Employees travelling to and from Rio? Make sure your business is prepared

- Leadership - Aug 18, 2016

With the influx of around 7.5 million sports fans into Brazil this summer, the risk of travel disruption is at its peak. Add to that current health, political and economic unrest and companies are increasingly vigilant when it comes to preparing their travellers for a safe, productive trip.

According to a recent Egencia study, two-thirds of business travellers expect employers to monitor their safety. Companies also want to ensure a seamless travel experience so that their staff are on the ball in early morning client meetings. 

Use credible sources and technology to stay safe

With Brazil still battling the Zika virus epidemic it is important that employees are informed of the vital information. Make this information available using credible sources like the World Health Organisation (WHO) or local health experts. Automatic travel alerts delivered by email or over the company’s online travel site help travellers have all the information both prior and throughout their travels.

In addition to health concerns, busy transport hubs and stadiums can be ideal places for pick-pockets and petty criminals. Although it may be difficult to avoid these areas completely, advising employees on the best routes and times to travel would prepare them well in advance of making their journey. In fact, there is a Rio 2016 app specially designed for the summer games which provides useful event and travel information to help sports fans navigate the best route to each stadium during the event. Good business travel apps will also keep travellers up to speed on events which will impact them, flag any disruptions and offer any necessary last-minute booking options.

Policy and preparation is key

It is believed that the games in Rio will attract 7.5 million sports fans. This will likely mean that travel disruptions will follow with staff potentially missing a flight or getting diverted into one of the many official fan zones. Any conscientious business traveller will want to rebook within company policy. Businesses must make this easy for them to do while on the road. Travellers should be able to easily book within a system that follows policy and provides them with the support they need, when they need it. A travel app that links corporate road warriors into their managed booking system and travel agents will go a long way in helping make this happen.

This summer’s world-class athletes will have spent months (maybe even years) preparing for Rio. Companies can take a cue from them and prepare staff just as meticulously for their travels. Companies should liaise with their suppliers to ensure travellers have all the information they need in order to operate during times of extreme disruption. Sending out regular travel alerts and advice will prevent employees from taking unnecessary risks and will allow them to make contingency plans.

Read the August 2016 issue of Business Review Europe magazine. 

Follow @BizReviewEurope

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