Learn about the Key Insights on Keeping Your Mobile Workforce Safe
The world is moving towards a mobile workforce with lots of expatriate assignments and short term business travel. With globalization, there is plenty of growth opportunities, and organizations can extend their services to international shores. Hence, business travel is expected to grow substantially. More employees can travel and conduct business abroad as it gives them a chance to spice up their routine. But there are risks involved, and employers and employees must equip themselves with information and training to mitigate potential threats overseas. In this article, we discuss three key insights on keeping your mobile workforce safe while working abroad.
Global mobility managers and senior management have a duty of care for employees posted overseas on short or long term assignments. A security event that impacts your company’s staff abroad can not only impact your vital employees but all the bottom line and reputation of your organization. It is commonplace for companies to obtain a global benefit plan that will cover their employees posted abroad for over a year or business travel policies for short term trips. While there are many areas of concern for human resource staff, we have put together three key suggestions for companies with a global workforce:
With more employees traveling for business, there is often a disruption in their normal routine & a loss of personal contacts back home. Not all business travelers maintain their regular healthy eating habits and exercises. Furthermore, there is also a lack of mental health support for mobile workers. Sometimes, when an expat is on an assignment in a new country, it is difficult to make new friends. All these factors can have a significant impact on their mental and physical health. Hence, organizations should place heightened importance on mental health issues to ensure a safe mobile workforce.
Organizations can combat these issues by giving their employees access to mental health support and wellness programs. They should also include these options in their travel policies. When there’s a lack of mental health support for the workforce, it will not only deteriorate the health of employees, but the business will decline.
There is an increase in cyber attacks when an expat is in a different country. Yet, not all organizations include cybersecurity in their travel or special risk policies. Today, it is a lot easier to access WiFi at cafes, malls, and other hotspot locations. These digital trends are on the rise, paving the way to cybersecurity vulnerabilities for expats, business travelers, and digital nomads. Furthermore, with the current digital lifestyle and work, it has only made the use of technology even more unavoidable.
Additionally, business travelers and ex-pats also tend to overshare personal information on social media. With the “story” feature on Instagram, travelers record every detail of their journey and compromise their security. It can also potentially harm the organization’s security.
The only way to combat cybersecurity and allow for a safe mobile workforce is through a mutual effort between the employer and employees. There are a few precautionary steps that can be taken. Don’t skip out on enabling multi-factor authentication for online accounts before traveling. It may seem arduous to go through a secure login, but it will keep your accounts safe. You should also make sure all your software is up to date. It is not only to improve the user experience of your accounts, but it has components to protect you and your organization’s cybersecurity. Finally, you should always run anti-virus scans to remove potential malware.
Other common-sense precautions include not connecting to unverified or unsecured WiFi networks. If you’re using a public computer, ensure you log off from all accounts. Employees should step in by educating employees on travel risks. They should provide adequate training, policies, and preparedness when it comes to cybersecurity. It will give them enough information to avoid threats in the digital world.
In recent year, there has been rapid changes, unpredictability, and instability across the region, pushing geopolitical shifts to be a top concern for a safe mobile workforce. It consequently affects business travelers’ decision making about traveling to a country. The threats highlighted by the Travel Management Council in 2020 are trade wars, increased terrorism, elections, and its unstable political changes, and the change in relations between influential states.
Travelers face the risk of terrorism and social disruptions in some countries. With that, it is essential for travelers to get accurate and timely updates from professionals and how to navigate should there be trouble. It will help an organization’s risk management to stay ahead and help employees feel secured and well-informed during their travels.
Special Risk Insurance & Crisis Management & Prevention
Yes, it is important to obtain a global special risk policy if you are sending employees abroad, especially to high-risk countries. However, a crisis or terrorist attack can happen at any time and place, so global mobility managers can’t be complacent. Part of your HR leader’s duty of care is securing a comprehensive global risk policy that will include kidnap & ransom coverage. If you are using the “K&R” coverage that may be part of a business travel plan, you can’t fully rely on that coverage as only a special risk plan that is sourced by a special risk insurance expert will provide the comprehensive coverage that your employees require abroad. That plan should be confidential and only key members of your crisis management committee should be aware of its existence. The coverage should also include security evacuation, cyber cover, extortion, and unlawful detention and much more.
TFG Global, which operates Expat Financial, works with a firm with its own 24/7 Crisis center. It is staffed by former military and police officers. The center provides full-time assistance and advice for your global special risk coverage. It acts as a vital bridge between you and the insurer and their response team. The incident advice offered by our partner’s Alert 24 center can not only assist in claims but also potentially offset or reduce the severity of an event. Our partners can even provide vital security advice and support for your operations overseas. It includes site visits by highly trained security operatives that also have key insurance knowledge.
Support for Global Mobility Managers from TFG Global
In conclusion, employers, employees & an insurance professional from TFG Global Insurance Solutions Ltd./Expat Financial should work together to prepare and assist in dealing with potential threats to ensure a safe mobile workforce. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your existing special risk insurance needs. We can even provide a country-specific risk report that will further assist your employees abroad with vital medical and safety information that is not available online.
by Nantanaa Mutharasu & David Tompkins