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Business travel policy that works

It's a myth that employees on business trips are outraged by the company's travel policies. The truth is that employees want to know what is expected of them and how they can comply with the company policy if it is fair and allows them to do what they need to do on the way. Therefore, a well thought-out corporate travel policy is an advantage for both the company and the business traveler.

Once you've been given the authority to write a travel policy for the company, your task from the company's perspective is to develop a policy that standardizes business expenses, eliminates waste and excess on the road, and provides some element of control over that portion of business expenses. Therefore, there are some specific areas of focus that you should include in your stated business policy, including...

  • Reservations.

The company can use the services of a travel agency that will find the best offer for the company. The best rates can be identified and used, but only if the business traveler's needs and the purpose of the trip are met. It is not unfair to require employees to use a corporate travel agency again, and this explains to the employee how to deal with the situation.

  • Use credit.

Creating corporate credit cards, which may require employees to travel on business, is a bit of a hassle and expensive. But by shifting the cost to the corporate account, a record of most of the company's expenses incurred by the employee can be obtained. Many of the travel expenses, such as air travel and hotel services, can be billed directly to the company, leaving these matters out of the control of the business traveler.

  • Travel rewards.

If your business travel is coordinated by an internal or external travel agency, corporate accounts can be opened with major airlines to allow the company to earn frequent flyer miles. In this way, the company can take advantage of these miles and use these benefits as a significant discount on the travel budget.

  • Daily rate.

Your travel policy should clearly inform the traveling employee of your restrictions on hotel, car rental and meals en route. You want to travel before the employee's tendency to inflate daily expenses begins. This part of the policy should be reviewed annually to ensure that it is in line with ongoing expenses.

  • Reporting.

One of the main complaints from employees about the company's travel policy is that the expense reporting system is mysterious and difficult to fill out. They give the employee a standard form that every traveler in the company must fill out to receive reimbursement for expenses incurred during the trip. But look at these forms and even design your own so that the format is understandable and you have categories that cover all types of expenses that the employee may face.

In addition to these general categories, your corporate travel policy should allow for some influence on employees in exceptional circumstances. The cost of room and board can vary greatly depending on where the employee has to travel to. Therefore, you do not want to set a hotel limit of $125 per night because it is reasonable to stay in a comfortable hotel in Lincoln, Nebraska at that price, but rather apply the same limit to an employee who must be doing business in New York.

By creating a policy that protects the company's overall budget, but is also feasible for employees working for the company, you have a tool that serves both the company's and employees' interests and makes business travel what it should always be: productive, business-oriented activities that meet the company's goals.

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