Some 48 per cent of travellers would consider not travelling on business to countries they deem ‘risky’, according to new research.
Travel and expense management company SAP Concur found almost half (48%) of business travellers say they would consider not travelling abroad for work if it took them to a location they considered unsafe, be that based on their own perception or official government travel guidance.
This comes as 23 per cent of British travellers surveyed said they were involved in or close to a critical incident while away for work in the last year.
It paints a worrying trend for businesses operating at a global scale, if the UK Government’s Travel Advisory warnings are to be taken literally. Official guidance for instance in regards to Turkey – Britain’s 18th biggest export partner – carry multiple warnings from natural disasters to passport thefts, while travellers to China, Britain’s 6th biggest export partner are warned about commercial disputes that could lead to detention.
The anxiety regarding travel could be explained by one in five (20 per cent) European business travellers thinking their employer couldn’t provide any professional support – such as an extraction from the country or instant communication – in a major incident. This rose to 33 per cent in Finland and 27% in Germany.
The findings are further proof that, increasingly, businesses must ensure the very best business travel safeguarding procedures are in place that modern employees are demanding. Failure to do this could have an impact on both attracting and retaining talent.
Despite this concern, overall – across Europe – employees are demonstrating increased confidence in duty of care in comparison to SAP Concur data last year. 64 per cent of respondents rated their company as taking its duty of care obligations seriously, with a further 27 per cent outlining their company’s stance as neutral.
Emma Maslen, MD of UK Enterprise, SAP Concur, said: “Without duty of care technology in place, organisations may be sending their business travellers in blind while abroad as they lack the necessary visibility into where their employees will be and when. Organisations need technology that tracks threats and then enables them to accurately locate, contact and offer assistance to their employees in the case of any incidents, be that losing a passport, a medical emergency or in rare cases serious incidents like natural disasters.”
“This research highlights the need for continued commitment to duty of care, and the knock-on effect it can have if businesses don’t have this in place. Businesses cannot rest on their laurels; they must continue to evolve and adapt in this increasingly-connected and changing world.”