How to protect employees while they travel
Over the course of their careers, it’s likely employees will travel – whether it’s for paid vacation or business. Those journeys may vary in distance and location, but no matter what, workers will want to know their company has their back.
Let’s look at how human resources and benefits managers can protect their employees during both domestic and overseas travel:
“Factoring in time for employees to acclimate could result in a reduced rate of sickness.”
Build in time for relaxation
Travel is stressful enough without having to run from plane to plane or drive long distances and hours. To keep employees happy and healthy during these journeys, companies should encourage workers to add in extra time for relaxation and adaptation, according to Workplace Safety & Prevention Services. This way, people can acclimate better to things such as jet lag or get a good night’s sleep before a big presentation the next day. While people are aware of their need to be flexible to last-minute changes, avoiding hectic alterations to employee schedules will benefit workers.
Conduct employee training
Both personal and work-related trips come with risk. Yet, workers can learn to avoid these problematic situations with a little help from their employer. Benefits teams can conduct employee training sessions that teach people various tips and tricks to use during their travels as well as provide employees with crucial information regarding health and insurance resources during their time away, according to Business & Legal Resources. Some elements of these educational coaching could include:
- Sharing the contact information of the employer’s health insurance company so workers have it handy while away.
- Making sure traveling employees are mentally and physically fit for the journey.
- Instructing employees to pack a first-aid kit, complete with necessary supplies.
- Reminding workers that hydration is important, as is sleep.
- Encouraging people to maintain their regular routine – if possible – during their travel.
- Alerting employees to any illness outbreaks they may encounter, such as influenza.
Examine your coverage
Any number of accidents or emergencies can happen when employees are traveling, so it’s important for benefits leaders to be aware of what workers’ insurance policies cover. While the majority of plans cover people across state lines, others include medical treatment that is necessary when employees are out of the country. Before purchasing an additional policy to cover healthcare on these excursions, companies should consult the current offerings of their employer-provided insurance, the Society for Human Resource Management recommended. Once they know the restrictions of what they have or any potential coverage gaps, leaders can develop a risk management plan or buy additional services to keep workers safe.
All of these steps will help employers keep their people safe and healthy during both personal and work-related travel. While these trips can be stressful, workers will feel valued and more at ease knowing they have support from their company.