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
Tips for managing travel for a mobile workforce

Tips for managing travel for a mobile workforce

If you’re in charge of organising travel for your mobile workforce, your goal is simple. You need to book safe, clean, comfortable rooms for employees...

Read More

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

Dalata Hotel Group plc release new Keep Safe Programme

As countries, cities, and states begin to open up and governments ease restrictions, travel will begin to pick up but it may look different to before. ...

Read More
Atlas Hotels increases cleaning measures to protect Key Workers travelling during COVID-19

Atlas Hotels increases cleaning measures to protect Key Workers travelling during COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, hotels across the U.K. and Ireland continue to adapt to accommodate key workers travelling during this time.  

Read More
3 easy ways to be a better leader to your remote employees

3 easy ways to be a better leader to your remote employees

It was only a decade or so ago that if you wanted to talk with someone, you’d just walk over to their desk. Now, between increased business travel and...

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The definitive guide to managing construction work travel

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...

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How to ace your pitch for better business travel software

How to ace your pitch for better business travel software

Business travel software can make a world of difference to the trained eye. You get it. We get it. But now it’s time for your manager or board to get it.

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Are you still booking business travel like personal travel?

Are you still booking business travel like personal travel?

Ask any travel booker who’s been at the job for more than a few years – booking workforce travel is in an entirely separate genre to booking holidays.

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There’s a problem with business travel – and Roomex can help [VIDEO]

There’s a problem with business travel – and Roomex can help [VIDEO]

There’s a problem with business travel: it’s more complicated, costly and time consuming than it needs to be.

Read More
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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
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If you’re in charge of organising travel for your mobile workforce, your goal is simple. You need to book safe, clean, comfortable rooms for employees scattered around the country while keeping in mind budgets, meals, parking, and late check-ins. Easy... right? 

Managing travel for the mobile workforce is not for the faint of heart - its' a difficult juggling act that moves fast, and changes often. We've been working with mobile workforce's that carry out project based work for years - and we developed Roomex to best suit their needs. 

Roomex offers one centralised platform to help you manage mobile workforce travel

1. Relevant properties at discounted prices to keep you within budget

We know what kind of properties you're looking for when managing mobile workforce travel. We have the largest selection of 2-3 star properties, aparthotels, hundreds of Exclusive Roomex Rates, plus 2,500 additional UK discounted rates with Saver+ to keep our prices as low as possible. Plus, you're assigned an account manager who can source locations or specific hotels that you don't see on your platform. 

We've also added a new feature called RoomexClean that informs users of individual hotel safety measures at a glance. We have a specific icon that appears in 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.

RoomexClean-1

2. Detailed analytics software to assist decision making

Roomex Analytics brings full visibility and control into the often disorganised world of managing travel for the mobile workforce. It gives you an easy way to break down spend, find savings, and pull reports. At a glance you're able to find out:

  • Total hotel spend
  • Total savings
  • Total number of room nights
  • Policy compliance rate
  • Top hotels, bookers, and travelers

Our goal is to create an easy way to look into costs, while identifying new ways to save. 

banner1

3. Live duty of care map to ensure everyone is safe and looked after

Its common for businesses to book mobile workforce travel with multiple bookers through various leisure sites. But- this makes it difficult to keep track of past, present, and future trips. Now, more than ever, keeping track of where your employees have traveled to is important, should another outbreak occur. 

Our centralised system makes it easy to book and subsequently manage bookings and guest information, so its fast and easy to look up historical and future reservations should you need to reach your employees.

duty of care map

4. Group booking service from our experienced team

Business travel has changed a lot this year- and managing project bookings and long term stays have as well. 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.

They will help you source, negotiate, and book both bedrooms and meeting rooms that best suit your needs - saving you time and money.

  • We promise a one-hour response time to your inquiry
  • Our Group Booking Manager will ensure all details of your group booking are met and the hotel is ready for your arrival
  • We also facilitate special requests such as meeting rooms, project bookings, meal services and meeting supplies such as projectors and computers.

5. Hotel confirmations and late check ins

Whether your staff are working roads, sites or in plants, many projects take place out-of-hours. Your employees mightn’t check in until the early hours of the morning. Through Roomex, you can secure off-peak check-ins. Our hotel support experts will also confirm this during their reservation checks, meaning you’ll never have to deal with late-night troubleshooting again. 

6. Meal allowances and prepaid credit cards to keep in trip expenses organised 

Securing accommodation isn't the only focus of those managing mobile workforce travel. Accounting for the payment of parking, food and general expenses can be difficult and involve multiple departments. We have a few solutions for managing these expenses and our team can recommend and guide you to the one that best works for your company's needs. 

We offer meal allowances for food at the hotel booked that can be added and paid for with your accommodation. This is a good option for those managing contractors.

RoomexPay is our complete expense management system. It offers a suite of prepaid debit cards, a mobile app, and a web console to provide the complete, end to end, spend management solution. Learn more about RoomexPay and this option here. 

Group 1448

Get in touch with us to learn more about how Roomex can help you manage travel for your mobile workforce

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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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Tips for managing travel for a mobile workforce

Tips for managing travel for a mobile workforce

If you’re in charge of organising travel for your mobile workforce, your goal is simple. You need to book safe, clean, comfortable rooms for employees...

Read More
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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
{post_body={body={html=

As countries, cities, and states begin to open up and governments ease restrictions, travel will begin to pick up but it may look different to before. Hotel chains large and small are stepping up to create a safer environment for those traveling during and after the pandemic. Most have gone above and beyond to give travellers peace of mind. 

