The variables of business travel dictate that companies should have robust travel policies which will bring some order to this chaos and keep travel costs in check. Research conducted by Rockbridge found that employees who don’t follow company travel policies cost their employer approximately $2,881 more annually when compared to compliant employees. Andrea Tsakanikas, President and founder of CrewFacilities.com shares the key pillars that constitute a good travel policy.
- The travel policy should stipulate what modes of transport business travelers should use. For example, should they UberX or the most cost-effective means available? Stipulate how costs like airport parking and fuel costs for the personal cars of business travelers will be handled.
- Define what kind of lodgings your employees should use when they travel. For example, when is a 5-star hotel acceptable? Who covers mini-bar, parking and Wi-Fi costs during hotel stays? Be as detailed as possible because this cost factor may be the biggest during business travel.
- On-Site Spending. Design a travel policy that outlines how the cost of meals, entertainment and alcohol will be regarded. Will you give the employee a daily allowance for such costs, or will they spend their own money and file a reimbursement claim? Weigh the pros and cons of each option and select what is practicable for your company.
- How will employees deal with any emergencies that arise? What measures are in place to prevent data breaches when your employees travel? Which devices will employees use when they travel? How will you exercise your duty of care with regard to employee security during business travel?
- Approval Process. Many payment systems exist. How will business travel payments be approved and tracked? Set up a paper trail and define timelines within which different documents should be filed. Decide who will be responsible for approving any expenses for reimbursement or payment.