All you need to know about remote work and travel policies

A comprehensive guide to navigating remote work and travel policies in an evolving business travel landscape.

A comprehensive guide to navigating remote work and travel policies in an evolving business travel landscape.

By Jeremy Bos

Remote worker working from a cafe with greenery surrounding her

The rise of remote work

In recent years, remote work has experienced an unprecedented surge. More and more companies are recognizing the benefits of allowing their employees to work flexibly from anywhere. The pandemic has greatly accelerated this trend, as companies were forced to find virtual alternatives for formerly essential business trips. 

But what does this mean for travel policies for business trips? Let’s take a closer look at this new way of working and its impact on business travel together.

Intersection of remote work and travel

With the increase in remote work, the boundaries between the workplace and business travel destinations are blurring. Many employees are no longer just working from home but also from various locations worldwide. This poses new challenges for companies, especially when it comes to adapting their travel policies and ensuring compliance with all legal and security requirements.

A survey by American Express Global Business Travel shows that 88% of respondents consider choosing in-person meetings crucial for building positive, long-term relationships among employees.

Importance of understanding travel policies 

A clear and well-thought-out travel policy is essential to ensure both flexibility and accountability. In a world where employees work from different locations, adapted and flexible travel policies are key to success. Additionally, the Global Business Travel Association has predicted that global business travel spending in 2024 will surpass pre-pandemic levels, indicating a revival and reshaping of the business travel world.

What is remote work and how has it evolved?

Remote work means that employees can perform their tasks from any location without having to commute to an office regularly. This way of working has evolved from a niche solution to a global standard, especially since the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies like ufurnish have demonstrated how effective remote work can be by regularly bringing their teams together for in-person meetings to strengthen team spirit and improve collaboration.

Studies now show that over 50% of employees worldwide work remotely at least part of the time. This number is expected to continue rising as companies recognize the benefits and adjust their work cultures accordingly. The shift in the reasons for business travel from customer-centric to internal meetings also demonstrates how the needs and priorities of companies are changing.

Benefits and challenges

The benefits of remote work are manifold: increased employee satisfaction, lower operating costs, and access to a global talent pool. However, there are also challenges, such as feelings of isolation and communication difficulties. Amex GBT data shows that 70% of respondents believe a primarily remote work model can isolate employees.

Man working remotely from a hammock on a video conferencing call

Corporate travel policies vs. remote work policies

Traditional travel policies are designed to meet the needs of office-based employees who occasionally go on business trips. However, remote work requires an adjustment of these policies to cover the specific needs and risks of employees working from different locations. For example, legal and compliance aspects such as visa requirements and tax obligations must be taken into account.

Variations across industries and companies

Not every industry and company has the same requirements for remote work and travel policies. While some companies have strict policies to protect their employees, others offer more flexibility to foster innovation and creativity. The hybrid approaches that some companies are adopting demonstrate how different industries and companies can adjust their policies to achieve the best results.

Legal and compliance considerations

Companies must ensure that their travel policies comply with local and international laws. This includes visa requirements, labor laws, and tax obligations. A good travel policy takes all these factors into account and protects both the company and its employees.

Balancing flexibility and accountability

It is important to strike a balance between flexibility and accountability. Employees should have the freedom to work from different locations, but clear expectations and responsibilities must be defined.

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Did you know?

Companies like GetGoing can help support this balance through tailored travel management solutions.

Tools and technologies for seamless collaboration

Modern technologies such as video conferencing, project management tools, and cloud solutions enable seamless collaboration no matter where employees are located. Companies should invest in these technologies to promote productivity and communication. Tools like Slack and Trello are excellent examples that are already successfully used in many remote teams.

Best practices for remote work and travel policies

Best practices for remote work and travel policies include several key elements. First and foremost, it is crucial to establish clear policies and expectations. Define clear rules for remote work and business travel so that employees know what is expected of them. Additionally, these policies should be reviewed regularly and adjusted to new circumstances.

The world of work is constantly changing, and travel policies must remain flexible to meet current needs. Finally, open communication is crucial. Foster open dialogue between employees and managers so that issues can be identified and resolved early. Transparent communication builds trust and strengthens teamwork.

Employee having an informal chat with boss with coffee cup in hands

Tips for communicating with employers

Employees should communicate openly with their employers if they want to work remotely. It is important to clearly articulate one’s needs and expectations and find solutions together.

Managing work-life balance on the road

Managing work-life balance while traveling can be challenging, especially for employees who are frequently on the move. It is important to set clear boundaries between work time and personal time to avoid burnout. Scheduling time for rest and personal interests is crucial to ensure a healthy balance between professional demands and individual needs.

Overcoming challenges and maximizing opportunities

Remote work offers many opportunities but also poses challenges. With the right strategies and a supportive environment, these challenges can be overcome, and the benefits maximized.

Legal obligations and Duty of Care

Employers have a duty of care to their employees. This includes ensuring their safety and well-being, no matter where they work. A well-crafted travel policy helps fulfill this responsibility.

Providing resources and support systems

Companies should provide employees with the necessary resources and support systems to succeed in remote work and avoid common problems that arise when traveling for business. This includes training, technical equipment, and access to relevant information.

Fostering a culture of trust and transparency

Trust and transparency are crucial for the success of remote work. Employees should feel supported and valued, and companies should promote an open communication culture.

Remote work has fundamentally changed the world of work. Companies need to adapt their travel policies to meet the new demands. A balance between flexibility and accountability, the use of modern technologies, and a culture of trust are crucial.

Companies will increasingly adopt hybrid work models where employees work both remotely and in the office.

New technologies such as artificial intelligence and virtual reality could further revolutionize the way we work and travel. Companies should be open to innovations and adjust their travel policies accordingly.

Are you ready to adapt your travel policies to the demands of remote work? Learn more about how our travel management software can help automate and simplify your travel policies.

Learn more about GetGoing and discover how we can support you.

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