The Roomex Blog

10 Expense Policy Best Practices [+ Free Template]

10 Expense Policy Best Practices [+ Free Template]

Having a well-thought expense policy leads to a higher compliance rate, increased employee happiness, fraud reduction and overall time and money savings.

Read More
Data consolidation across best in class suppliers lead CFO’s to most optimised spend management strategy

Data consolidation across best in class suppliers lead CFO’s to most optimised spend management strategy

As many organisations attempt to cut costs to offset flat revenues, it is imperative that they understand, and have a consolidated view, of all...

Read More
Project based travelling made easier with new RoomexStay mobile app

Project based travelling made easier with new RoomexStay mobile app

We're all on the go these days (even if you haven't left home in days!) Whether you're working from home and running between Zoom meetings and helping...

Read More
Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels introduce a Stay Safe, Stay Healthy plan in response to COVID-19

Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels introduce a Stay Safe, Stay Healthy plan in response to COVID-19

Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels have implemented new cleaning protocols to keep both guests, staff, and the community safe amid the pandemic. The company...

Read More
How finance teams will get control over all travel expenses from parking to meals as companies resume business travel

How finance teams will get control over all travel expenses from parking to meals as companies resume business travel

Travel's starting to pick up again - but the same issues for finance teams remain - gaining visibility and control over the complete spend. 

Read More
Getting Back on the Road Series - How to Navigate the New Landscape of Workforce Travel

Getting Back on the Road Series - How to Navigate the New Landscape of Workforce Travel

Workforce travel is an evolving landscape at the moment, to help companies get back on the road, we sat down (virtually) with Keith Watson our Global VP...

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Millennium Hotels promise safety in hotels through and post the COVID-19 pandemic

We spoke to Richard Adler, Vice President Sales - UK & Europe and Strategic Accounts for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, a London-based global hotel...

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Introducing RoomexClean, our newest feature that informs users of individual hotel safety measures at a glance

Introducing RoomexClean, our newest feature that informs users of individual hotel safety measures at a glance

Roomex users will see a new icon in their accommodation results indicating that we have personally confirmed that the hotel they are booking meets or...

Read More

Best Western Hotels & Resorts launches new cleaning programme, Hotels that Care

Best Western is the most recent hotel chain to expand its cleaning protocols due to the impacts of COVID-19. 

Read More
Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of employees as they begin travelling again

Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of employees as they begin travelling again

No matter what industry you’re working in, where you’re living or where you’re going, you have one main concern. Safety. The Coronavirus pandemic has...

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Having a well-thought expense policy leads to a higher compliance rate, increased employee happiness, fraud reduction and overall time and money savings.

Expense policies are just one part of businesses expense management practices. 

What is an expense policy?

Put simply, it’s a set of rules and guidelines that specify how your employees can spend company money. 

Why are they important?

Thoughtfully written expense policies keep everyone on the same page when it comes to spending, reducing the chance of fraud saves the company money, while increasing productivity.

Expense policies should be simple, transparent, and trust evoking. They should be documents of empowerment, not restriction. It’s not a list of things you can’t do but a guide for employee decision making around spend. 

10 best practices to consider when writing your expense policy:

1. Be fair and transparent

If your employees see your policy as fair, they will be less likely to break it. At the end of the day, these employees are travelling on behalf of the company and should be able to claim reasonable expenses. An employee shouldn’t spend hours finding a hotel within limits for a last-minute trip or go hungry if they fear they don’t have enough for a cup of tea and dinner later. 

2. The same rules apply to all

If managers can behave in a different way than their employees it creates tension on teams. Research shows that managers are more likely to go out of policy yet are half as likely to get rejected for that out of policy claim. A policy is only fair when everyone plays by the same rules. 

3. Be flexible

The goal isn’t just to cut costs - it’s to ensure employees are well looked after and productive while travelling. Sometimes employees are forced to go out of policy, and it’s not always a bad thing. If you’re too strict it can drive resentment and employees can look to bend the rules. 

4. Go with a localised approach 

It’s recommended to have different policies in place depending on the location. It costs more in London than in Birmingham and your expense policy should reflect that. 

5. Get feedback from your employees

They are the ones travelling right? See what their pain points are, what they like about the current picture, and how you can improve. Not only does this create a better policy, but it creates ownership. Getting buy-in from managers also helps to ease implementation and adoption. 

6. It should be simple yet specific

No. More. Jargon. The goal is to show the employee how they can spend company money, not educate them in law. The policy should be specific in what they can and cannot spend on to eliminate any confusion. For example, ‘Laundry services are not included’ or ‘Dinner should not exceed £X.’ The easier the rules are to remember and read, the more likely they will be followed.

7. It should be easy to find 

Sounds basic, but make sure employees know where to reference the policy while on the go. It’s best practice to offer expense policy training while employees are onboarding. 

8. Documentation is required

If you’re using traditional expense management methods this is very important. Let your employees know what type of receipt and the date it’s accepted until they need to attach to their expense report. For an automated system, it’s much easier, however, it still needs to be addressed. For example, if a picture is required of the receipt or if the employee must select the category of the purchase. 

