Why the ‘Duty of Care’ does fall on you
During my career, I’ve sat out a pre-Christmas strike in France and been office-less in Stockholm. Whether you are on the road or at your home base, you can never control what ‘disasters’ life throws at you ...but you can always be prepared!
Last Fall we had a fire in our building in Stockholm. At first we thought our office would only be closed for a few days but this turned into several months.
What really surprised me was that business went on as usual. We all managed to do our job pretty well without having an office to work from. I think that’s because Amadeus was well prepared and had a good backup plan. The company rented temporary office space around town and we had the tools we needed to work remotely.
But, what would have happened if we hadn’t the right tools to do our job from anywhere? Or if Amadeus had no clue how to deal with this ‘emergency’? It got me thinking about ‘What happens if you are on a business trip and disaster hits?’ I’m talking here about things like transport strikes, extreme weather, natural disasters, political unrest, terrorist attacks …
What if? What do you do then?
Hopefully, events like this will never happen but, if – and when – they do, companies need to be prepared and ready to act. It’s all about the ‘Duty of Care’ – taking care of your employees or business travelers so you can track, contact and support them during a disaster.
I remember a business trip to France many years ago, just before Christmas. All the airports were closed and the buses and trains were also on strike. It was really tough to figure out whether to rent a car, drive to Italy and fly home from there, or wait for airports to open again. We ended up staying put until the airports reopened – just in time to return home for Christmas. As you can imagine, this former employer of mine did not have a Duty of Care-plan in place…
Backup plan more important than ever before
Today, in the era of international mobility, we are traveling more frequently and to more challenging locations than ever before. Look at the oil or mining companies, for example, whose employees need to visit sites off the beaten track. Then, there are the non-profit organization employees whose staff often travel to warzones or poverty-stricken countries. Not to mention, ‘ordinary’ business travelers stranded in a snowstorm in New York.
There are companies out there who have thought all this through and have an excellent ‘Duty of Care’ plan. Others have thought about it but put it on the backburner hoping they will never need it. And, there are those who have absolutely no clue what to do when an emergency hits. But, it’s a fact: disasters can happen anytime, anywhere. Knowing how to react is crucial.
Is your company prepared for the unexpected?
Having and communicating a ‘Duty of Care’ plan shows that you care about the safety and comfort of your employees or business travelers. And when you're on a business trip: doesn’t it feel good to know that if something goes wrong, that you will be taken care of?
If your company’s Duty of Care plan is missing or lacking, my suggestion is that you contact your travel agency to see how they can help your company be prepared for the unexpected.
About the author
Anders Abbor is Solution Manager for Business Travel at Amadeus Scandinavia. He joined Amadeus in 2009, a workplace which he believes matches his passion for digital solutions and love of travel, languages and cultures.