Running a green business isn’t always easy. You need to think of all the ways that you might be hurting the environment. One factor that we don’t think enough about is travel.
Traveling green is not always easy. The good news is that there are a lot of ways that you can lower your carbon footprint while traveling.
Tips to Travel Green With Your Employees
Taking business trips andwith your staff is not only a great way to put yourself in a new environment to induce creative ideas, but to bond with your team. However, many business owners still struggle with finding the best way to effectively travel with their staff. This is even harder if you are trying to do so with a small carbon footprint.
After all, you don’t want your trip to feel like a tense work day, but there also needs to be a fine balance between professionalism and friendship.
And there are many other variables that come into play, too. All your logistics should be in order, your accommodations and flights should all be confirmed, and everyone should have a clear understanding of what to expect from the trip. With that in mind, here are five tips for traveling with your staff.
Who’s handling bookings? Who's responsible for creating presentations? Who will write the information packet to be sent out before your travels?
All of these tasks need to be done with the environment in mind. Assign everyone a responsibility or role in the trip, especially if you’re working with a small team. This allows each team member to feel included in your travel plans. Make sure that they understand that you are a green company and need to look for ways to minimize your carbon footprint while traveling.
Prior to the trip, as you’re arranging final details, try to think about which aspects of the trip you can allow your team to choose. Perhaps working with your admin assistant to create a companywide newsletter where they can vote on certain aspects of the trip, like which team building activities to do or where to stay.
Be Flexible With Your Rules
Strict rules can inadvertently hurt you more. For example, if you give your team a budget of $50 to spend on food per day, they’re more likely to spend close to that amount then if you tell them to spend smart on food. Instead of giving your staff a list of rules, provide them with guidelines to keep in mind throughout the trip.
Encourage the Use of Travel Apps
You likely already have your own project management software solutions, like Asana or Basecamp. And even though you use these to manage your internal projects and communicate efficiently with your team, it’s better to take advantage of applications that are specifically geared towards. These apps have a number of features. If you are concerned about the environment, you can specify that. They will help you find the greenest and most sustainable ways to travel.
Here are a few apps that you should consider:
Travefy is a great web and mobile application for managing business trip itineraries. For starters, it has a robust, intuitive planning platform; simply type in your confirmation flight number, for example, and all your flight details—including terminal and gate—are populated into the the appropriate fields. Same for hotel accommodations. Once you’re finished creating the perfect itinerary, you can download a final version to distribute to your team as a PDF file.
Part of traveling on business trips means you might spend some time in airports, especially if you’re traveling internationally. FLIO has map layouts of over 3,000 airports around the world, making it easy for you to plan out areas you can pull out your laptop, grab a bite to eat, etc. You can even purchase access to premium lounges.
If you plan on driving a vehicle during your travels, this is the perfect app for it. MileIQ allows you to track each mile driven, and can categorize each mile as business or personal travel. The tracker even pauses when the vehicle stops. This makes it easy to log, track, and manage business mileage expenses.
Speaking of tracking expenses, Expensify is one of the most popular apps on the market for making business expenses as manageable as possible. Simply take a picture of a receipt, and the app will scan it and create an cataloged expense for you. Paid plans include premium features, like the ability to approve expenses and integrate your corporate expense policies.
Think About Legalities
No matter where you go on your trip, you’re still a business and as a business, it’s your job to ensure your team is protected, and that you’re still following all necessary compliances during your travels. For example, according to, “If you and members of your team will be driving, you have to have the right insurance and contracts in place to cover yourself and your employee in the event of an accident.”
Talk to Your Employees About Professionalism
Even though you’re away from the office, your business trip or retreat isn’t a personal vacation, and should be treated appropriately. You wouldn’t want your team getting too drunk after meetings, and misrepresenting your brand in public. Let people know that will it’s okay to have a good time, they are a representation of your company while on the trip, and should be conscience of this during their free time.
Traveling Green Isn’t Easy. But it is Possible
There are a lot of ways that you can make sure your business is more sustainable. Knowing how to travel sustainably is important. Make sure that you follow the advice listed here to lower your carbon footprint as much as possible.
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