9. Reimbursement is clear

There should be very specific language for those that do not use prepaid company cards with employees paying out of pocket. Let your employees know when they will be paid back and how. 

10. It should integrate with your current systems 

As we’ve mentioned, it’s best to have a real-time modern expense management platform. The perfect opportunity to put its bells and whistles to work is to include your expense policy right within the platform. Then the direction outlined in your expense policy document shows up throughout the steps of making a purchase, approving, and recording receipts. 

We’ve created a sample expense policy to guide you as you draft yours. Note, this policy assumes you’re already using or are switching to a modern expense management platform such as RoomexPay. It should be used as a guide. 

Expense Policy Template

Our sample expense policy is extremely detailed, use only what is relevant to your business. We also reference our accommodation management platform RoomexStay. If you do not use this product to book accommodation, be sure to add in your travel booking policy. 

Click here to download your expense policy template 

 

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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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10 Expense Policy Best Practices [+ Free Template]

10 Expense Policy Best Practices [+ Free Template]

Having a well-thought expense policy leads to a higher compliance rate, increased employee happiness, fraud reduction and overall time and money savings.

Read More
{post_body={body={html=

As many organisations attempt to cut costs to offset flat revenues, it is imperative that they understand, and have a consolidated view, of all corporate-level spending.  A consolidated view of spend data allows an organization to better negotiate with key suppliers by comparing their spend to industry benchmarks. 

Finance teams carry the responsibility of understanding all aspects of the business. During downturns, they must be able to identify and forecast what costs, if cut, would be the least likely to negatively impact revenue generation in the future.  The challenge for many CFOs is gaining visibility, followed by the control over many hidden costs.  

Data is often fragmented, making it hard to gain full visibility and make cost-saving decisions

Typically, executives can view only a fraction of spend with their suppliers. An accurate and complete view of data would deliver the agility and actionable insight that could enable businesses to create successful cost reduction strategies while gaining competitive advantages.

Accurate visibility of spend management data is the key to unlocking the cost cutting questions.  Nearly 90% of companies still use basic spreadsheet applications as their primary analysis tools, limiting the breadth and sophistication of analyses that can be executed. These issues lead Aberdeen Research to estimate that inadequate spend data management capabilities are costing businesses $260 billion dollars in missed savings opportunities annually.

 A refined spend management strategy can unlock trends and highlight costs

Spend management is a process of collecting, collating, maintaining, categorising, and evaluating spend data to reduce procurement costs, improve efficiency, monitor and control workflows, and regulate compliance.

Spend management affects and manages various activities across the procurement cycle. It includes requisition processing, budgeting, planning, supplier management, contract management, inventory management, sourcing, and product development. Every organisation, regardless of their size and type, needs to have an efficient spend management process that gives them visibility and control over all costs.

Business and Travel expenses are a good example of a category that many organisations often fail to intelligently manage because of a lack of a clear spend strategy and suitable tools (technology) that will provide the necessary data.  And, it is often the category where significant savings can be easily found if a consolidated view of data can be achieved.

"CFOs are concerned about consistently managing spending across the enterprise, which includes visibility across diverse ERP and best-of-breed solutions and all spending categories (eg, travel).” according to META Group analyst John Van Decker.  

Reduce costs and increase your organisation’s competitive position with a closed-loop lifecycle process

Developing a closed-loop lifecycle process brings data from all stages of the lifecycle to be consolidated, optimised and ultimately reduced.

Take the example of travel and expenses (see graph below), this lifecycle process would facilitate working with best in class suppliers for each element of a trip, developing a consolidated view of the spend data which would in turn allow you to drive incremental improvements in supplier relationship management (cost reductions) and ensure cross-discipline alignment (company or department focused spend policies).  It is only when you have this visibility of spend that you can get control of it and in turn, reduce it.

future of trave;

If we look closer at travel in the context of a closed-loop lifecycle; corporates have tended to turn towards one single provider to manage all aspects of travel in recent years.  Flights, hotels – national and international in addition to the other component parts. But how relevant is this when flights are not being booked, leaving domestic hotel spend attracting blanket fees where the service requirement is lower. 

As companies drill down on costs they are looking beyond legacy TMCs, and breaking out each stage of the journey e.g. train, taxi, petrol, accommodation, meals as unique components that can be optimized from a financial and operational point. The solution still needs to jigsaw together for user experience and simplicity, it’s not the same puzzle any more. 

The value of traditional TMC’s is becoming less clear as international travel struggles.  Annual sourcing programmes (that often attract service costs), are being reviewed. What’s the ROI on sourcing now and how to maximise that.  With a global recession looming, the demand pattern of the specific company in question is much more relevant.

Blending a more efficient sourcing programme with tailored consortia rates and a wide base of supply makes more sense given the evolution of BAR over the last 4 months. There are significant savings to be made by obtaining a per trip cost rather than getting locked into an annual rate.

