Has the pandemic changed how organisations perceive the risks associated with business travel?
Almost three-quarters of business travellers (73%) would decline a business trip if they didn’t feel confident their employer was prioritising their safety and wellbeing says a new Opinium survey of 500 UK-based business travellers, commissioned by World Travel Protection, a global travel risk management organisation.
Furthermore, over 6 in 10 (63%) would quit their job if they felt their safety when travelling was not a priority.
Whilst business travellers generally express high levels of confidence (65%) in their employer’s concern for their well-being and safety, the survey reveals that they are given surprisingly low levels of practical support. For example:
- Only one in six (17%) are provided with a travel risk app with live destination alerts and location notifications for emergencies.
- 15% receive a full briefing on the travel destination.
- 14% are given an emergency number outside of business hours.
- Only 13% receive regularly check-ins from their employer.
The survey also reveals how the pandemic has changed the way organisations approach business travel, with over half (59%) of business travellers saying their organisation takes the risks associated with business travel more seriously than it used to.
However, this is not enough for the almost 6 out of 10 travellers (58%) who say their employer should be checking more frequently on them. This might also explain why only half of travellers (50%) feel their well-being on business trips is taken seriously by their employer.
Kate Fitzpatrick, Regional Security Director, EMEA, at World Travel Protection, said: “This research shows that businesses are at risk of losing essential employees with so many prepared to decline business trips or even leave their jobs if they feel their safety and wellbeing on business trips is not being taken seriously.
“There’s plenty of scope for employers to improve the support they give to their travelling teams from providing in-depth pre-travel briefings, to checking in with them regularly whilst they’re away. Furthermore, partnering with a travel risk management company, like World Travel Protection, is the best way to ensure employees have access to the most up-to-date security information, as well as a global support system of highly qualified medical and security professionals.”