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Back in the day, travelling for work was something that only executives and those holding top managerial positions would engage in. But in today’s globalised era, business travel has become common practice, with a growing number of companies sending their employees all over the world to handle all types of work-related tasks. This gives professionals the possibility to expand their networking opportunities, meet prospective clients and partners face-to-face and forge stronger relationships with them, tap into new markets, experience new cultures and explore different work styles.
Therefore, it can’t be denied that business travel comes with plenty of benefits. However, there are also risks to be taken into consideration. And by risks, we don’t mean feeling jetlagged, dealing with cancellations or long waiting hours at the airport. While these issues can certainly cause discomfort and become a hassle for frequent travellers, they’re not a serious cause of concern. There are far worse things that can happen during a business trip.
While this shouldn’t dissuade one from travelling for work, being aware of the risks can help employees better prepare for their business trips so they can stay safe and make the most of these travels. Far too many people are so accustomed to the routine of jetting off to different destinations for work purposes that they’ve become oblivious to the dangers, forgetting it doesn’t take much for a business trip that started perfectly to go south.
So, if you’re about to embark on your first business trip and you want to start off on the right foot, or if you’re regularly travelling for work and you want to ensure your journeys go smoothly, here are some of the most common risks and hazards you should know about.
Slips and trips
Unlike leisure travel, where you get to decide your itinerary and how you spend your time, business trips usually imply tight schedules, so you might find yourself constantly on the run, going back and forth between airports, hotels and business meetings, trying to get everything done in the shortest amount of time possible. Add jetlag, exhaustion and unfamiliar places to the mix, and you’ve got an increased risk of slips and trips.
In the best-case scenario, slips and trips can give one a good laugh or result in an awkward situation. But there’s also the possibility of minor to severe injuries because of slip and trip incidents. That’s why one must be extra careful about these hazards when travelling for work. Try to organise your time in such a way that allows you to be punctual without having to rush to get from point A to point B, so you can be aware of your surroundings and spot potential issues on time. Making sure you get adequate rest and staying vigilant at all times will also help reduce these risks.
The same factors that increase the risk of slips and trips during business trips also increase the risk of traffic accidents. Many employees choose to rent a car, or their company provides one for them to ensure they can commute easily to work. Unfortunately, convenience can quickly turn into a disaster when the urgency to get to a certain destination on time, combined with carelessness and reckless driving behaviour, comes into play.
However, traffic accidents while travelling for work are not always the employees’ fault. So, if you happen to be involved in a car crash while you’re on a business trip through no fault of your own, you might be entitled to compensation for the damages, as you can learn at https://www.accidentclaims.co.uk/personal-injury-compensation/car-accident-claims. But prevention is always preferable, so complying with traffic regulations and planning and studying your route before you get behind the wheel are the best ways to keep traffic accidents at bay while you’re away.
Travelling to an unfamiliar city or country for work can be daunting enough. Still, things can get much more complicated when your travel destination is not the safest place on earth. Unfortunately, there are numerous locations where terrorism, internal conflicts or high crime rates pose severe threats to locals and visitors alike.
That’s why it’s necessary to research the safety of your destination before you set out on your journey. For example, if you travel to a big city, you should know that muggings are common and take the necessary precautions to keep yourself and your belongings safe. In particularly dangerous cities, it’s recommended to plan your route in advance, avoid sketchy areas, travel in groups, try not to go out at night and keep your travel plans to yourself.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse for committing an unlawful act, but as a foreigner, you’re much more prone to fall into this trap than a resident. Therefore, business travellers should do their homework and learn about the most important rules and regulations they need to comply with in the country they’re visiting.
Certain activities that may be normal in your country of residence might represent an offence in a different part of the world. For example, it may be illegal to drink alcohol in public or in areas with religious significance. Being aware of these laws will help you stay out of trouble and avoid serious legal penalties.
Apart from laws and regulations, unwritten rules can impact a business traveller’s experience. Culture and customs vary widely across different countries and communities. While being unaware of these local particularities will not attract any legal actions, they can make your life abroad much more difficult.
Learning about a place’s culture, traditions, and habits will not only help you avoid embarrassing cross-cultural faux-pas. Still, it will also make your business trips much more enjoyable and productive.
Business trips come with great benefits, but if you want to enjoy them to the fullest, you also have to be aware of the risks and learn how to reduce or avoid them effectively.