More than half (54 per cent) of Australian business travellers have domestic security concerns while travelling for work, according to a survey commissioned by American Express Global Business Travel (GBT).
Despite duty of care processes and technology for business travellers being a greater focus for employers, current thinking and discussions have often focussed on concerns regarding international business travel.
Interestingly, traveller concerns over international travel by Australian business travellers was 61 per cent, only 7 per cent greater than concerns over travel within Australia.
Jo Sully, GBT’s Vice-President & Regional General Manager, Australia & South Asia, says companies must ensure duty of care appropriately covers all types of travel.
“It’s important for Australian employers to remember people have legitimate safety concerns about travel in their own backyard. Domestic safety concerns remain significant in many countries around the world,” said Sully.
“Depending on a company’s travel needs, staff may not always be staying in major cities with a strong security presence, and this needs to be properly considered from a safety perspective.
“Even if your travellers are not in actual danger, travelling alone, particularly at night, in unknown areas outside of major cities, can cause significant unease which can impact traveller peace of mind, and productivity.
“While hotel accommodation continues to be the major preference for companies when arranging business travel, sharing economy accommodation options are rising in popularity. Employers need to provide guidance if they feel there is a greater risk from a safety and security perspective, with certain accommodation options.”
The survey also revealed that almost one in five business travellers have had to reschedule business travel due to safety concerns, indicating a potential impact to costs and productivity.
Despite this, most Australian business travellers have faith in their employer’s ability to aid when needed, with 91 per cent reporting confidence in receiving support.
“It’s certainly not doom and gloom for work-related travel – employers simply need to provide systems, and technologies that will help ensure their travellers feel supported. Most importantly, duty of care efforts need to be backed up by strong internal communication.
Australian employers, for the most part, are appropriately investing in processes and technology, but it’s important that this is clearly communicated,” said Sully.