Keeping a strong eye on employee morale and mental health is a key component to building a successful organization. There is no better time to consider your travelers wellbeing than during COVID-19, as many businesses and employees have been greatly impacted. As things slowly start to open across the country, many people might still feel anxious about traveling for work once travel starts to resume.
Airports and airlines have been taking steps in order to keep travelers and staff healthy during these last few months by spending extra time cleaning and sanitizing, as well as enforcing social distancing practices by implementing new technologies. Even with these precautions, expect varying degrees of traveler sentiments around business travel.
In some cases, frequent business travelers are eager to get back to traveling once again. In fact, in an April poll of GBTA member companies, two-thirds of the respondents expect some of their employees are willing to travel once restrictions are lifted.
Since the initial restrictions were put in place, experts in the travel industry have been attempting to speculate when travel will start back up again, and many agree it will be a gradual process to return to normal. Some also expect that business travel will lead the way for travel resuming entirely.
What Can Travel Managers do to Support Their Travelers?
Travel managers will have to find ways to balance their organization’s goals with the wellbeing of their travelers to make sure both parties are satisfied and successful going forward.
While this is new territory for many travel managers, we encourage you to start by considering the mental health of each of your travelers, whether they’re traveling or not. You can do this by:
- Checking in with travelers to ask how they are feeling and what they need from you.
- Promoting healthy diet choices such as fruits and vegetables.
- Encouraging travelers to talk walks and exercise at home or in their neighborhoods.
- Hosting video calls for face to face interaction and camaraderie.
Taking these actions can go a long way to establish trust and understanding of how your people are feeling, all while promoting healthy life choices.
Coming out of COVID-19, it is natural for some business travelers to be affected by anxiety. Monitoring the mental health of travelers during this difficult time can not only help them come out of this stronger, but help the organization recover from this setback going forward. It is essential to keep strong communication with each traveler to see how comfortable they feel about traveling once it becomes safer to fly.
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