All the ways work travel has changed because of the pandemic

Going on a business trip may look a lot different post-pandemic. While travel has opened up in many places, you can expect things to look a lot different.

While we know it’s for our safety, it’s hard not to be bothered by the inconveniences and differences we will likely experience.

So what can you expect?

No middle seat passenger

This may just well be great news for many of you. For now, at least, airlines don’t seat anyone in the middle seat on airplanes. While we can’t help you fight for the coveted window seat, it’s nice knowing you won’t have someone’s elbow in your side while you’re trying to sleep.

Quarantine requirements when traveling to high risk areas

Some cities, like Chicago, implemented a quarantine requirement for travelers coming from high-risk areas.

If you come from an area with numerous cases and live in a big city, like Chicago, you may have to quarantine yourself for 14 days. If you’re not sure which areas are high-risk, use this tracker.

Hotel cleanliness

Business travelers won’t base their business on which hotel offers loyalty points anymore. Now they’ll base it on which hotel uses the most high-tech cleaning methods.

Travelers focus on safety rather than loyalty today, and most would rather spend money on a hotel stay knowing they are safe rather than using the hotel rewards they’ve accumulated. 

Temperature checks

Many businesses, airlines, hotels, and even restaurants do regular temperature checks before letting you step foot in the business.

While it’s not invasive, it certainly feels weird to have your temperature taken by a stranger while you stand outside their place of business. You may experience this as you go on sales calls or even before a business meeting in an effort to keep everyone safe.

More government regulations

While we’ve always had to deal with some government regulations, you’ll need someone ‘in the know’ at all times before you travel for work now. The government regulations are different in each area.

Some cities are operating at full capacity and life ‘as normal’ while others are still on a strict lockdown. Knowing what you’re about to head into is important, not only for your own safety but so you know what you can and can’t do.

There may not be change fees

At least for the foreseeable future, there won’t be change fees even if you change your mind at the last minute.

Airlines and hotels recognize the need to cancel whether there’s an influx of cases in the area you’re traveling to, you are worried about your own risk of spreading it, or the company you’re visiting canceled the visit themselves. 

Masks, masks everywhere

It probably goes without saying, but your suitcase will contain not only the business professional clothes you need but also matching masks for your stay. A majority of the places you go, unless it’s your own hotel room, will require you to wear a mask.

While it’s hard to show off your smile and enthusiasm behind a mask, it’s our new normal until the numbers steadily decline and stay there.

Business travel is vital to the business world, but it’s going to take a long time to rebound. Businesses themselves are reluctant to send employees out there, at least not before doing their own due diligence and ensuring traveling is safe. They aren’t going to risk their employees (something we should be grateful for).