< PrevNext > Duty of Care Gets Personal in the Sharing Economy By Global Guardian VP Will Herter / 27 January 2017 Share 2017 will be the year that adoption of shared economy services like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb becomes a permanent fixture in the corporate travel program landscape. The proliferating employee usage of sharing economy services on business trips will create new duty of care challenges for corporate travel managers. As individual adoption increases within an organization, who is ultimately responsible for an employee’s safety and how can travel managers develop governance measures to regulate this trend?Statistics published in the fall by Concur and Certify, as well as recently announced partnership deals between Airbnb and three large travel management companies, demonstrate that ride-hailing and accommodation-sharing services are fast-growing segments of corporate travel portfolios. While these services give corporate travelers greater personal customization and flexibility, they also reflect new safety risks that organizations must accept and manage. Travel managers will need to improve their ability to provide duty of care to personnel when it's impossible for company representatives to vet the accommodations and transportation their travelers are using. To combat the uncertainty that comes with usage of shared economy services, companies should focus their efforts on the one constant they can influence: the individual traveler.Clear policies and procedures will provide guidance as to where and how employees travel in a manner aligned with corporate duty of care objectives. Pre-travel reports on destination risks, advice on situational awareness, and preventive security recommendations will help travelers understand their destinations so they can choose appropriate accommodations and transportation options. City-specific, real-time travel alerts will inform individuals about destination-specific issues and incidents that could impact their safety so they can avoid risks where possible. Assistance and response services will provide immediate support to travelers should they experience negative incidents. Applied correctly, these mechanisms will enable travelers to make better decisions to reduce their travel risk. In this new era, organizations must work with employees to define their respective roles and responsibilities when it comes to safety and security on business trips. In 2017, companies should take a proactive approach to duty of care by empowering employees with the right knowledge, tools and support to meet the safety and security challenges.