Returning to Work and Travel: The CDC and SAP Concur Customers Share Their Perspectives, Part 1

Erin Giordano |

Since the world went virtual overnight, making remote work the new norm and testing our conference-call capabilities, government travel restrictions have been fluctuating. All of these struggles have forced companies to stay agile, discussing plans such as:

  • When is the right time to return to the office?
  • What exactly is considered essential and non-essential travel?

As companies continue this journey of returning to work or travel, it’s important to keep in mind the three basic tenets to stay safe during the pandemic. According to Matthew Dahm, PhD, MPH, Research Industrial Hygienist at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), during a July 16 webinar for SAP Concur customers and other stakeholders, “Always wear a cloth face mask when in public, maintain social distancing at least 6 feet apart, and have guidelines in place for when you cannot keep 6 feet away from others.”

In this series, we’ll explore how taking advantage of free resources from the CDC, paired with advice from SAP Concur customers, can help businesses further plan and enact policies that support their travel and employee spend decisions. It’s important to assess your company’s unique situation and recognize that every organization’s journey will be different.


What are organizations doing right now?

Amid rising COVID-19 cases, companies are moving quickly to change their policies. According to finance, travel, HR, risk, security and other professionals from Fortune 500 companies, more than one-third (39%) of companies have already updated their plans, 27% are in the process, and 18% are planning to do so. Only 6% aren’t updating policies – we suspect these are most likely essential businesses. Here are some other stats to take into consideration, which stem from our July 16 webinar:

  • Half of companies (50%) are taking control of cash flow by evaluating employee spend before it happens with a pre-spend process
  • More than 90% of companies are considering a pre-trip approval process
  • Almost three-fourths (73%) of companies find it extremely important to have a tool that communicates with all employees, not just travelers

“We’ve actually heard from many, who in the past contemplated optimizing their spend and travel program, that it may be essential to start doing so now and that it’s not just a nice to have,” said Ralph Colunga, Thought Leader of T&E for SAP Concur. “Whether it’s technology to automate the process, capturing travel spend that’s getting booked outside of their corporate tool, or streamlining accounts payable (AP), companies are taking actions.”


At what stage is your company in evaluating and updating travel and expense policies since COVID-19?

Source: Return to Work and Return to Travel, SAP Concur webinar, July 16


For more information

Listen to the full Return to Work Return to Travel webinar with the CDC and SAP Concur T&E expert, Ralph Colunga, to get additional insight on how to help your company return to its journey ahead. 


See also: 

Returning to Work and Travel: The CDC and SAP Concur Customers Share their Perspectives, Part 2

Returning to Work and Travel: The CDC and SAP Concur Customers Share their Perspectives, Part 3