Work trips, business trips, corporate travel… whatever you want to call it, one fact remains. Traveling for your work is important and necessary and it needs to happen from time to time in order for the actual business to be done the right way. Corporate travel is not everyone’s favorite thing to do at their position. Not every job comes with constant business trips and you can find one that does not if this is something that bothers you. However, certain positions are almost synonymous with traveling all over the country and even abroad multiple times per month.
The Importance of Business Trips
Sure, it is tiring. Of course, the employees will miss their home and might prefer spending time in their own city or even in their office. As mentioned though, it is something that cannot be escaped because working with other companies and finding partners to collaborate with is how proper business is done. Conferences, meetings, team building events, seminars, etc. All of these surve a purpose and they need to be done when the time for them comes. And when that time comes, the employees need to know the rules that revolve around corporate travel.
The Right Way to Do It
Not a lot of people know that there are actual rules regarding how employees should book their corporate trips. Not only are there rules but actual policies that every company has, a set of regulations that dictate how the whole trip needs to be booked and handled. Without these guidelines, it would be utter mayhem out there in the world with accommodation providers not being able to track employees and their companies, various business lunches not being filled and billed to the proper company, etc.
Because of this, corporate travel management exists and the employees need to stick to it whenever they get an opportunity to travel for their business needs. In this article we bring these rules close to you so that you do not mess up your next trip and have to make up for it later. Read on to learn about the rules on how employees should do it based on their company’s travel and expense policy.
What Are Travel Policies?
The policy of a company that deals with business trips is basically a set of rules and procedures that give the employees an outline on how they should approve, book, expense, and behave when it comes to traveling for business-related reasons. These rules are typically made by finance managers or travel managers within the company, with the overview and insight of the board members.
Some of the things they decide on is what airline companies an employee can use, how much they are allowed to spend on certain things, can they fly first class, whether they can file public transport on their expense report, what insurance is covered, preferred vendors to shop from, and much more.
All of these things are precautions, means for the company to protect their assets and to retain a good reputation regardless of where the employees go and what they need to do during their trips. When it comes to the most important rules, they may vary among the companies and could be called differently, but most encompass the same basic things which we cover below.
1. Respecting the General Premise
First and foremost, as an employee you are already used to following certain rules of the workplace, at least you should be. Almost every aspect of your job comes with certain regulations and understandings and you are obliging every day. So why should a business trip be any different? If the general idea of the trip claims certain things and you have them in writing, you should absolutely follow them. If or when you break this, there is no point in denying it or claiming otherwise because your itinerary literally tells it how it is. Respect the general, initial rules you agree on in the meeting and all will go well.
2. Picking the Most Expensive Accomodation
For certain trips the employees are left to choose the place they will reside for the whole duration of the arrangement. If this is the case for any of your endeavors you should make sure never to pick the most expensive hotels because there is no reason to do so. You will not be spending a lot of time in the actual hotel so you do not need the fancy amenities and facilities. You only need a comfortable bed to spend the night or two. Picking a five star hotel will certainly break a few rules, especially the ones that tell you which hotels to choose from as there are always recommendations.
3. Filing Everything as a Business Expense
This is where most problems happen during business trips. Most employees cannot help but rely on their company card for every single expense. From eating out at expensive restaurants and filling their car’s tank all the time to buying small things like coffee or snacks at their employer’s expense, all of this falls under the same old category of breaking corporate traveling rules. Sure, some trips include all expenses, but those are rare and are explicitly mentioned if that is the case. Trust us, you will know if you ever get offered an all-expense-paid business trip. Otherwise, make sure to only include the things that you need in order to perform the task you traveled for in the first place. Everything else is an additional expense and a luxury you do not need.
4. Staying Longer Than Necessary
The worst thing you can do and the worst rule you can break, one that can actually result in a serious penalty or even a termination of your contract, is staying on the trip for longer than you are supposed to. This counts as not coming to work and an absence without leave. It is considered spending the company’s resources and time as well as not respecting their good will, authority, and reputation. It is rude and uncalled for and anyone who does it is practically asking for trouble, both while there and especially when they get back.