Article by Auguste Faerch, from our partner Safeture
“Business travel” is often associated with airports, flights, rental cars and taxi rides. However, post-pandemic, there is a clear trend going on with train travel as the new business travel concept.
When thinking of “business travel,” people usually think of multiple airports, flights, rental cars, and taxi rides. However, post-pandemic, there is a clear train trend going on within the business travel concept, and it is not slowing down.
For ages, most business travel has consisted of the same ingredients – airports, flights, car journeys and a tedious long series of waiting in lines and possible queues on the roads as well. All of the above travelling methods also come with their fair share of carbon emissions. As companies are making efforts to lower their carbon footprint, the way we travel is shifting, and thus, how we do business.
Fast forward through a pandemic where we had lockdowns, closed borders, most air travel at a standstill and we see a renaissance in business travel by train.
The trend is becoming a standard way of travelling. Angelina Villa-Clarke at Forbes reports that a survey conducted by the train booking company Audley concludes that 81% of travellers were likely to consider rail travel for their next business or leisure trip. But the shift was already happening as most eco-friendly companies have already implemented eco-policies regarding travel. In addition, they have clear guidelines on when employees should be allowed to travel by air.
France is a leading example of this. In April 2022, they took a bold step to ban some short-haul domestic flights in favour for their high-speed train, TGV. However, other countries’ business travellers are following suit. In the USA, the trend is clearly visible with Amtrack seeing almost 300,000 new customers every month on top of their returning train travel customers. In Germany, they have seen a 66% rise in train bookings prior to COVID-19, and almost 80% of domestic travel was booked using trains.
Besides the obvious environmental gains of train travel, several other factors highlight the benefit such as – saving money since the tickets are usually lower, going straight to the destination and city center, the possibility of getting work done on the train, avoiding the risk of losing luggage and lowering stress.
However, it’s not all glitter and gold as every Security Manager knows. A new trend equals new threats, and travelling by train is no exception. Security threats on rail travel are increasing every year. The threats vary from incidents happening within the stations while transiting to the actual journey. As usual, the threats differ depending on the geographical location of the traveller. With new threats and old types of threats in new environments – it’s a matter of how you can prevent them from happening and what you do when something actually happens. This is where technology is paramount in keeping employees safe in modern untested and unpredictable scenarios. Some examples of this are the train bombings happening all over Europe in the past 10-20 years. And recent train disruptions resulting from bad weather or strikes.
Having systems that integrate and being able to manage travel risk management no matter what type of transportation, is going to be crucial to be able to offer the same level of security and trust to employees by air, car or train travel. As safety policies and protocols should be updated on the new ways of business travel, so should also the technology responsible for handling the employee safety.
To make it easier for companies to accommodate the switch in travelling patterns and methods, the SPHERE app comes with new support for train booking. Bookings are automatically integrated into the platform like any other kind of booking. This enables employees to view train bookings and the managers to support employees when needed. The integration is seamless, with automated pre-trip emails containing valuable security information and many other features. With the SPHERE platform, you are set and ready to facilitate the increasing number of train bookings.
If you are interested in finding out more about Securewest’s travel risk management service we are currently offering a free demo and 30 day free trial for the SPHERE platform and app. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org or read more about our Travel Risk services here.