By working with the best-in-class provider for each stage of the trip, unique savings can be negotiated directly with each supplier, fees can be eliminated and with consistent spend policies followed by staff, immense savings and operational efficiencies can be found.  Without these direct relationships with suppliers how do you really know you are getting the best rate.  

Rather than handing over control of spend management to one single provider, companies can gain control and greater visibility of cost through focused trip management. Smarter technology will save a company hours of time by using best of breed for search, book and pricing, and centralizing payment, reporting and analytics which is what is most needed.

To drive down costs in the months ahead accurate analytics and real visibility will allow control of spend, and result in an intelligent and optimized spend management strategy.

Learn about how Roomex brings together fragmented data creating visibility into total travel spend. 

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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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Data consolidation across best in class suppliers lead CFO’s to most optimised spend management strategy

Data consolidation across best in class suppliers lead CFO’s to most optimised spend management strategy

As many organisations attempt to cut costs to offset flat revenues, it is imperative that they understand, and have a consolidated view, of all...

Read More
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We're all on the go these days (even if you haven't left home in days!) Whether you're working from home and running between Zoom meetings and helping your kids with their homework, or between cities working on job sites - sometimes, work needs to get done during these short intervals. 

We want to better accommodate Roomex to your on the go lifestyle, so we're bringing it to your mobile phone.

Get a seamless experience when making a booking or looking for support from the road, while walking the dogs, sitting in the park, working at the construction site, sitting on the beach - or anywhere life may lead you. 

app pic

Benefits of using the RoomexStay mobile app

  • Make last minute bookings whilst on the road from your phone
  • More streamlined ability to search and book accommodation on mobile
  • Check up on upcoming bookings 
  • Find bookings for travellers you're responsible for
  • Amend bookings 
  • Add an extra night to your stay while you're already on site
  • Easily reach out to our support team through mobile chat
  • Quickly make a booking if you've received a request out of hours, like on the weekend

Downloading the app is fast and easy.

For Android Users:

  1. Login to your Roomex platform on your mobile phone or by going to Roomex.com in a mobile browser and click the three lines in the top right of the homepage and select ‘Login.

    You can also scan this QR code with your phone camera if you're on the computer, just make sure you’ve turned on the lens setting for QR codes. Then type in your login credentials.
    QR code roomex login
  2. Add Roomex to your 'Home Screen' When you reach the login page (not roomex.com homepage) and fill in your information, you'll see the prompt 'Add Roomex to your Home screen' at the bottom. Once clicked, you'll be prompted to confirm you want to 'Add' the app. If your phone does not automatically prompt the download, click the arrow bar in your URL to do so. 
    roomex app set up android-1
  3. Success! You'll now find the app on your mobile device. Once you click it, you'll see the usual Roomex booking flow you're used to, just optimised for your device. 

For iPhone users:

  1.  Login to your Roomex platform on your mobile phone by going to Roomex.com in the Safari browser and clicking the 'Login' link in the top right of the homepage. Or, take a picture of this QR code with your phone camera if you're on the computer. Then type in your login credentials.
    QR code roomex login
  2. Add RoomexStay to your home page, When you reach the login page and fill in your information, click the icon at the bottom of the screen that looks like a square and an arrow to add Roomex to your home screen. Once clicked, select ‘Add to Home Screen’ in the list below, and confirm by selecting ‘Add’ as outlined below.

    Download the App iPhone
  3. You'll now find the app on your mobile device. Once you click it, you'll see the usual Roomex booking flow you're used to, just optimised for your device. If you have any trouble downloading the app or using it, please reach out to your account manager.

Not a Roomex customer yet? Well, get in touch with our accommodation experts today by reaching out here. 

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Project based travelling made easier with new RoomexStay mobile app

Project based travelling made easier with new RoomexStay mobile app

We're all on the go these days (even if you haven't left home in days!) Whether you're working from home and running between Zoom meetings and helping...

Read More
{post_body={body={html=

Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels have implemented new cleaning protocols to keep both guests, staff, and the community safe amid the pandemic. The company has worked with the Environmental Health Organisation and took advice from the WHO when creating their most recent cleaning plan. They are also working in partnership with Ecolab on recommended cleaning products and protocols to enhance their cleanliness standards within all areas of their hotels. 

Find Jurys Inn and Leonardo hotels tagged with our new feature, RoomexClean, signaling we've confirmed that hotel has met or exceeded the standards as set out by the World Health Organisation. 

jurys inn clean

Check out their safety measures that will give you confidence and reassurance as you start travelling again 

Hygiene

Hygiene has always been rigorous at their hotels and they are taking additional steps so you can be confident of your safety.

