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Corporate Travel [corporate travel policy discussion at interview?]

Corporate Travel [corporate travel policy discussion at interview?]

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Old May 30, 19, 7:55 am
  #16  
 
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I work for a global consulting company and we have a pretty generous policy (4hrs+ for J) but that is with the expectation that we are able to land after a long haul and work the next day with clients fully functional. In addition I quite disagree with being able to work well in W / Y - the space for having your laptop out and being able to read through any hard material is pretty much unworkable in my opinion, as such I often don't bother taking my laptop out on short haul flights in Y.

Either way, absolutely no harm in asking the question. I'd also be wary of finding out exactly how much travel you will likely be doing. It may be okay to have a return long haul in Y once every month or two but if it's due to be weekly/fortnightly then I'd want at least W travel (if not pushing for J) - value your personal time and also health over travels is my motto...
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Old May 30, 19, 8:12 am
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Originally Posted by ocprodigy View Post
I work for a global consulting company and we have a pretty generous policy (4hrs+ for J) but that is with the expectation that we are able to land after a long haul and work the next day with clients fully functional. In addition I quite disagree with being able to work well in W / Y - the space for having your laptop out and being able to read through any hard material is pretty much unworkable in my opinion, as such I often don't bother taking my laptop out on short haul flights in Y..
I once went straight to the office upon landing in HKG and worked a straight 8 hours. It was on a needs basis as I was covering for a staff member who was leaving the firm (in my line of work they literally take your pass from you and escort you outside when that happens), and so they asked me as the only senior person in a position to cover, to go down and fill in for a couple of weeks. I had been reluctant to fly the Saturday eve departure due to family commitments so the deal I struck was Sunday teatime departure and straight to the office without going to the hotel......Only once mind.........

And for that sort of reason my firm definitely expects to seat us in J, with the added flexibility that if there's either an F that's outright cheaper, or if we want to augment with Avios or whatever then they usually try and find a way.

But I never had the need to ask at the interview as in my field that's a fairly standard policy so it's rarely a dealbreaker.
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Old May 30, 19, 9:19 am
  #18  
 
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An alternative could be to wait until you are at the offer stage, and ask then. The risk of raising the question at this stage means that they could be put off you if they think that this is unreasonable. By asking this question at the offer stage, it could become a negotiating point that they match your current business travel policy. In my experience policies are much more negotiable in small companies with 75 employees as you state.
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Old May 30, 19, 10:08 am
  #19  
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At a large company, ask outright. It wonít impact you negatively in any way.

If itís a small company, you could still just ask. If youíre afraid it will turn off HR or the hiring manager, try to slip it in to a more informal conversation. For example, ask to speak with a peer to ďDiscuss what daily life and responsibilities at the company are like.Ē Then during that chat, you can ask questions along the lines of: ďSo I hear you travel a decent amount. How is that? Whatís your favorite place to eat at the airport? If I have trouble sleeping on planes, am I going to hate this job? Hahaha, Iím just kidding.Ē
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Old May 30, 19, 10:18 am
  #20  
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Originally Posted by ptr120 View Post
An alternative could be to wait until you are at the offer stage, and ask then. The risk of raising the question at this stage means that they could be put off you if they think that this is unreasonable. By asking this question at the offer stage, it could become a negotiating point that they match your current business travel policy. In my experience policies are much more negotiable in small companies with 75 employees as you state.
that would be my approach. If they are Y only it helps you push for more cash to self upgrade etc.
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Old May 30, 19, 10:20 am
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Originally Posted by Pascoe View Post
Personally I would be using the gambit of 'if you want me to travel regularly then that's absolutely fine, but I want to be arriving back refreshed enough to be with my family when I am not travelling, especially if the travel part will be eating into family time to begin with, and also to be rested and productive when I am working away'.

Of course, I don't know what your family circumstances are, but both the need to be rested when away, and the need to not be a zombie when you get back home are, to me, completely reasonable requests to make.

And frankly any firm that had a huge issue with you bringing it up would, for me, almost be a dealbreaker itself.

Often (although maybe moreso at larger firms) there's an HR interview that comes near the end of the process (ie when the hiring stakeholders have essentially made their choice, or at least got down to a short shortlist) to cover just these kinds of points (ie non functional stuff - benefits package, cultural fit, etc etc). If there's one of those then that's probably an ideal time to broach the subject.
I own a small company and would not think you were a - what did you call it - plonker - for bringing it up. In fact, I would fully expect you to ask about travel policy and expectations. If you were to ask that question from our HR people they would look at you with a blank stare and ask why you didn't cover that already in your earlier interviews. HR's job is to enforce the rules for everyone per stated policy. You'll get traction from the people who are actually going to hire and supervise you. If the person was someone that I really wanted and felt they could add a lot to the company, I would not let the travel policy get in the way.

