How to manage travel post lockdown: from project bookings to long term stays
COVID-19 has quickly impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. It’s taken a serious toll on our healthcare infrastructure, the economy, and of course, travel. Many of us have been working remotely since the beginning of March - and have somewhat adjusted to a new normal. Our governments have put restrictions in place to protect us, and as they begin to lift, we face new questions, anxieties, and challenges.
Key Workers have been travelling throughout the lockdown, and many businesses have updated their operations to best serve them, and keep them safe. In the travel industry, hotels have completely overhauled operations to increase cleanliness and safety of both guests and employees. Now, as construction and manufacturing industries, for example, get back on the road, businesses must quickly react to ensure they are in safe accommodation. On top of this, many businesses are facing budget and staff cuts, making managing these already difficult to coordinate bookings even more of a challenge.
How to book safe accommodation for your workforce while remaining cost and time-sensitive:
1. Be flexible
Many hotels have closed down or halted operations due to the impacts of COVID-19. Particular chains or hotels that you’re used to booking may no longer be available. The good news is, there is often a similar property that is in the same price range and distance. It’s also good practice to book rooms with refundable rates at this time - as it’s had to predict the next change or amendment to our current travel restrictions. Platforms like Roomex are constantly updating their inventory with hotels that are available, and that are offering refundable rates. Our hotel experts promise a one hour response time and will negotiate and confirm project bookings on your behalf. They will alert you to any changes you need to be aware of upon arrival with a confirmation call to the hotel, and are available for contact through live chat at any time.
2. Get ready for a very different travel experience
Workforce travel is not what it used to be. The entire experience has changed, from check-in, to how rooms look, to the way food is served. Many hotels have implemented social distancing screens at check-in, promise sanitized key cards, and have removed any non-essentials from the rooms such as menus and binders. Most hotels have halted dine-in services and will deliver boxed meals to guest rooms or for takeaway. Since we’re constantly negotiating large group rates, we promise safe hotels in-line with the WHO’s cleaning guidelines. Our team has clear direction into what particular hotels have done to ensure safety and they will inform you prior to check-in.
3. Educate your staff on staying safe while on the road, and check in on them
Your most important asset is your team. They will likely be excited to get back to work and to some level of normalcy, but with caution. Just like you, the pandemic has impacted their day to day and how safe they feel while leaving their homes. You’ll want to provide them with the most up to date travel information for the location they are working, how to interact with colleagues and others on the job. Our hotel experts can guide you on how to have these conversations and send them off with helpful advice that our Key Worker customers have been following. We’ve updated our Duty of Care map so you’re able to get historical and future booking data so if there is another hotspot, you know what staff may have to quarantine. We can also provide bespoke, detailed reports on travel history and spend should you require it. If your staff needs anything on the road such as meeting rooms, meal services or meeting supplies like computers or projectors we can also work with you to accommodate any special requests.
Business travel is going to be different - and managing project bookings and long term stays are no different. Coordinating such projects may seem difficult, but with some help, patience, and expertise, your team will be back on the road in no time.
Our hotel experts have been reacting to the changes that the travel industry has undergone over the last few months - and have been making project bookings on behalf of front line staff and key workers. Get in touch with one of our travel experts here and we’ll advise your next group booking.