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How to support employees who are travelling

The world has been opening up more and more over the past year, as companies continue to readjust following the fallow years caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier this year, it was reported business travel would return to 75 per cent of the level it was pre-pandemic. International travel is once again on the cards for businesses and it is always important that your employees feel safe and supported while in a different country.

Communication with your employees working abroad should always be a top priority. You would always check in with staff who are in the office or close proximity, so make the effort to maintain contact with employees who are travelling to ensure everything is running smoothly and to get an update on work.

Here are some ways you can support employees who are travelling.

Plan ahead

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail, as the old saying goes, and there are steps you can take to make sure everything runs smoothly.

When arriving at a destination, no one wants a lengthy wait for a bus or a taxi so pre-book travel arrangements to avoid hanging around.

Moreover, it may have been a long journey so it is important to rest up and avoid fatigue, so double check everything is okay with the accommodation booking.

Consider too the type of accommodation. Say if your employee was travelling from London to Singapore, you may want to opt for a serviced apartment in Singapore rather than a hotel room to give your employee more freedom and provide a more homely feel for their stay.

And always make sure meeting rooms are properly booked, the last thing your staff member needs is the embarrassment or awkwardness of arriving at a venue where they are not expected.

Cultural background

Visiting new places can be fun and exciting, but for some, it can be a daunting experience particularly if heading to a country they are unfamiliar with.

It can be particularly stressful for work-related trips, so always take the time to help your employee learn about the cultural background of the place they are visiting.

Provide specifics about laws to avoid being caught up in anything illegal, give a few basics of the language, what time the subway or metro system may be particularly busy, and what time it is customary to eat lunch.

Basically, provide any titbits of knowledge you can to make it a smooth experience.

Offer support

A little under one in five business travellers have reported feeling the effects of stress and burnout from regular travel, so it is vital to offer your employee support.

If a role at your company involves a lot of travel then consider ways to tackle fatigue or becoming overwhelmed.

You could decide to introduce a travel buddy system if multiple staff members will be working at the same time, which could help tackle loneliness, and always provide support if needed when returning home or to the office.

Offer ideas on staying healthy and eating nutritious meals while on the trip, without dictating what should be eaten, and consider ways of providing downtime and making sure the whole experience is not solely about work.