Plonker. I am going to use that all the time now.
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Old May 30, 19, 11:07 am
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Entirely reasonable to ask for a copy of the employee handbook which should include the travel policy - info obtained without explicitly addressing the issue. If they don't have an employee handbook that can be revealing in its own way.
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Old May 30, 19, 11:15 am
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Originally Posted by pablol View Post
As others have said, I think itís perfectly reasonable to ask what the travel policy is, particularly if you phrase it in a general request to know all soft benefits - pensions, life assurance, gym membership etc.
I agree that itís a perfectly reasonable thing to ask about, but Iíd actually be careful about not putting travel policy in the same category as soft benefits - while a lenient policy can definitely be regarded as a perk, I feel this somewhat misses the point, in the same way that, say, having an office (contrasted with open-plan seating) isnít really a perk.

I think itís much better to frame the question around productivity, long-term health and so on.
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Old May 30, 19, 2:30 pm
  #24  
 
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Y only policy is becoming more and more common.

Our firm is a huge multinational and changed the policy to Y only for all. Previously, executive level employees could fly J if the journey was over 6 hours. I suspect at a smaller firm, the policy will be more flexible.

​​​​​​I agree with the suggestion above to leave it until later in the negotiations. Don't bring it up as a point until you've already convinced them that you're the one they want. At that stage, it's far easier to spring in a few extra demands without scuppering the whole job.
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Old May 31, 19, 5:36 am
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Originally Posted by DCAFly View Post
I own a small company and would not think you were a - what did you call it - plonker - for bringing it up. In fact, I would fully expect you to ask about travel policy and expectations. If you were to ask that question from our HR people they would look at you with a blank stare and ask why you didn't cover that already in your earlier interviews. HR's job is to enforce the rules for everyone per stated policy. You'll get traction from the people who are actually going to hire and supervise you. If the person was someone that I really wanted and felt they could add a lot to the company, I would not let the travel policy get in the way..
In my experience that is a firm by firm thing. At my place the HR (we actually call it T&C - "Talent and Culture" these days) onboarding process includes all that sort of stuff. But this is a big (>100k globally) organisation. There's no one right answer).
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Old May 31, 19, 8:33 am
  #26  
 
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Originally Posted by bigwalrus View Post
Y only policy is becoming more and more common.

Our firm is a huge multinational and changed the policy to Y only for all. Previously, executive level employees could fly J if the journey was over 6 hours. I suspect at a smaller firm, the policy will be more flexible.

​​​​​​I agree with the suggestion above to leave it until later in the negotiations. Don't bring it up as a point until you've already convinced them that you're the one they want. At that stage, it's far easier to spring in a few extra demands without scuppering the whole job.
Ouch
Why is Y only becoming more common, when business class is generally cheaper than ever before?
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Old May 31, 19, 8:54 am
  #27  
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1. If you have a contact in the company, perhaps someone you earlier in the process and with whom you hit it off, why not call and ask her?

2, There is never a problem in asking simple questions without making the pre-conditions unless you mean them to be. If flying <J is a problem, might as well surface it now. However, I would not rationalize or get into a policy discussion because that seems arrogant. It is a question and nothing more, E.g., "what is your air travel policy?" The answer is the answer. Whether you will work overnight, show up from the airport and so on, is not relevant to this discussion.
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Old May 31, 19, 9:31 am
  #28  
 
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Originally Posted by WingsAroundtheWorld View Post
Ouch
Why is Y only becoming more common, when business class is generally cheaper than ever before?
Global competition. When companies tender contracts they have more leverage to control costs by showing capability to hire locally or get work done remotely. Hard to justify paying a premium for staff to fly in in business class or first when you can ask companies to send someone locally or cheaply. Last year was working for a consulting firm with a global tech giant. Even they told us that factoring in J travel would be a guaranteed way to be offered less work in the future. We built in enough for W. While in the UK and USA companies have to worry about encroaching on family time etc, other countries don't. I'm based out of Mexico and you're just expected to do the extra time even if at personal cost. Sucks, but there are plenty of others willing to do it if you don't. That doesn't make it right for sure. But it's just the way things are here.

Any J travel I've done for work has been uua, op up or 30 quid more expensive then ET.
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Old May 31, 19, 9:53 am
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Just ask, it’s a reasonable question

The worst one I ever encountered was overnight economy at the weekend to arrive at the main offshore site ready to work Monday morning, and return overnight Friday night and it was expected 1 week a month. I made my excuses as to unable to travel and left the company not long after (I hadn’t asked at time of joining as I didn’t have reason to believe there was any travel, then they opened the offshore centre)
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Old May 31, 19, 9:59 am
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Originally Posted by DoctorCopper View Post
The above implies, given your stated travel pattern, that you will be working on o/night flights. Is that really the case? I know people do but that's usually an exception. Also minimising billable hours might be in the client's favour, but not necessarily that of your potential employer.

Doc Copper

Having worked in Procurement and had some exposure of running the travel policy I must admit I am more than a little cynical with the "working on flights" approach. Often I hear "preparing for a presentation" well if I was your boss I'd hope you were better prepared.

Defo ask what the policy is but I wouldn't push it in the early stages of the process.
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Last edited by RockyRobin; Jun 1, 19 at 11:59 am
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