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5 challenges in ensuring the safety and security of your mobile workforce

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Despite organisations increasingly implementing prevention and mitigation measures for travel risks, International SOS’ Ipsos MORI Global Business Resilience Trends Watch 2018 survey found there are still opportunities for improvement.

Despite a global softening of perceived increased travel risk from 72% last year to 63% this year, International SOS found that risk ratings were why 42% of organisations modified travel itineraries in 2017.

The survey further revealed, globally, travel plans were changed predominantly due to concerns over security threats (58%), followed by natural disasters (43%), travel risk ratings (42%), and civil unrest (34%).

While more are taking measures to mitigate risks, the survey suggested a strategic and far-reaching view may currently be a missed opportunity by many organisations. Falling at the bottom of the risk mitigation techniques implemented this year, only 9% of organisations have updated their sustainability programme to include their travel risk policy and just 10% have introduced a wellbeing policy.

That said, organisations are continuing to introduce risk mitigation techniques with the most frequent step taken in response to travel health and security concerns being the introduction of pre-trip and during trip emails (39%), followed by the inclusion of travel risk assessment in travel approval process (37%), and the implementation of travel safety training and security training (33%).

However, organisations still face barriers in ensuring the health and security of travellers, with educating employees (53%) the most common challenge in ensuring the health and security of travellers, followed by with employees in a crisis, and ensuring they have read pre-travel information ( both 44%).

Top 5 Challenges in securing the safety and security of the mobile workforce

1. Educating employees about travel risks: 53%
2. Confirming employees have read pre-travel information: 44%
3. Communicating with employees during a crisis: 44%
4. Tracking employee travel: 39%
5. Having adequate resources to manage health and security efforts: 35%

Dr Irene Lai, medical director of information and analysis for International SOS, said: “As organisations continue to review and enhance their processes, it is important that new actions to promote a safe, healthy and well workforce are taken into account to help support and strengthen business resilience.”

Rob Walker, security expert at International SOS & Control Risks, added: “Success in future global mobility programmes will be those that include consideration of the changing demographic of the mobile workforce and new marketplace dynamics, including the increase in use of shared economy services. The immediate obvious risks, such as the recent hurricanes and unforeseeable security incidents, will see organisations scrutinised in terms of preventative measures and recovery.”

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