  • They have worked alongside the Environmental Health Organisation (EHO) to develop best protocols & standards which will be implemented across all hotels
  • Their hotels use Ecolab Pro anti-viral cleaning products which are proven to kill coronavirus
  • They have Sanitising Stations in key areas such as lobbies, receptions, lifts and back of house. They advise that guests make use of these stations when moving around the hotel
  • Increased the cleaning of frequently touched items and surfaces in bedrooms & meeting rooms
  • Increased bedroom & meeting room checks by Senior Management
  • Our food menus can now be viewed online whilst providing a limited 24hr room service (tray collection service)

Social Distancing

Keep everyone safe by continuing to Social Distance. Please allow 2m (6ft) distance between yourself and other people. In their hotels they are practicing social distancing by:

  • Operating a minimum touch check-in and check-out to limit the amount of close contact within the hotel

  • 2m floor markings in reception - hotels have spacious ground floor footprints, on average 700sqm to easily facilitate social distancing

  • They have protective screens at all reception desks in order to protect staff and guests

  • They are encouraging guests to use stairwells as an alternative to the lifts to access bedroom & meeting rooms Lift protocol in place, tailored by hotel and its configuration

Cashless Operation

All hotels will be operating as a Cashless operation, this will include food and beverage departments.

  • They accept all major credit and debit cards

  • They will charge your card on check-in for the cost of your stay

  • Any additional costs during your stay will be charged as consumed

Food and Beverage

They are operating a reduced Food and Beverage offering. A welcome letter in each bedroom will include the full details.

  • All menus are now available to view online
  • Breakfast is available daily as a continental option delivered to your room
  • Contactless room service is available daily
  • We have appropriate & hygienic delivery methods in place for our food & beverage offering

Training 

Training is always ongoing & an upmost priority for our teams.

  • They have worked alongside the Environmental Health Organisation (EHO) to develop the best protocols & standards for housekeeping and employee training
  • All employees have received additional training on how to keep you and themselves safe. This will be reflected in how they interact with you during your stay

Learn more about what Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels are doing to keep you safe and about our new RoomexClean feature by reaching out to your Account Manager or talking to our sales team.

 

 

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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels introduce a Stay Safe, Stay Healthy plan in response to COVID-19

Jurys Inn & Leonardo Hotels introduce a Stay Safe, Stay Healthy plan in response to COVID-19

Jurys Inn and Leonardo Hotels have implemented new cleaning protocols to keep both guests, staff, and the community safe amid the pandemic. The company...

Read More
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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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Travel's starting to pick up again - but the same issues for finance teams remain - gaining visibility and control over the complete spend. 

As we complete our fourth month of lockdown - we've begun to adjust to our new 'normal.' Every team at most companies shifted their focus seemingly overnight, but those in finance in particular have risen to the occasion. You've rewritten budgets and maintained effective internal controls to stabilize your company, all while learning how to work with your team remotely. Now, as travel resumes, many are taking a tabula rasa or blank slate approach to managing travel. 

The majority of CFO’s and finance teams don’t place controls around business travel- yet it can account for up to 10% of their total operating expenditure.

We're all looking to run leaner businesses during and post pandemic, while looking after our staff in the best way possible. Here at Roomex, we've been listening to your concerns as you get back on the road through recent surveys and conversations with customers. Many worries from the travel perspective were around cost, safety and hygiene in hotels and while travelling. From the finance perspective its all about gaining visibility and control over all spend - so you can make cost saving decisions that are backed by data. 

As your team begins to travel again, let's look into how they can stay safe while making payments, while you gain visibility and control over spend. 

When people are travelling for work amid the pandemic, it's all about getting from Point A to Point B safely, and that often includes the need to pay for petrol, parking, food, or airport transfers. We introduced RoomexPay as a safe way to pay and manage these expenses

RoomexPay suite (1)
With RoomexPay, your employees on the road each have a card and virtual card on their mobile phones with a set amount in their 'wallets' to spend according to their needs. This amount is controlled by the finance or procurement team back at the office. Those travelling don’t need to access the main account and don’t have to involve your finance department in the process.

img_laptop_dashboardOur goal with this product is to create a seamless user experience for both the back office and the traveller - and we promise to roll out everything to your team remotely and easily, without any complicated procedures. 

roomexpay_anim


Using RoomexPay to pay for meals 

As some restaurants have had to close the kitchens or reduce operations to take away only, many workforce travellers have found difficulties finding a safe place to eat. 

RoomexPay cards not only work in all hotels, but can be used with Deliveroo, Uber Eats and Just Eat as well as in physical restaurants. The cards ensure you never leave your employees out of pocket and give them peace of mind by not using cash and paying without contact.

Safely pay for parking, petrol, and airport transfers with RoomexPay

The majority of companies don't project or account for the correct amount spent on business travel. Things like parking and airport transfers typically add to this grey area. RoomexPay keeps track of all in trip expenses for the back office, and keeps travellers safe with contactless payment and never leaves them
out of pocket. Users simply tap at the pump or parking console to complete payment, and can later select a category and snap a picture of the receipt. 

