Corporate travelers who go on business trips alone are increasingly encountering several risks. It is only understandable that lone travelers, especially women, feel uncomfortable and stressful whilst traveling overseas to participate in international seminars and conventions or meet potential customers for closing deals. They usually carry many important documents in addition to more cash and credit cards than leisure travelers, making them a prime target of assaults, thievery, and other threats.
More importantly, they are required to work in unfamiliar environments, where language barriers and cultural differences are highly likely. The process of traveling alone, from finding taxis to staying at hotels, can be unnerving for many as a result of several risks associated with it. These include the following.
Health hazards during off-site work places
This includes any health and security risks of lone workers when traveling to remote areas, such as vandalism, theft, kidnapping, or the handling of sensitive data or material content.
Health effects due to long distance flights
Long haul flights can pose significant health risks from noise-induced hearing loss, jetlags to radiation from cosmic rays. This has the potential to adversely impact the health of employees especially if they are travelling alone.
Security risks of traveling
Following the worldwide outcry over the missing Malaysia Airlines flight, MH370, and the recent crash of the Russian Metrojet airliner, the security risks of travelling by plane invite considerable concern for travelling employees. They also have to face risks associated with hijacking and kidnapping.
Using a journey management application such as JESI will alert emergency contacts if an incident has occurred.
Inability to ask for help in emergencies
Lone travelers often face the difficulty of contacting someone reliable in the case of emergencies. This is particularly critical if they do not speak the language of the travel destination and find it difficult to share their concerns with people around them.
Incapability for the organization to locate employees in an emergency
It can be difficult for the employer to contact employees in case of emergencies, such as blackouts, terrorist acts, and natural disasters. This is due to the strong likelihood of dead mobile phones and lack of internet connectivity, making it complicated to return back from the business trip.
Political instability at the travel destination
Business travelers visiting a country marred with uprisings and demonstrations are certainly not recommendable for closing any deals or meeting potential customers. The risk factors ranging from kidnappings to vandalism are highly likely.
The failure to maintain a reasonable work-life balance
The high stress pertaining to the inability to maintain a work-life balance is another predicament for lone business travelers. Family and other social commitments often have to be waived to make time for business seminars and exhibitions in different cities and countries.
In consideration of the aforementioned risks, employers have to take stringent measures to ensure the protection of their employees. Knowing the safety of travelling employees makes good business sense because incidents become costly, particularly when lives are at stake.
More importantly, lone business travelers should feel as safe as possible when travelling knowing that emergency contacts will be alerted if an incident occurs. A simple journey management application like JESI could be the catalyst for improving the way you monitor your travelling workforce.