Just about a few weeks earlier, the world isn’t what it is now. People shook hands, rubbed shoulders, ate on-the-go, and took planes, trains, and every engine on wheels to travel and trade across the world. But the pandemic clouding over us today will change everything we perceived as usual forever.
It can’t be stressed enough to pay heed to what happens when the world – now standing still – starts moving again. Will people go about their businesses as usual? Will businesses go about as normal? Will travel resume it’s receding glory where humans thrive through globalization?
The ships may have stalled on the shores, but the World Trade is sure to witness a revival. However, to sail against the wind, Travel Managers must be leading at the helm to make for the evident economic setbacks.
While we calmly weather this storm, the time you have during this lockdown could be repurposed for helping your corporation get back on its feet when the lockdowns are lifted. Skyla – incepted at the heels of the 2008 Global Recession – lends some helpful advice to Travel Managers on reshaping their Business-travel Management post-lockdown.
The Smarter Choices
Budgeting and cost-cutting would top any corporation’s post-lockdown agenda. Still, the differentiation a Travel Manager could bring is in the value.
Transport between cities will see a sharp demand in the initial few days. Also, bear in mind that price surges could be higher due to the demand. As per the speculations, lockdowns will only be lifted gradually from zone to zone, which requires Travel Managers to pay close attention to the directives issued by the State Governments.
Traditional hotels and the unaccommodating costs tied to it will strain business operations each time an employee has to travel. Now, add transportation costs, in-room food services, individual rooms for each employee, and you can see a trip not returning its investment.
Travel Managers may opt for other business-ready alternatives such as service or serviced apartments. Moreover, service(d) apartments are equipped with self-serve amenities such as a fully-functional kitchen, which in turn has an upside in cutting-down offhand expenditure.
Policy Around People
Let’s face it; we will not have the same viewpoint of consumption post lockdown; be it the food we eat or the news we read. Post lockdown, companies bear the responsibility of assuring their employees’ well-being more than ever.
It’s rather comforting to learn that you and your company stand behind your teams when an emergency arises than watch disconcerting news on media channels. Inform the company’s commitment to ensure safe travel to each of its employees, and the possible efforts in place should impediments resurface. Take advantage of automation tools and source information that is thoroughly fact-based.
Since your team will be away from home and having their meals outside may not be their personal preference, facilitate the means to cook for themselves. Also, it was seen in Wuhan that the population was hesitant to eat at restaurants when the lockdown was lifted. The air of caution is undoubtedly here to stay with us a little longer than the virus itself, but to ascertain your colleagues’ well-being, the responsibility falls on your shoulders.
Preparing For The Second Wave
It’s essential to understand the definition of lockdown to emphasize why we need to stay prepared for the second wave. A lockdown is issued to not overwhelm the medical institutions with a surge of COVID-19 cases being brought in. But, it doesn’t mean an end to the virus itself. Besides, the increase in cases of asymptomatic patients in areas where the lockdown has been lifted rings an alarm to stay prepared for further change in situations.
Furthermore, it isn’t harsh to take necessary precautions, especially when your team is traveling. While the business operations must stay afloat, employing preemptive measures to ensure your colleagues can remain productive despite travel restrictions instills confidence across the board.
A comprehensive Business Continuity Policy, which includes accommodation where teams or individuals can resume work, occupies the higher importance in your planning. Adding to this, make sure the hospitality partners have adopted stringent health & hygiene protocols. Make your decisions that balance amenities and safety measures that meet the work-life balance of your teams.
Hygiene & Sanitation
Social distancing will still be a norm, but establishing specific standards of safety and security will safeguard your teams’ well-being. Below is a 7-point checklist you could use to find your hospitality partners’ preparedness to put your co-workers out of harm’s way.
- Sanitizing common places such as front-desks, lobby, staircases, elevators, railings, etc.
- Daily screening of guests staying with them, and keeping track of their travel & medical history
- Training of staff to serve while following social distancing & maintaining personal hygiene
- Equipping staff and guests with masks and gloves
- Installing hand-sanitizer and liquid-soap dispensers wherever necessary
- In-room cleaning of floors, knobs, tables, and other paraphernalia with phenolic or sodium hypochlorite disinfectants
- Association with nearby hospitals and civil authorities
In conclusion, the role of Travel Managers during the lockdown may be limited, but post the lockdown, you will play a critical role in the revival of your company and our economy. While you are at it, we mean to facilitate and help you propel your operations to meet market demands for the times to come.
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