Get in touch with one of our travel experts to learn more about RoomexPay here and ways it will give you control and visibility of all travel expenses

 

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How finance teams will get control over all travel expenses from parking to meals as companies resume business travel

How finance teams will get control over all travel expenses from parking to meals as companies resume business travel

Travel's starting to pick up again - but the same issues for finance teams remain - gaining visibility and control over the complete spend. 

Read More
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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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Workforce travel is an evolving landscape at the moment, to help companies get back on the road, we sat down (virtually) with Keith Watson our Global VP of Supply to get his insight on the accommodation industry and share some tips that will help companies prepare to travel again. This is the first in our "Getting Back on the Road" Series that aims to answer the questions travel managers and business travellers have.

1. How should companies prepare to introduce business travel again for their employees?

Keith Watson: After the industry got over from the immediate onslaught of cancellations, it became a case of how to manage and prepare for travelling again.  Now that hotels are almost ready to re-open their doors, the question of availability is soon to be resolved.

We see that business travellers are moving their focus towards each element of the trip from search and book, pre-arrival, in-trip and post trip processes. Business travellers’ requirements and expectations have changed. With these challenges travel companies, be it booking platforms or accommodation providers have been forced to optimise the experience for their customers.

Roomex recently carried out a survey of travellers.  When asked ‘What is your primary concern when staying at paid accommodation now?’  35% said ‘Social distancing’, whilst 29% said ‘Cleanliness of the hotel’.  The remaining  were split across ‘Contactless payment’, ‘Room comfort’, ‘Hotel facilities’ and ‘Quality food’.

Price is not the primary concern currently. Travellers need up to date information from hotels on cleanliness and new social distancing procedures.  Hotels have completely overhauled their processes and procedures providing extensive new collateral to make their customers feel confident and above all, safe.  At Roomex we have introduced RoomexClean, a new feature that brings this collateral into the search and book experience.

In order to prepare your staff for travelling again it is all about pre-trip organisation, make sure each traveller has the relevant information from the hotel that they are staying in so they know what to expect on arrival. Pre-check in confirmation calls are a great service that gives travellers a lot of confidence as processes and procedures are changing so fast. Overnight this service became the most critical component of Roomex’s customer service offering, as we could confirm if the hotel was open and inform the traveller on latest meal options and hygiene measures.

2. How will pricing of accommodation change and how should travel managers devise a strategy for this?

KW: The seasonal RFP is important, but it is quite literally half of the story that corporate needs to take a close look at savings. Essentially with so little occupancy in the market demand is not driving pricing. But the high degree of uncertainty means it is hard to forecast what has happened to the pre-COVID demand patterns. Are events in the future going to happen, how will segments of demand return?

The week of 15th June in the UK, weekday occupancy amongst open hotels was at 27%. However, when you consider supply that will be quickly coming back on stream from July 4th (ie whole-market occupancy) in the UK, this drops to around 6-7%.  Supply will return far faster than demand is likely to.

A fixed rate historically irons out the peaks in pricing for a company. The discount reflects their volume, but also gives assurance against paying a high demand-fueled price (blackout periods aside).  If a hotel isn’t actually reaching capacity, there won’t be any peaks – nothing to yield against. But there may well be troughs to take advantage of. 

Typically, any client will book a few hotels, a lot – close to their offices and client offices or projects their fulfilling. But 80-90% of all the hotels they book will be at far lower volume. This means that most of the possible savings will be in the middle and long tail of the curve. We have addressed this through Roomex Rates - fixed and dynamic rates we negotiate for all our clients to take advantage of. This help clients primarily with mid curve demand and then Roomex Saver+ for the long tail.

In the long tail, neither the clients nor Roomex have sufficient volume to negotiate a rate, so we open a broad bank of supply discounts from many sources.  Potentially 45-55% of the savings are in the long tail but it’s harder to deliver than simply negotiating a rate. It involves significant API development and yielding supply sources to ensure the client always gets the best rate.

3. What will business travellers look for when selecting a hotel?

KW: It’s all about ‘Clean’, nothing else matters, for now.  For travellers this is the new user-based star rating. What is more relevant the 10,000 pre COVID-19 reviews or the last 10 since March 23rd?

Social distancing measures, changes to housekeeping procedures and check-in process. This is probably the most fundamental change that will not be reversed.  What 9/11 did to drive change of security procedures within global travel, COVID-19 will do to hygiene processes within domestic and global travel.  The hotel stay will feel very different from that perspective, and travellers should feel reassured that hotels have stepped up to the challenge to make this enhanced level of safety their top priority.

4. Will travellers still be able to avail of Food & Beverage within the hotel?

KW: Hotels have had to find a way to make some provision within their own constraints that meets government guidelines. If the hotel can offer F&B it will be either at a reduced level of room service or a very basic ‘knock and drop’ or ‘breakfast in a bag’ option.  

As we approach July there are also hotels offering spaced dining facilities as a step to getting back to greater normality. This works reasonably well, but the key is that the booker and traveller know what to expect so part of the challenge has been to present that information accurately at time of booking.

