Mapping the risk of global mobility

As general perceptions of perceived risk to the health and security of businesses travellers remains high. Businesses need to ensure major strategic aspects are not missed to ensure success.

Mitigating risk on international assignment
The past year has been tumultuous, with terror attacks taking place in Turkey, Manchester, London and Barcelona.

Health and security risks on the rise throughout the world

The increasing threat of war with North Korea and widespread devastation caused by hurricanes in the Caribbean means that anyone planning an overseas assignment in the next 12 months would be wise to consider the risks involved.In general the perceived risk to health, safety and security when travelling around the world remains high. That’s according to a new study, which found two thirds of business travel decision makers (63 per cent) think the risk involved in global travel has increased in the past year. The Ipsos Mori Business Resilience Trends Watch 2018 also found that 58 per cent of business travellers changed their travel plans due to security threats. Almost half (43 per cent) had to modify their itineraries because of natural disasters, including extreme weather events.
Risk on overseas assignments:

Global mobility and mapping risk across the globe

To accompany the research, International SOS and Control Risks have launched the latest edition of their award-winning Travel Risk Map. The digital, interactive map includes revised risk ratings for countries on key security and medical issues.The latest risk rating changes include increased risk in Puerto Rico and some areas of the Caribbean, due to the effects of the recent hurricanes. However, the risk factors in some European countries have dropped, thanks to improved standard of medical care.“A staggering 91 per cent of organisations have not included their travel risk programme in their overall business sustainability programme and 90 per cent are seemingly ignoring the impact a wellbeing policy could have on their travelling workforce,” Said Dr Doug Quarry, medical director of information and analysis for International SOS. “This is despite an increasing understanding of how these techniques can impact within the context of the GRI Index. 
Business resilience through a robust travel risk mitigation
Use of risk mitigation programmes
Rob Walker, security expert at International SOS & Control Risks, said, “Success in future global mobility programmes will be those that include a consideration of the changing demographic of the mobile workforce and new marketplace dynamics, including the increase in use of shared economy services.“The immediate obvious risks, such as the recent hurricanes and unforeseeable security incidents, will see organisations scrutinised in terms of preventative measures and recovery.”
International SOS risk map for global mobility
International SOS travel risk map

Global risk response and challenges

Organisations continue to introduce risk mitigation techniques. The most frequent step taken in response to travel health and security concerns is the introduction of pre-trip and during trip emails, with 39 per cent of decision makers reporting to have introduced this in 2017. However, organisations still face barriers in ensuring the health and security of travellers, with educating employees about the risk of business travel (53 per cent) the most common challenge in ensuring the health and security of travellers, followed by communicating with employees in a crisis, and ensuring they have read pre-travel information (both 44 per cent).  Dr Quarry, continued, “As threats, such as the plague in Madagascar, can be fast moving, timely insight is critical to travellers and organisations to avoid potentially disastrous consequences.”  “It is promising to see that risk mitigation techniques are being prioritised, including annual health check up’s, which can be key to spotting any potential health issues that need managing prior to travel or assignments.“As organisations continue to review and enhance their processes, it is important that new actions to promote a safe, healthy and well workforce are taken into account to help support and strengthen business resilience.”

Travel risk map and business resilience research

View the Travel Risk Map at International SOS and Control Risks will host webinars based on the key global issues and emerging trends in December 2017. The webinars are open to the public and you can register on their websiteGlobal Business Resilience Trends Watch is an Ipsos Mori research study conducted among 667 business decision-makers, across all types of organisations, which have had previous contact relating to business travel health and security with International SOS, across 69 countries. Research was conducted online in the period October 2nd to October 20th 2017. Respondents were those who organise, influence or are responsible for their organisation’s travel and risk mitigation policies.  Security professionals accounted for 17 per cent of the sample, with HSE and HR staffers comprising the next biggest segments, on 15 per cent each.For related news and features, visit our International Assignments section. Look out for the launch of 2018's Relocate Awards, entries open in January. Relocate’s new Global Mobility Toolkit provides free information, practical advice and support for HR, global mobility managers and global teams operating overseas.Global Mobility Toolkit download factsheets resource centreAccess hundreds of global services and suppliers in our Online DirectoryClick to get to the Relocate Global Online Directory  

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