According to The Harvard Gazette, Dr. Anthony Fauci estimates that a “return to normal” may be as close as the end of this year. But that means that as travel restrictions lift, it will come down to individuals (and employers with workers who travel) to make sure plans are safe and sanitized.
As an organization with traveling employees, there are tools and procedures you can have them follow to minimize risk and liability.
Tools of the Traveler
No matter where your employees are traveling, the first step is understanding the details. Afterall, a road trip and several hotels requires a different approach than a long flight. However, no matter the logistical details, there are several tools for travelers that will be important to keep close at hand.
One such handy option for the sanitizing traveler is disinfectant wipes. These come in large or small travel sizes and are useful for wiping down public, nonporous surfaces like plastic or metal. Another tool is hand sanitizer for your employees. Both of these can easily fit in a carryon bag or purse.
As a precautionary incentive to keep your employees safe and sanitized, you could even provide them a “safe travel kit” with several useful tools:
- Personal pack of disinfectant wipes
- Personal hand sanitizer
- Travel details and specific cleaning recommendations for certain situations
- Itinerary-specific items (plane seat covers, etc.)
- All stocked in a clean, plastic travel case
And this brings us back around to the fact that different types of travel will require different precautions and approaches. Let’s take a look at 2 of the most common: hotels and flights.
Tips for Hotel Travel
Before your employees even get to the hotel, try calling ahead first to double check the hotel’s cleaning policy. Some hotels do a deep sanitization between occupants while others may have less comprehensive methods. For hotels in the second category, be sure to ask if they allow for 24 hours between changing occupants.
With this information in hand, your employee can understand what they’re walking into and can take proper precautions such as:
- Sanitizing their luggage prior
- Bringing their own toiletries and dishware (unless provided by you)
- Opening a window upon arrival to air out potential airborne contaminants
- Wiping down commonly touched surfaces in their room
The less contact they have with potentially contaminated surfaces, the less risk. Advise them to wipe down any handles and, if necessary, ask the hotel crew for extra sheets.
Tips for Air Travel
Airplanes are tough to make pandemic-proof. Even if every plane receives a sanitization service between flights, it’s still a matter of putting a multitude of people in a cramped space. Despite 2020’s low travel and after a 60% drop in global air traffic, over 1.8 billion people took to the skies last year. With numbers like these, the best an employee can do is ensure their space is as clean as they can make it.
Disinfectant wipes are your best friend here and can help your employee wipe down all solid, nonporous surfaces. The type of wipes determine how much “wet-time” is required to make sure the germ-killing process goes through all the way. Your safe travel kit should include this information.
Personal any-size-fits-all seat covers can help for upholstered seats, and they come in sizes that fit a whole seat, headrests, and folding tables.
As with hotels, it may be helpful to call ahead and learn about an airline’s sanitization methods to know what does and does not need to be accounted for.
Keeping Your Traveling Employees Safe
Employers need to ensure that their premises are clean for visitors and employees, but they also need to provide ample resources and information to employees who travel for work.
If you’d like a consultation regarding your sanitation practices, please contact us. We’re happy to discuss our comprehensive approach to clean spaces and what you can be doing to keep employees safe.
If you’re a facility looking to reorient your cleaning routine with the 2021 traveler in mind, you can request a quote. Our sanitization experts will help analyze your building plan, your current cleaning schedule, and recommend new methods and tools to help make sure you provide a clean environment for your guests and employees.