Some chains such as Travelodge have teamed up with Deliveroo and Just Eat to make takeaway options easier.  We foresee that these partnerships will be a key driver for success within the travel sector going forward.

Avoiding out of pocket expenses for travellers such as meals, but also fuel and parking, is now a key concern for employers, especially as food options within the hotel may be reduced for a time. We have seen an uptick in interest of our pre-paid RoomexPay expense card as a result of this. The most important advice is to check all details with the hotel (or your Roomex Account Manager) before your trip. 

Learn more about Roomex and their initiatives with their hotel partners to keep those travelling during COVID-19 safe by getting in touch with them here

 

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Getting Back on the Road Series - How to Navigate the New Landscape of Workforce Travel

Getting Back on the Road Series - How to Navigate the New Landscape of Workforce Travel

Workforce travel is an evolving landscape at the moment, to help companies get back on the road, we sat down (virtually) with Keith Watson our Global VP...

Read More
{post_body={body={html=

We spoke to Richard Adler, Vice President Sales - UK & Europe and Strategic Accounts for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, a London-based global hotel company, which owns, manages and operates over 135 hotels across some 80 locations worldwide about the measures they have in place to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Millennium operates 19 hotels in the UK with 5 currently open for key workers (Copthorne Hotel Merry Hill Dudley, Copthorne Hotel Plymouth, Copthorne Hotel London Gatwick, Copthorne Tara Hotel London Kensington, Millennium Gloucester Hotel London)

Hygiene and preventing the spread of COVID-19 have become so important. How are you ensuring both staff and guest safety?

We always adopt a risk-based approach to any initiatives therefore the hierarchy of hazard control is always adopted and control measures implemented. Whilst we can’t eliminate COVID-19, we can use operational management controls to reduce exposure such as undertaking comprehensive and detailed risk assessments for the management of suspected cases, contaminated rooms and implementing methods to secure social distancing, as well as, specifically located and readily available sanitisation gel, the encouragement and promotion of regular and thorough hand washing and drying. PPE is the means of last resort so our management controls are regularly reviewed to avoid too heavy reliance on PPE.   

How is Millennium ensuring safe and clean rooms for guests?

Enhanced precautionary measures have been introduced to ensure a safe and comfortable stay for our guests and team members. Heightened cleaning programmes are underway in our hotels and a number of additional measures are in place to keep guests and team members alike safe. 

Managing all public areas to ensure social l distancing is adhered to in the lobby, restaurants, dining and conference rooms. In areas where handwashing is not immediately available, you will find hand sanitiser readily available in our hotels’ public areas. The risk assessment process, as well as precautionary measures, are ever-changing in light of information that is being released by the UK Government and we have and continue to adhere to all Government advice, especially where control measures can be adopted by our Company, even when the control measures are not hospitality centric.

How has COVID-19 impacted the way in which you work day-to-day?

Safety and the welfare of our employees and guests remain as always the heart of what we do and therefore all of our work practices. The way we interact with each other and our guests have been under close scrutiny to ensure that all control measures have been identified and implemented to reduce the transmission and exposure to the virus.

Has your check-in process changed to avoid contact?

Where possible we have limited contact and respected the social distancing measures as endorsed and advised by the UK Government, we are currently reviewing the installation of screens and more contactless payment methods.  Foodservice has been changed with the provision and method of delivery and currently preventing the use of bars and restaurants. 

What if guests begin to show symptoms?

A Health Declaration questionnaire has been prepared and implemented for all hotel guests, visitors and contractors.  Where an employee becomes unwell, these cases are fed through the HR system at hotel level and recorded as incidents on our SSHE e-portal.  The purpose of the escalation is to take care of our employees’ welfare and to ensure our guests are aware that we take care of our employees, in order to safeguard our guests during their stay with us. 

If an employee/guest or visitor attends the hotel and is presenting symptoms of the coronavirus, then attending employees must initially notify the Duty Manager, who will then assess the situation on the merits of each case. Our team members have been trained and will continually receive further training on how to handle such situations and the various ranges of advises being shared, from advising the guest to remain in their own room and self-isolate to providing them with the necessary contact details as communicated by the local authorities.   

What is the business doing to stay up to date with updated recommendations from the government and the World Health Organization? 

Our SSHE and HR teams received daily updates directly from the UK Government to ensure that all in the information is from a considered and trusted source.  Whilst we are aware of the media coverage, we are very much secure in the processing and communicating of governmental advice and direction.  We then use the information to provide our employees and guests with considered information, with  subjectivity; we are the guiding force during this difficult time so we undertake our duty of care to our employees and guests with extreme seriousness and it is the main priority in our endeavours. 

Are you still offering food at this time? What are the options?

In accordance with the social distancing guidance we are operating a Grab n Go breakfast and room food delivery service throughout the UK estate, whilst securing social distancing.  However timing will vary from one location to another to ensure that all the control measures to prevent transmission and exposure remain effective.

Are your amenities closed due to the outbreak?

