Traveller tracking – the feeling of ease knowing Big Brother is watching you?
When employees are travelling for business, organisations have a duty of care and responsibility for travellers; to know where they are, that they are safe, free from harm and can be contacted in case of emergencies. It’s not just an organisation’s moral obligation but a legal one to take a more serious responsibility for the safety of travellers. Legislation is in place to ensure businesses do just this so it’s critical to get it right.
Technology of course is making it ever easier, giving organisations the ability to track travellers’ movements through traveller tracking software, enabling authorised users the ability to access information in real time from anywhere in the world, whenever they need to.
The pros of being able to do this are a plenty:
- RISK MANAGEMENT – Managing risk to travellers – it can give travel and security managers the tools they need to properly evaluate risk ahead of trips taking place.
- HELP FOR EMPLOYEES – It can help businesses easily identify if employees travelling on business may need help – if they’re lost, stranded or sick, for example.
- A FEELING OF SECURITY – Tracking can give travellers peace of mind that they aren’t on their own when on the road and also reassure those colleagues back in the office that all is well.
- KEEP IN TOUCH – Enables instant communication with travellers in the event of an emergency either back home or in the location they’re travelling in.
- REPORTING – It minimises any paperwork and post-incident reviews because there is an audit trail already in place through traveller tracking programmes.
- COMPLIANCE – Promotes compliance with organisational responsibility and duty of care.
“WE CAN SEE YOU”
In a world where individuals’ movements are tracked more and more; through the use of technology, social media and surveillance, how that data is used and stored is being increasingly scrutinised. The tightening of data protection laws like GDPR, the regulation around surveillance, traveller’s individual perspectives and indeed the ethics of monitoring people’s movements, all need to be taken into consideration when a company looks at introducing traveller tracking as part of their travel policies.
Businesses need to measure the benefits traveller tracking provides against the possible negative connotations associated with such technology and ensure they properly have policies in place to prevent abuse or misuse of the system, and intrusion into employees’ lives.
Many travellers may feel that with traveller tracking software they don’t have the same freedom when on business that they once enjoyed; that after a busy day of work when they want to let their hair down and socialise with international colleagues, that they can’t because their movements are monitored or ‘bleisure’ trips are off the table as they don’t want to be ‘watched’ in their own time. It’s a question businesses must ask; when work and play are combined, where does the business’s responsibility start and end?
With traveller tracking there is a real risk that the positive safety benefits it provides can negatively impact on an employee’s perspective of travelling for business. It’s critical that businesses take a holistic look at what traveller tracking would look like for their organisation and employees, and how they get the balance right to work for them. Get it right and it can be a hugely productive tool that adds a great deal to an organisation’s travel programme. Get it wrong and you could end up with some very unhappy travellers on your hands.