Tips for Post-COVID Business Travel

In the January 26 issue of Shortliner, writer Steve Black, co-founder of Topia, explained his thoughts on how work travel will be restored more quickly because, among other reasons, human connection is how work gets done.

In this issue, we share Black’s thoughts on how companies can prepare for what is next in business travel by establishing smart policies, compliance standards and iron‐clad record keeping.

Map Out a Strategy

While the stakes are higher and companies need to control costs, a hard “no” on all travel puts you at risk of losing ground to your competitors.

Instead, establish a protocol for determining the business case for travel and how you’ll justify the expense, not only for new business but also teambuilding and onboarding. New hires will want to know the rules of engagement up front—if they’re fully remote, how often will they get face time with their colleagues to build relationships?

Build Inclusivity Into the Travel Policy

You may have many employees chomping at the bit to hop on the next plane. But for others who are high‐risk or have challenging family/personal situations, it may be unsafe or impossible for them to travel anytime soon.

You’ll need to be thoughtful about how you manage opportunities so that you don’t disadvantage that portion of your employees who can’t leave home.

Maintain Records and Compliance

At the risk of adding insult to injury after a long year, 2021 will very likely be the Year of the Audit. With travel on lockdown over the last year or so, governments have been extremely lenient about tax and legal issues related to where employees are working. With most of them now facing massive budget shortfalls, don’t expect that to continue. They are going to come calling and holding companies accountable.

Companies need to stay on top of who is/has been where for both compliance and health and safety reasons. Tracking employee location automatically, in real time, provides the most reliable, auditable solution to ensure and validate tax and legal compliance, as well as keep your employees safe.

As travel returns, which it no doubt will, it will bring with it a whole host of new complexities around keeping costs and risks low. Companies will need to be prepared with a sound strategy and technology to support it in order to stay on top of the competition.

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