Business travel adds an element of risk for employees that aren’t in a safe and secure office environment. The threat of health, crime, natural disasters, political and social instability, and many other factors can impact a traveling employee. Unfortunately, these threats and risks are commonly greater for women than men. Studies have shown that over 80% of female business travelers have been subject to a security or safety concern while away on business. Yet, corporate travel policies typically lack extra support or consideration for female travelers. As such, how can employers adapt their policies and ease safety concerns for women traveling on behalf of the company?
To ease safety concerns: Conduct more thorough risk assessments
Women face a different set of risks in society in general. That translates to business travel too.
Thus, risk assessments should consider these when planning a trip, so women have the opportunity to succeed in their business endeavors without worrying about potential risks and hazards. Risk should be assessed concerning transport options, accommodation, and general threats to her safety in the area.
Reconsider travel and accommodation options
Transport and accommodation are perhaps the two biggest factors regarding safety for female business travelers. In the planning and booking stage, the real emphasis should be on booking safer transport options, such as pre-booked taxi services rather than public transport, especially early in the morning or late at night.
Try to book accommodation in a secure location, ensuring that the provider follows rigorous safety procedures. It may be best to consider serviced apartments in big cities such as New York to provide that added level of security.
Give more information
Employers should provide business travelers with more information if their destination is associated with more risk. This could be cultural norms, dress codes, business or social etiquette.
The additional details won’t mitigate all the known risks, unfortunately. But it can help to prepare employees for certain environments.
Ease safety concerns by enabling easier communication
Communication is key if someone feels threatened or at risk while away on business. Ensure that traveling employees know emergency contact numbers and can communicate with relevant people in the local area or back home from the company.
Feeling cut off and without communication can lead to extra stress and anxiety. So, ensure employees have the necessary communication devices, such as phones and international SIM cards if they are abroad.