The definitive guide to managing construction work travel
There were 13.9 million domestic work travel trips in England alone in 2018, and you know just as well as we do that most of them weren’t the type that required hopping on the plane.
In fact, they were probably mostly done by bus, car or train. It’s a common sight for travel bookers in the construction industry, whose days might resemble that of a logistics coordinator more than just someone who gets business rates for hotels.
We understand that managing construction work travel doesn’t come with the same challenges as that of an office worker who’s flying off to pitch to a prospective client. That’s why we created this guide just for you. Let’s dive in to how you can make managing construction work travel a whole lot easier.
1. Give construction workers an itinerary pack
In this travel itinerary pack, you can include anything transport-related – rental vehicle information, directions to the client’s site and hotel and your company’s reimbursement policy for travel expenses. You can also have a section for hotel reservations, facilities in the hotel and all things relevant to their accommodation.
While planning the itinerary pack, you should also take the time to address employees’ diets. Unhealthy eating is one of the health risk factors of chronic illnesses amongst construction workers. Bundle this in with the challenge that balanced eating during work travel affects 76 percent of employees and you can start to see how difficult it is for your construction workers to look after their health.
A great option now available is to organise meal delivery to their room such as Potage in the UK and Gourmet Fuel in Ireland. You can even include healthy snacks that they can bring on-site. Also booking a hotel with complimentary gym access means that they can keep up with their exercise routine.
2. Book travel ahead and on corporate rates
Trains are incredibly useful in getting around, especially in the UK. But they can be expensive when you’re booking last minute – and a waste of cash if plans change and you need to cancel.
Learn how your business can save money on construction work travel accommodations by getting in touch with us today.
Always investigate if you can strike a friendly corporate rate with whichever mode of travel your workforce uses regularly. The National Rail, for instance, has a Rail Warrant Account specifically made for work travel. The benefits include:
- Handling payments directly so your staff don’t have to pay them and expense them back.
- Friendly prices for short-notice travel.
- Credit period for cancellations that can be put towards other trips.
Using a corporate account makes sense when you have dozens or hundreds of employees travelling over the course of the year. Investigate your local public transport services to see if there’s a rate or account for business travellers – not only is it often more affordable, but it makes record-keeping easier and reduces the number of invoices that the financial team will get.
Don’t forget that this tip can apply to accommodation too; booking last-minute or using personal travel websites can lead to higher rates. Use a business hotel booking platform to gain better oversight for work travel expectations moving forward and to lock down the most affordable hotel prices.
3. Find hotels within the job site area
Whenever employees are using public transport for work travel, your goal should be to find accommodation between the area where they step off the bus or train and the worksite. Striking a balance between the two is difficult when using personal travel websites, but business hotel booking platforms make finding these hotels easy.
By finding hotels in the perfect area, you’re:
- Making it easier for employees to get to their hotel and worksite.
- Cutting down on the cost of expenses and potentially even the amount of invoices if the hotel is in walking distance.
- Contributing to a better workforce culture by helping staff avoid longer, unnecessary hours due to travel.
4. Search for hotel amenities that suit your workforce
Hotel amenities are an overlooked advantage of work travel. Consider employees who are travelling to a job site in the same van they work out of. Finding a free or affordable place to park the vehicle comes second only to parking it in a safe and secure area.
Each hotel has its own amenities that are more useful to construction workers than they are the average business traveller. Late check-in and check-out, free breakfast and free parking are just a few benefits that carry their weight in gold.
Throwing comparisons into the mix while you’re already trying to find the right location and an affordable price can be daunting. Consider moving to a business hotel booking platforms that lays everything out at a single glance, making it easier for you to find what you’re looking for without taking up all of your time.
5. Help your team ditch the luggage
The larger the project, the more you feel like the head of the logistics department rather than a travel booker. With so many variables simultaneously up in the air, your goal should be to limit the potential for anything to go wrong.
Consider using a suitcase courier for any lengthy or large jobs – especially if people are using several forms of transportation to get to the work site. By paring down as much baggage as possible – no pun intended – you can get construction work travel slim enough for you to just focus on accommodation and travel options.
6. Keep in touch while on work travel
Encourage construction workers who are on-site for an extended period of time to check in daily with any off-site supervisors. It’s an opportunity for them to bring up any difficulties they’re having with working on-site or with their work travel.
Instead of waiting to hear about these issues when employees get back, you should look to intervene as soon as possible before it snowballs into your worker burning out. Unfortunately, work is the most frequent cause of stress among UK employees and the construction sector is among the top five industries that commonly lack action from the employers’ end to remedy stressful situations, Perkbox’s 2018 UK Workplace Stress Report found.
Having a keen awareness of how your workers are getting on gives you the chance to ensure that your employees are well looked after. This fosters a positive attitude towards work travel internally so implement a code of practice to maintain communications with off-site employees.
Don’t forget to maintain a complete overview of where everyone is located at all times. While this can be accomplished with a spreadsheet, it’s much easier to use a map. Check out Roomex’s employee booking map if you’re looking for a new option. It shows where everyone is in the world in real-time, helping you better manage duty of care.