One of the joys of working for a company that is experiencing tremendous growth is being a part of that expansion. Last weekend, I took the plunge and packed up my home and car, and said farewell to Boston and move to sunny Florida to be a part of our new worldwide command center. It is a bittersweet moment for me, saying goodbye to friends and family, yet being on the precipice of new opportunities and challenges.
As I started my long solo drive down the coast, I checked-in with friends and relatives to let them know where I was and how the ride was fairing, essentially bread-crumbing myself. Each stop, I would send a text or make a quick call, not only because I wanted to say hello but because they were concerned about my safety. On my last overnight stop in Savannah, this blog topic came to mind; your company’s business travel policy is only as good as the communication you give and receive.
If I had not frequently been updating my friends on my whereabouts along the way, how would anyone know my location if I had fell victim to an unfortunate event? It would have made aiding me an arduous task. Being a solo traveler also meant that I needed to take my safety and security seriously. If I posted my journey on social media, I needed to take extra precautions such as not tagging exact locations, mentioning that I was alone, and to drive during daylight only on frequently traveled roads. Traveling solo, and as a female comes with its unique set of circumstances and risks. You need to be vigilant on what risks you take.
Fortunately, I have my FocusPoint CAP membership. The membership provides assistance should I face any security or medical related events while on my journey. Also, as a member I leave GPS breadcrumbs, allowing my company to know where I am in case of an emergency. When I was at a gas station in Virginia, I locked my car when I went inside the station to pay. When I returned, I noticed that one of my doors did not lock. It shook me a little bit, but I calmed down and relaxed since I knew that with my CAP membership, I would have help if I needed it in the event that I was the victim of a violent crime.
Communication is your best defense, but it is a two-way street. It only works if each party is communicating to the best of their ability. If you are the person in charge of running your travel management program, you are not only tasked with communicating what your travel policy is, but you also have a duty of care responsibility to keep your travelers informed and updated on the potential risks they may face while traveling.
As I jump back into my Jeep this morning for the final leg of my journey, I will make sure my tank is full, and my coffee cup is filled, CAP membership card is in my wallet, update my location and have Bruce Springsteen tunes set to shuffle. The Jeep and I have an important opportunity in Florida that just can’t wait.