Workforce Travel Safety For Retail Managers
Each job comes with its own quirks and perks. In the world of retail these are mostly pros; getting to travel around the country, keeping on top of industry trends and constantly meeting new and interesting people.
Travel is a prerequisite for this demanding role, and staying safe is more important than ever. As such, we’ve compiled these helpful business travel tips for retail managers on the road.
Communicate your status
If you’re travelling for work, it’s always helpful to share your whereabouts with a colleague. This might include; train times, flights taken and the hotel you’re staying in. When others are trying to reach you urgently, make it easy for them by being easily accessible.
Likewise, make sure team members have your mobile phone number and that you’re available during working hours.
If you’re planning to drive long distance be sure to have a hands-free kit for conversations at the wheel. Stop off for plenty of rest breaks and know your limits. Some can drive for hours on end, others need plenty of stops.
If you’re hiring a car, be sure to check its condition beforehand and ensure you feel comfortable driving it. And yes, this may seem like an obvious business travel tip, but definitely enquire if it takes diesel or petrol and avoid a rookie error.
A top business travel tip is to travel as light as possible. When you have numerous trains to catch for merchandise meetings, the last thing you want is to have several bags in tow. But more importantly, these can be cumbersome, heavy or problematic to carry.
Most frequent business travellers have a ‘go to’ pre-stocked wheelie bag containing all the essentials. This can help save time and your sanity!
Book via a Travel Portal
Take care of your finances and use your company’s travel booking system for hotel bookings. Often times these are paid by corporates directly which is one less issue to stress about when you’re checking in. This is also beneficial for colleagues to help track down your location when working externally.
Staying Cyber safe
Unfortunately, cybercrime is a real and common issue, with those travelling remotely more susceptible than office based workers. There’s many reasons for this, least of all the lack of protective firewalls.
Probably the most important of all business travel tips is to be cyber aware. This means not sending confidential information on public WiFi or networks. It also means ensuring all your online accounts are protected with a robust password.
If you’re using your mobile phone to connect your laptop to the internet, be sure to use a secure password to prevent others hijacking it.
Use Bona Fide Transport
When you’re travelling on business, don’t take short cuts. Think about the safest way to get from A to Z, even if it makes your journey longer.
If you’re visiting a city you’re unfamiliar with, avoid taking public transport late at night, and try and use bona-fide taxi companies, rather than hailing taxis down in the street. It goes without saying that lift sharing with strangers is a big no-no.
Your company has a duty of care to ensure you get to your destination safely, so please don’t compromise on your welfare.
On that note, think about train times too. Travelling later means you’ll be arriving into your hotel at a less sociable hour, which has certain disadvantages as well.
Mental health is important to all of us. Working out of the office is no exception to this. A valid business travel tip we can all benefit from is taking time out for ourselves.
This means not working excessively long hours, and stopping for breaks during long car journeys. It means eating well and taking time to exercise. Putting yourself first is not a selfish act, it’s important for your productivity and overall wellbeing.
It’s quite common for retail managers to travel in pairs or groups. When you’re in such close company of colleagues, it’s important to maintain a professional standard. This means treating colleagues with the same courtesy and respect as you would inside the office.
If you feel uncomfortable in any work situation, be it sharing a room with a colleague or having to spend excessive time in their company, raise this issue as soon as possible with your line manager.
Work travel is a necessary part of being in retail management. With some forward planning and using these business travel tips, it should be as enjoyable as productive.