Again we are guided by the UK Government’s restrictions and ensure that only those permitted facilities and services are carried out.  As a consequence, amenities such as pools, health & beauty centres as well as business lounges are temporarily closed.

Learn more about Millennium Hotels and what they are doing to ensure guest safety here. 

Roomex is assisting companies with their project needs worldwide, whether it is supporting key workers with their long term stays in hotels or apartments, please reach out to us and see how we can help you.

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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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Millennium Hotels promise safety in hotels through and post the COVID-19 pandemic

We spoke to Richard Adler, Vice President Sales - UK & Europe and Strategic Accounts for Millennium & Copthorne Hotels, a London-based global hotel...

Read More
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Roomex users will see a new icon in their accommodation results indicating that we have personally confirmed that the hotel they are booking meets or exceeds the cleaning stands as recommended by the World Health Organisation.

Our customers will be able to click on the new icon and see a detailed report on what measures the hotel has implemented to ensure both guest and employee safety. 

Since the start of March, we’ve gone back to the drawing board and rewrote our product road map with one focus - customer safety. This pandemic has re-ranked what we value as important when travelling for work and your Roomex platform reflects that. 

As always, our customers are our ‘North Star’ guiding us on what to focus on creating and developing next. Our most recent update was a result of direct customer feedback. 

What’s on most of our customer’s minds as they consider returning to travel? 

Exactly ⅓ of all respondents to our recent survey agreed that their biggest concern was hotel cleanliness, followed by 20% stating that hotel facilities were their biggest worry.  The majority of workforce travellers stated they have no concerns in travelling again, with 54% of people responding with an answer of 7 or above on a scale of 1-10. 

For those key workers that had been travelling throughout the pandemic, they shared their biggest concerns.  The most common concerns were fears over the rooms not being cleaned adequately, no use of restaurants, and general hotel availability being sparse. 

RoomexClean will give travellers and bookers peace of mind and ensure safe and clean accommodation 

We want to make you feel safe as you get back on the road. We understand your fears, hesitations, and concerns. Which is why we directly responded to your biggest concerns with RoomexClean. 

Login to your platform to check out RoomexClean

All properties on our platform are following the cleaning standards as recommended by the WHO, and many have committed to going above and beyond these standards to ensure both guest and employee safety. Our new safety icon is displayed when we’ve talked individually with that chain to confirm their hygiene measures and their updated food and beverage offerings.

RoomexClean-1

All users have to do is click on the icon 'Food & Hygiene' (pictured) and information on the hotel, their promised cleanliness measures, and what should be expected at check-in will be displayed. 

Here are some of the hotels that have already been added to RoomexClean (with new ones being added daily!) 

  • GLH Hotels
  • Premier Inn
  • Travelodge
  • Best Western
  • Atlas Hotels (Holiday Inn Express)
  • Dalata (Clayton Hotels, Maldron Hotels)
  • Leonardo Hotels (Jurys Inn)
  • Hilton Hotels
  • Marriot Hotels 
  • IFG Hotels
  • Lindner Hotels
  • Penta Hotels
  • Roomzzz Aparthotels
  • Staycity Aparthotels 
  • Accor
  • B&B Hotels
  • Club Quarters
  • Galway Bay Hotel 
  • Kew Green

What are these hotels doing to keep you safe? Well, here’s a summary: 

Hotels have stepped up to ensure both guest peace of mind and safety. Our participating hotels have committed to some or more of the below to increase safety:

  • Daily deep cleans in public, heavily trafficked areas
  • Sanitised key cards 
  • Adding protective mats and screens at reception
  • Meal services offered as room service or takeaway in disposable, single use containers
  • Leaving rooms empty between guests for 72 hours
  • Running training for all staff members to educate them on best safety practices
  • For long term stays - offering cleaning bundles to guest
  • Removing unnecessary room elements like bed scarves, menus, and note pads
  • Going completely cashless or contact free at check in 
  • In- room text services to minimise visits to reception and use of phone 

Interested in learning more about the RoomexClean feature? Get in touch with your account manager, or reach out to one of our travel experts today.

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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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Introducing RoomexClean, our newest feature that informs users of individual hotel safety measures at a glance

Introducing RoomexClean, our newest feature that informs users of individual hotel safety measures at a glance

Roomex users will see a new icon in their accommodation results indicating that we have personally confirmed that the hotel they are booking meets or...

Read More
{post_body={body={html=

Best Western is the most recent hotel chain to expand its cleaning protocols due to the impacts of COVID-19. 

Best Western is one of our largest hotel partners - and a partner on our Key Worker Support package. With over 4,700 hotels in over 100 countries worldwide - the chain has always been a leader in cleanliness, launching their 'I Care Clean' programme in 2012. For nearly 75 years they have maintained a positive reputation for providing guests with clean, well-maintained accommodations. 

As part of their ongoing commitment to keep guests safe and healthy during these uncertain times they've launched a new cleaning programme called Hotels That Care based upon guidance provided by the WHO, the Center for Disease Control, and other government agencies. 

