PIN code, password, or biometric lock at all times. Always log off when you’re finished working.
Don’t use portable disks
According to Infosecurity Magazine, 87% of employees who completed the survey lost a portable disk and did not notify the company. The cloud storage service (if possible, provided by the employer) is significantly safer and cannot be lost.
Never use public wifi networks
Public wifi does not protect your online activity or information as does the connection you have in the office. It’s like working on an ultra-secret project inside a room with glass walls. Use your phone as a hotspot or ask your employer for a portable hotspot.
Take Necessary Health Precautions
If you are traveling abroad, make sure you have all the proper vaccinations and are healthy for travel. Check to see if your health insurance provides assistance at the destination and make sure employees have the appropriate travel coverage. You should make sure everyone knows how to access emergency medical care when they are on the road. All employees should carry the card with company contact information and emergency numbers for immediate assistance if needed.
Protect your identification
Coming home can be a journey if you lose your id. Carry your ID and passport with you at all times and carry copies of both in your luggage. As a last resort you can also scan them and upload them to the cloud.