Let’s Hear from Employers and Workers on the Pandemic: Real Insights on Business Travel Restrictions

While all of our pandemic experiences have been different, the one constant is we are going through this together.

Stephanie Roberts
August 30, 2021

We’ve all had unique experiences throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and so have our workplaces. The National Safety Council has been creating an extensive collection of employer guidance though our SAFER initiative to help keep workers safe in this changing climate. As we take a look at how far we’ve all come, SAFER felt it was important to hear from people about their workplace experiences. Gathering a collective picture of how different types of organizations are responding to a variety of pandemic-related topics will better prepare us for the months ahead. 

Recently, SAFER fielded three surveys soliciting both employer and worker insights. Here are some of the findings related to travel and workplace gatherings:

  • Only 45% of respondents currently have travel restrictions in place
  • Larger companies are more likely to have travel restrictions – 83% of very large companies compared to 28% of very small businesses
  • The industries with largest percent of companies with travel restrictions are government and public administration (67%), manufacturing (63%) and retail (63%)
  • For businesses allowing travel outside the U.S., the largest percentage said international business travel would likely resume in January - June of 2022

Vaccines are the best way to help keep workers safe when traveling or attending gatherings. Initial data collected by NSC shows employer vaccine requirements are effective in increasing vaccine uptake, especially when paired with encouragement or incentives, such as paid time off for vaccinations or having an on-site vaccination clinic at the workplace. 

The number of employers requiring vaccination for some or all workers is on the rise, including the nation’s largest employer, the federal government. You can also find a growing list of employers coming on board with vaccination requirements on the Health Action Alliance website.

NSC will release a full report early this fall with more in-depth survey findings surrounding topics like healthcare access for vulnerable populations, vaccine hesitancy and boosters, how COVID-19 sources are being accessed and more. Additional insights will be shared from interviews with various organizations diving deeper into questions like the usability and effectiveness of guidelines, decision-making around vaccination policies and the future world of work. 

We continue to learn new things about COVID-19 and its variants every day. While all of our pandemic experiences have been different, the one constant is we are going through this together. The more we share our experiences and listen to one another, the better we’ll be able to keep our workers safe wherever they are.

Visit nsc.org/safer year round for the latest workplace guidance on COVID-19, including tip sheets, webinars, FAQs, infographics and more.

Stephanie Roberts

Stephanie Roberts is program manager of the NSC SAFER initiative.

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