With the majority of companies only recently allowing their employees back in the workplace, business travel has never been so quiet. COVID-19 has changed the way we work, with companies and employees constantly adapting to the new regulations. Important meetings have moved to Zoom and with most work being achievable on laptops, what is the outlook for business travel in the foreseeable future? Is this our new normal?
Flexibility – If companies have learned anything throughout the pandemic it’s that a lot of the work that was once ‘necessary’ to complete in the office is perfectly achievable at home. If a company feels their productivity has remained or even improved despite remote working, then they may introduce a flexible working pattern. This means that as an employee you may only be expected to go into work for a few days, while the remainder is done remotely. If this plan is put into action, it subsequently reduces the number of people who travel for business, thus reducing the risk and fear of contracting COVID-19.
Travel comfort – If you need to use public transport to get to work, it is likely you have already seen the changes companies have made to make their transport COVID-19 safe. The main changes you will notice on buses and trains, for example, is that social distancing measures have been implemented and it is mandatory to wear masks. Whilst some people don’t welcome wearing masks for long journeys, many people feel that the new rules are positive. Customers loved the personal space they gained on long train journeys and have started to really enjoy this form of travel because of it. Gone are the days of cramped carriages and now we welcome spacious, relaxing business travel – a welcome change for all.
More checks – If businesses deem it necessary and employees are happy to travel, companies may choose to implement more checks to ensure the safety of their staff. They may consider only letting single or double-vaccinated employees back to work. As it is understood that the vaccine reduces the risk of hospitalization due to COVID-19, this could be a safety net to ensure that anyone traveling to work will be protected if an outbreak does occur. Lateral flow testing may be introduced before you travel to your workplace, ensuring that no one with suspected COVID-19 travels to work and risks spreading the disease.