As a business traveler during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's important to know how you can minimise physical contact with others while travelling to prevent the spread of the virus, as well as avoid contracting it yourself.
Business travel can also be hectic, so it's important to stay healthy while traveling for work as well. Did you know that COVID-19 is one of the most common viruses on planes today?
Business travellers often have to touch many surfaces during their travels in order to get from their seat on the plane, across an airport terminal or hotel lobby, over restaurant tables or desks in meeting rooms — all places where they could pick up a virus.
These tips can help you minimise your contact with others and hopefully avoid contracting or spreading illnesses:
Save your boarding pass digitally.
Luckily, the overwhelming majority of business travellers go through airport security without ever touching their boarding pass.
This is because many airlines are going contactless and have saved the process so you can just scan your phone or use a facial recognition system to get through security, instead of needing to show an ID and place your finger on a scanner.
Keep your boarding pass downloaded on your phone for easy access to avoid touching boarding pass kiosks, just in case.
Having a digital boarding pass also helps keep you organised, as it is drastically more difficult to lose your phone, which you are constantly using, rather than a fleeting boarding pass.
Use corporate payment systems.
Similarly, you can avoid passing credit cards back and forth by using contactless payment systems. By using online processing, chip readers, or swipe and pay you are able to go through a day's worth of transactions without putting yourself in harm's way.
Your company may work with a travel management company that can help you find ways to take payments that don't involve handing over your card.
Wear a mask in public and maintain social distancing.
Wearing masks or facial coverings is one of the most effective ways to avoid contact with others. Masks can be worn in public spaces and should cover your nose and mouth, while still allowing you to breathe freely and speak clearly. In addition, social distancing is still an effective way to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Where you can, maintain 6 feet between you and others.
Avoid using public transportation when you can.
Once you reach your destination, try to find ways of getting around that allow you to avoid public transportation like subways and cabs.
If your company allows, rent a vehicle for yourself, or do some research about restaurants within walking distance from your hotel. While rental car rates are heightened, this should be viewed as a necessary expense by your employer.
Avoid sharing food with others.
Speaking of restaurants, it's important to avoid sharing dishes with anyone in your group while travelling.
Business trips consist of many networking events, group dinners, and working lunches, and it's not uncommon to order an entree` platter for the group.
However, it's important to be mindful of your own health and the health of everyone around you when ordering.
Carry a hand sanitiser with you at all times.
Physical contact may not be completely avoidable on your business trip.
When you do contact others by shaking hands, bumping arms, or standing shoulder-to-shoulder in an elevator or plane, be sure to carry a hand sanitiser with you to avoid spreading more germs than necessary.
Business travel during COVID-19 has redefined how many businesspeople approach their work and professional interactions.
With a few best practices and a bit of awareness, you can ensure your trip is stress-free and that you and your peers remain healthy.
In many industries and professions, travel is an essential part of doing business.
But there are still ways to travel efficiently, have a good time, and mitigate risk.
If you abide by these best practices in addition to being vaccinated, you should have some peace of mind.
Written by Derek Edwards