After recent terror attacks in London and Stockholm, it's clear business traveller safety must be paramount for firms

Chris Baker
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The scene of the recent attack in Westminster (Source: Getty)

Business travellers often find themselves in dozens of locations during any given month. They become adapted to the lifestyle that comes with frequent travel. They know the best seats on the plane, where to go at certain airports. They learn to work on-the-go and how to maximise their frequent flyer rewards points.

But no matter how often they fly, or how frequently they may visit certain cities each year, there are certain incidents they simply can’t prepare for.

In today’s major cities and business hubs, it is the sad and unfortunate reality that there is a constant threat of violence. In the last months alone, there have been attacks in London and Stockholm – both places that millions of people visit for work each year.

Immediate action

When incidents like these take place, a million things happen at once and a city locks down. For a business traveller, all familiarity with their location can disappear and their immediate priority shifts from the next meeting to finding a safe place. What happens in those hours after something has taken place are all important – both for the safety of a traveller and for their employers and their families.

A such, it’s important that businesses implement processes that educate and protect their workers that travel abroad to prepare them for such a scenario. It’s important that staff who travel regularly are briefed on correct procedure, should a terror related activity take place. Being trained correctly and knowing what to do, where to go in such a scenario can be highly beneficial.

It is also a company’s responsibility to act fast when they know something has happened and an employee is within close proximity to an incident.

Technology can help

For example, technology exists that can pinpoint someone’s location in a city where an attack has taken place based on factors such as their Outlook calendar, their TripIT itinerary, the last restaurant they used their company card at, where they last got out of an Uber, Lyft or MyTaxi, and when their flight leaves.

This can immediately decipher if someone is safe or not, based on their approximate location to an area where an incident has taken place – particularly if communication networks go down. If an employee cannot be reached, then arrangements can be made to take extra steps to locate them, be this through local offices or partners.

While the reality of a more dangerous world is never favoured, it has to be acknowledged. As such, many cities and hubs previously considered safe are now target areas. Businesses must ensure the right processes are put in place and the best technology harnessed by businesses to ensure the safety and welfare of everyone who travels for business.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

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