Find Best Western in Roomex with our new 'RoomexClean' tag, indicating that it's exceeded the cleaning standards as recommended by the Word Health Organization. Read more about our RoomexClean feature here

new best western pic

The Hotels That Care programme addresses five main areas in their hotels:

1. Front desk and lobby

  • The use of Best Western's Mobile Concierge Platform will be in use to minimise guest contact with a streamlined check in and check out procedures
  • Social distancing measures implemented 
  • Lobby brochures, magazines, and papers removed
  • Enhanced sanitisation procures and deep cleaning in heavily trafficked areas like the front desk and the lobby 
  • Sanitising wipes and stations will be available throughout the hotel 

2. Guest rooms and housekeeping

  • Enhanced cleaning protocols have been implemented
  • If possible guest rooms will not be entered for 24-72 hours after check out
  • All touch points (faucets, door handles, light switches, thermostats, clocks, hangers) will be cleaned and sanitised
  • Unnecessary items like decorative pillows and bed scarves, pens and paper are removed
  • For safety of guests and staff, housekeeping service will be only available on request

3. Food and beverage updates

  • Offerings have been adapted for guest and staff health and safety 
  • Breakfast rooms will be closed depending on location to avoid unnessary guest congregation
  • Enhanced Grab and Go options are being offered in most hotels 

4. Public amenities

  • When allowed to open, public amenities like fitness centres, swimming pools, and meeting rooms will be cleaned on closely monitored schedules with disinfect chemicals 
  • Each evening, these areas will be sanitised with the use of electrostatic fogging, ozone generators, or ultraviolet devices

5. Hotel employee and staff requirements

  • Hotel employees will follow strict guidelines - including wearing PPE, frequent and stringent hand washing protocols
  • Employee workstations will be cleaned and disinfected after every shift
  • Employees will be empowered to stay home if unwell, and communicate on potential exposure to COVID-19, and will be fully educated on how to maintain safe and clean home 

See what Best Western is doing to ensure guest and staff safety in this short video. 

Learn more about Best Western and RoomexClean by reaching out to our hotel experts or your account manager. 

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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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Best Western Hotels & Resorts launches new cleaning programme, Hotels that Care

Best Western is the most recent hotel chain to expand its cleaning protocols due to the impacts of COVID-19. 

Read More
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Thank you for submitting your email, one of our workforce travel experts will be in touch with you within one working day.

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No matter what industry you’re working in, where you’re living or where you’re going, you have one main concern. Safety. The Coronavirus pandemic has permeated into nearly every aspect of our lives over the last few months, and will likely for the year to come.

As many parts of society slowly open up, travel will be required, be it by plane, train, or car. If you’re a travel manager, a procurement director, or anyone that looks after travel - suddenly you require more control and take further responsibility for everyone’s safety. 

Whether you call it Duty of Care, Safety and Wellbeing, or Employee Care - here at Roomex we want you to know we’re here to support you and your teams as they hit the road. 

Employee safety and wellbeing has always been at the heart of business travel. COVID-19 has increased the need for a detailed and well-thought duty of care to employees. One aspect of this is knowing where all employees have travelled in the past, and exactly where they are should something happen.

Some companies book workforce travel with multiple bookers through various leisure sites, making it difficult to maintain a procedure to keep track of all past, present and future trips. It’s recommended to use a centralised system to book workforce and business travel, especially for the duty of care aspect, so its fast and easy to look up reservations and locations. 

We’ve updated our live Duty of Care map so it’s easier to keep track of where employees have been, their contact details, and where they are booked in next should an outbreak arise.

The second a booking is made in Roomex, it’s immediately viewable in Roomex Analytics where reservations go directly into our live Duty of Care map. Here, users are able to view all trips, past, present and future and get in touch with any employee.

june duty of care

Our account management and support teams are trained on the best practices for travelling during these uncertain times - and are ready and willing to assist you. 

We will help manage every aspect of your trip, including sourcing, negotiating, facilitating group bookings that best suit your needs. Our team is available on live chat to answer any questions about new hygiene policies from hotels and are available for free travel policy consultations. Most importantly, they will call and confirm check-ins on your behalf and recommend safety measures and any updates to meal services. 

Speaking of meal options - are hotels still serving food?

Yes and no. Most hotels have amended their usual dining services to grab and go boxes or room service with disposable packaging. To learn more about what individual chains are doing to keep up food services and to maintain cleaning safety standards, check out this article. 

Finally - look out for our safety icon in your Roomex platform that confirms the hotel has gone above and beyond the cleaning standards recommended by the WHO.

covidcleanroomex

We update these tags weekly and talk directly with the hotel providers to ensure reliable information. 

Reach out to your account manager for direct queries regarding upcoming stays in any hotel booked through Roomex. 

 

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Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of employees as they begin travelling again

Ensuring the safety and wellbeing of employees as they begin travelling again

No matter what industry you’re working in, where you’re living or where you’re going, you have one main concern. Safety. The Coronavirus pandemic has...

Read More