Corporate travel is exposed to numerous variables and unpredictable risks. Though it is almost impossible to eliminate the risks, travel managers and employees can take effective precautions for risk mitigation. While on international and domestic travel, corporate employees are prone to several risks such as health, theft, cultural dilemmas, natural calamities, and finance. Let us understand the what is business travel risks through numerous issues that corporate employees should be aware of:
Top international corporate travel risks
1. Health and Safety Risks
Traveling in general poses a threat to health and safety. It is the same case with corporate trips and traveling employees. Covid-19 is an accurate example of such a threat. Further, these threats include diseases (endemic, epidemic, pandemic), food and waterborne diseases, accidental risks, etc. Travel admins need to understand the various aspects of corporate travel and the health issues related to it. They should be well acquainted with the nearby medical facilities in the traveling area and emergency services. They should also insure their employees to provide medical treatments and easy claims during emergencies.
Suggested Read: Top Benefits Of Corporate Travel Reporting For Finance Team
2. Security Concerns
International travel presents an opportunity to conduct and expand business across borders. However, different countries maintain different rules to ensure the safety of travelers and their national interests. Hence employees should remain active and updated about the corporate travel risk management policy of a company. They should read travel advisories, avoid high-risk areas, and remain well-versed with emergency contact numbers. Travelers should be well aware of their native country’s embassy. Also, the employees should remain vigilant and informed about any risk looming in the area.
3. Cultural Sensitivity
Culture changes with differences in the location and diversity of people living around. As a foreigner, it is very easy to misinterpret or misunderstand the culture of the area and run into legal and social issues. Travel admins should ensure to dispatch necessary laws about the location such as dress codes, etiquettes, cultural norms, etc. One should be able to adopt the local norms to show respect and ensure positive interactions. This cultural awareness is vital to maintaining a harmonious and respectful relationship with the host culture.
4. Political Unrest
With foreign countries involved in global trade and its expansion, political instability and civil unrest are bound to exist. It can be a big threat to business expansion and travelers’ lives. Hence, travel admins and travel management companies should make it a priority to stay updated about the political situations of the location or country. An understanding of local political dynamics and ongoing developments can help employees make informed decisions and protect themselves from potential risks. Business trips should be postponed till the situation stabilizes in the region or can make plans for other destinations.
5. Natural Disasters
Another major concern of global corporate travel is natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, and more. In the world, certain locations are high-risk areas for safety threats. Corporate travel managers should remain vigilant about such destinations and make effective evacuation plans with the help of local authorities. Also, employees should be well-trained to tackle such situations and coordinate with the natural disaster management team.
6. Lost or Stolen Documents
Documents are necessary to pass through customs and travel across borders. These documents can include passports, visas, vaccination certificates, and others. Without these documents, employees may need to contact the embassy and wait for the legal procedures before embarking back home. Hence, stolen documents can be a great hassle. Therefore, employees should be educated and trained for such situations.
7. Cybersecurity Risks
Corporate data means a lot to the company and its employees. Data leaks can cause theft of trade secrets Hence it is important for employees to secure confidential data while traveling. Hackers through local wifi and data networks can easily loot the data and sell it to competitors. To protect sensitive information, it is advisable to employ a virtual private network (VPN) for secure data transmission.
8. Currency Exchange and Financial Risks
Managing finances can be a tricky job especially when you are out of the country on a business trip. Employees should remain informed about the card codes and the balance they are remaining with. They should immediately talk to the travel admins to plan expenses immediately. Additionally, one should be aware of the exchange rates. Card blocks are another great issue that should be tackled immediately.
In navigating the world of corporate travel, proactive risk assessment and mitigation are vital. Travel managers and employees should work in tandem to ensure the safety, well-being, and success of corporate trips. By addressing these key risks and taking necessary precautions, corporate travel can be a more secure and productive endeavor for all parties involved.
Suggested Read: An Easy Guide To Maintain A Healthy Business Travel Diet
Corporate Travel Risks FAQs
What are the common risks associated with corporate travel?
Corporate travelers face health and safety risks such as diseases (endemic, epidemic, pandemic), food and waterborne diseases, and accidental risks.
How can travel admins mitigate health and safety risks?
Travel administrators should be well-prepared with knowledge of local medical facilities and emergency services. Providing employee insurance for medical treatments and claims during emergencies is essential.
What security concerns should travelers be aware of during international trips?
International corporate travel involves different security rules and regulations in each country. Travelers should stay informed about their security rules of company, read travel advisories, avoid high-risk areas, and know emergency contact numbers.