Traveling abroad can be a great experience. To keep it that way, companies need to be prepared to keep employees safe when business takes them overseas.
We caught up with Erika Weisbrod of International SOS to discuss travel risk management for companies when their workforce is on the road. International SOS is a medical and travel security firm that provides organizational support and risk assessments for various aspects of employee travel including IT liabilities, employee tracking and medical response.
What are the biggest risks facing business travelers today?
Travel risks vary from person to person depending on an individual’s profile and/or destination. However, the most prevalent risks that business travelers can expect to encounter today include:
- Petty or opportunistic crime
- Natural disasters and extreme weather
- Political and social unrest
- Medical emergencies
- Road traffic accidents
An incident as common as a pick-pocketing or a bag theft can leave a traveler without important documents, such as their passport, money or phone. It also could also result in the theft of a company-owned device, such as a laptop, exposing the company’s data privacy. Many travelers also find themselves with minor medical ailments, such as gastro-intestinal issues, which if not treated, or treated improperly, can become much more severe. While it is important to prepare employees for how to respond in the case of critical incident, the more common but benign incidents have the potential to become more acute if not handled properly, and they either don’t request or receive appropriate assistance.