Society dictates its conventions, and as society changes, so do its rules of etiquette. Emerging from the pandemic is a new set of behaviors aimed at respecting the space and safety of others in social situations. And as responsible tourism begins to flourish again, new rules of business travel etiquette are emerging.
Majority of global business travelers are ready to travel for business in the next 12 months, according to SAP Concur survey, and many may be preparing for their first trip in more than a year. Understandably, even the most experienced may wonder how to navigate this new environment.
Here are some situations to consider before, during and after a business trip. A general best practice is to take precautions and follow CDC guidelines, recommends delaying travel until fully vaccinated, wearing a mask covering your nose and mouth, maintaining a distance of 6 feet from others, and washing your hands or using hand sanitizer frequently. If unvaccinated, do virus testing 1-3 days prior to travel as required.
“I’m not comfortable traveling for business, but my company requires it. What are my options?” Connect with your manager or human resources to discuss travel itineraries that suit your comfort level. Speak up about your preferences and suggest alternatives to business trips, such as virtual meetings.
“I am not comfortable flying frugal during COVID-19. Can I request another seating arrangement? “ Health and safety are paramount; it is no longer the option that the least expensive option is the only option when flying for business. You should discuss with airline management and seat preferences, even if they cost extra.
“Can I ask for a hotel with a higher star rating?” Pay careful attention to your hotel’s COVID-19 policies and cleaning procedures, and don’t hesitate to negotiate your stay with a trusted accommodation provider.
“I want to drive during COVID-19. What are my options?” Using a rental or personal vehicle is an appropriate requirement to fulfill. Be sure to discuss your company’s policies for the use of these shipping methods in advance.
“Do I need to wear a mask when traveling?” In the United States, you are required to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth at all times when in airports, airplanes, trains, or on public transit.
“What about the physical distance?” Do your best to maintain a six-foot distance from other travelers. While you may be vaccinated, other travelers may not be vaccinated, and it is in everyone’s best interest to keep your distance.
“What if a travel companion doesn’t follow the mask requirements or is unruly?” This year, there were nearly 4,000 report of unruly passengers on airlines according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Report any harmful behavior such as verbal or physical abuse if you witness it. Don’t put yourself down the harmful path.
“Can I eat at the airport or on the plane?” To the extent possible, plan to eat and drink enough water before boarding to minimize the need for you to take off your mask during the flight. While on the plane, you should remove the mask to bite or sip, then replace.
“Can I request daily housekeeping?” Expect housekeeping to come to your room every few days, or not at all, during your stay. This measure should not be considered negotiable, as it helps limit contact, protects both hotel staff and guests…
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