We spoke to Sarah Conway, Regional Sales & Marketing Manager for Dalata Hotel Group plc about the measures that they have put in place. Dalata Hotel Group is the largest hotel operator in Ireland, with a growing presence in the United Kingdom. The Group manages the Clayton Hotels, Maldron Hotels and Partner brands. The Group's portfolio now consists of 30 owned hotels, 11 leased hotels and three management contracts with a total of 9,208 bedrooms. In addition to this, Dalata is currently developing 11 new hotels. This will bring the total number of bedrooms in Dalata to over 12,000.

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

Over the past few months, we have developed the Dalata Keep Safe Programme, which has involved the introduction of a wide range of protocols and systems that will ensure as much as possible our guests will have an enjoyable and safe visit to all our hotels. We have been testing these protocols and systems in our hotels with great success.

There are numerous initiatives we are undertaking to ensure as much as possible the safety and health of all our guests, employees and suppliers. Like for example, providing plenty of hand sanitizers around each hotel, providing nose and mouth masks to employees and clearly marking public areas to ensure social distancing. Above all, we want our guests, whether they are on business or leisure to have a relaxed enjoyable stay with us.

How are Dalata ensuring safe and clean rooms for guests?

Cleaning is extremely important, but it is not enough. We have introduced thorough systems of sanitisation to ensure, as much as possible, that these areas are safe. Our guests will then have the option of using the lift or staircase to access their bedroom. Strict protocols on lift usage will be displayed on each floor. As guests arrive at their bedroom door, it will have a seal that will break on entering. After each room is cleaned thoroughly and key touchpoints are sanitised, we will fog the room with a special device that deals very effectively with viruses and other air and surface contaminants. This device is used in “Clean Room Technology” throughout the pharmaceutical sector and in some hospitals. Guests will know their room has been treated by the unbroken seal on your door. 

The contents of guestrooms have also been reviewed to remove non-essential, tactile items, such as pen, paper and bed cushions.

Has your check-in process changed to avoid contact?

Before our guests arrive at our hotels, they will have the option of checking in online, so all they have to do is collect their bedroom key from our screened reception desk. Of course, they will have the option of checking in the usual way, should they choose to do so. Online check-out will also be an option. Guests will walk through our spacious public areas that will be thoroughly cleaned continuously throughout each day.

We will also be introducing new state-of-the art technology and additional contactless payment options to make the whole experience seamless.

Have your staff undergone training?

Yes, staff throughout each hotel will complete a dedicated training programme to ensure full implementation of each new measure and will follow the public health official advice and guidelines at all times. 

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

All of our new health and safety protocols will be accredited by Bureau Veritas, a world leader in testing inspection and certification in the Health and Safety area. So, we are doing everything possible to protect the Health and Safety of all our guests, employees, and suppliers.

(“Bureau Veritas is a company specialized in testing, inspection, and certification, founded in 1828. It is headquartered in Paris and is present in 140 countries through a network of over 1,500 offices and laboratories, and more than 78,000 employees.” https://group.bureauveritas.com)

Will you still be offering food? 

We will have a range of food and beverage options with in-room and main restaurant dining options available. This will include restaurants with table service for all meals (no self-service queuing). Again, there will be protocols in place that will be explained by our team in our public areas. The protocols that apply to guests will equally apply to all our employees both front and back of house. Our employee safety and health is as important as our guest safety.

Learn more about Dalata Hotel Group plc 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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Dalata Hotel Group plc release new Keep Safe Programme

As countries, cities, and states begin to open up and governments ease restrictions, travel will begin to pick up but it may look different to before. ...

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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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As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, hotels across the U.K. and Ireland continue to adapt to accommodate key workers travelling during this time.  

This week we spoke to Atlas Hotels, one of our partners on our Key Worker Support Package about the changes that COVID-19 has brought. Atlas Hotels are an award-winning hotel company operating 49 hotels under the global brands, Holiday Inn Express and Hampton by Hilton. Atlas Hotels provide all the convenience, value-for-money and reliable service you expect. Each of their hotels in the United Kingdom has been purpose-built with business travellers in mind.

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

We deep clean all hotels daily – public areas/touchpoints will be sanitised hourly and all rooms will be thoroughly cleaned using Ecolab chemicals. Collateral is being removed in rooms to reduce touch points and a digital offering is being developed. Social distancing – screens, floor mats will be introduced for all hotels. Hand sanitiser stations are provided on arrival. Lifts will be restricted to room occupants only.

How are Holiday Inn Express's ensuring safe and clean rooms for guests?

Rooms were already being cleaned to a high standard, however additional sanitising/deep cleaning will take place using Ecolab products, upon departure of every guest.

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

Our operations teams are working extremely hard to adapt to the new ways of working with the priority of safety for our guests and staff. We continue to offer food and beverage at our hotels adhering to government guidance on social distancing measures, checking in and taking payment via contactless solutions.

Has your check-in process changed to avoid contact?

Social distancing measures are in place along with Perspex screens and hand sanitiser at every contact location

What if guests begin to show symptoms?

We advise the guest to call 111 and request that they self-isolate within their room.

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

We are currently following and adhering to all government and world health organisation guidance, we are also gaining regular updates from our brand.

Are you still offering food at this time? 

We continue to offer food and beverage at our hotels adhering to government guidance on social distancing measures.  We welcome guests to use takeaway services alongside our food and beverage offerings.

Are your amenities closed due to the outbreak?

Our conference rooms are currently closed due to the outbreak.

“We are working on changes to meeting spaces to make them work for social distancing but these spaces alongside the public areas will remain highly restricted at this point”

Learn more about Atlas 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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Atlas Hotels increases cleaning measures to protect Key Workers travelling during COVID-19

Atlas Hotels increases cleaning measures to protect Key Workers travelling during COVID-19

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, hotels across the U.K. and Ireland continue to adapt to accommodate key workers travelling during this time.  

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