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Despite our technologically-driven, digital world with its abundant video call applications, business travel is rising; which suggests that we still value face-to-face meetings over and above remote ones.
As an employee travelling on business, be aware that it’s your company’s duty to make sure you are informed about the type of risk you may be exposed to and that you are given appropriate information and instruction as to how these risks may be managed, reduced or eliminated.
Obviously, this includes political instability and civil unrest if you’re travelling to high risk areas. Even traditionally safe regions can change quickly, for example the recent terrorist activity in London or anti-Trump riots in Stockholm. Risk also includes issues affecting your health, which range from relatively minor ailments like food poisoning to major events such as a heart attack or a virus outbreak.
Although your travel manager and travel management company provides the required proactive alerts and reactive emergency arrangements such as alternative accommodations and flight changes, do your own pre-flight research. Familiarise yourself with your destination. What contagious diseases are easily transmitted through mosquitoes, water, or unsanitary conditions? What type of climate will you be in? Will there be a risk of heat stroke or sunburn? Will you be flying into a high elevation creating a risk of altitude sickness? Then take the necessary precautions.
Also make sure your corporate travel manager has provided you with comprehensive insurance that covers any claims arising from negative experiences in the country you’re visiting.
As a frequent traveller, although representing a company with the procedures, policies and insurance to mitigate risk, the onus remains on you to look after your health.
The last thing you want to do is to expose yourself to any more risk than you have to. Prevention is indeed far better than any cure.