According to Aires' latest Pulse Survey, Global Short-Term Assignments, 71% of survey participants note having global extended business travelers, with 74% of respondents confirming they are also on the rise.
The major obstacles to a company's management of a population of business travelers are the identification and tracking of the employees' travel. Extended business travelers can often fly under the radar, and global mobility teams are often unaware of their travelers.
While we know that there are many risks associated with tax and immigration compliance when it comes to business travel, in light of recent terrorist attacks and what seems like an increasingly dangerous world, we must also continue to think about employee safety, too.
The Global Business Travel Association Risk Committee suggests implementing a travel risk management program that would have an all-encompassing duty of care strategy and crisis management process to identify and protect your business travelers.
The five pillars of travel risk management consist of the following:
- A business travel health, safety, and security policy. Most companies already have a safety and security policy in place, but every company needs a specific set of policies around business travel.
- Travel safety and security information. Companies must base their advice on reliable travel information, both of which should be relayed to travelers before they embark on a trip.
- Restrictions on travel to higher risk countries. You must have a plan for controlling travel to high-risk countries. Companies may define high-risk differently based on their corporate risk appetite.
- Knowing where your people are. In the case of a safety, security, or health incident, you must be able to reach out to your travelers to ensure their safety and offer support.
- An incident and crisis management plan for when things go wrong.
And here are some points from the GBTA to keep in mind in improving travel risk education:
- Know what groups hold extra risk in certain locations. Be aware of individuals who may be at a higher risk when traveling. Be strategic about where you send your employees and equip them with necessary resources.
- Be aware of changing political climates. Stay up-to-date on global news and research the destination before you send a team there.
- Know what countries will be bordering you. Be aware of geopolitical tumult in the areas surrounding your destination.
- Stay up-to-date on travel rules and regulations. Always pay attention to policy shifts, such as the recent laptop and travel bans.
Being proactive, being aware, and having a plan will help keep your travelers safe!