As offices around the world have started to open their doors after nearly two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, companies have still hesitated to send their employees on their regularly scheduled business trips. Some aspects of pre-pandemic work-life are starting to reappear, but it’s easy to wonder: Does business travel have a future?
Will Business Travel Ever Come Back?
There’s no denying it – the pandemic has changed how businesses will operate for years to come. With advancing technologies and an increase in hybrid work schedules, many companies will never look the same. Because of the efficiency of digital conference calls, it’s going to be harder for businesses to justify the massive amounts previously spent on business travel.
Although business travel may never fully go away, companies are happy to adopt money-saving policies that video conferencing affords. A Bloomberg study showed that about 84% of companies through Europe, Asia, and the U.S. plan to cut their business travel budgets after the pandemic, with the Global Business Travel Association predicting a decrease of about $200 billion between 2019 and 2024.
Greg Hayes, the CEO of Raytheon, a jet-engine maker, predicted that although the market may someday recover, the advancement of communication technologies has forever changed the face of how business will be done in the future.
Better for Business
As you’ve gathered, companies can save thousands by not sending their employees on expensive business trips, especially ones that aren’t dealing directly with clients.
Less travel also makes it easier for companies to achieve their goals of reducing their carbon footprint. In fact, almost 80% of U.S. companies have pledged to reduce their carbon emissions, and less business travel – especially on airlines – makes those goals more attainable.
Better for Employees
Not only is less business travel good for corporate wallets, but it may positively affect employees both physically and mentally, too. Michelin CEO, Florent Menegaux, admitted, “We should do it only when it’s absolutely necessary. I travel a lot and I can tell you it’s physically grueling and takes a heavy toll.” Menegaux isn’t the only one to notice the effects of traveling. Along with jet lag negatively affecting productivity, a study done by the Baylor College of Medicine discovered that frequent fliers and those who are obese have the same risk of cancer.
A New Way to Connect
Although less traveling is good for pocketbooks and employee health, some advantages of in-person meetings are hard to replicate virtually. With a shift toward open/collaborative work environments, it has become harder to conduct distraction-free calls, let alone private meetings with clients or other coworkers. After over a year of almost exclusive virtual calls, having video calls is no longer “a social no-no,” even with clients. Because the general workforce now feels more comfortable with these new technologies, it’s an opportune time to take advantage of these efficient, cost-saving innovations.
Employees have previously taken those calls awkwardly in stairwells, outside, or giant conference rooms just for themselves and their phones. Instead of being forced to find a private corner of the office building, an office pod may be the solution to this new meeting style.
Meet Loop Phone Booths
Long gone are the days when you hear the bustle of a busy office on the other side of your phone call. Loop offers an innovative design to help you experience the advantages of an in-person meeting without plane tickets and carbon emissions. A Loop pod is a fully soundproof conference booth that allows you and your employees to take video calls within an immersive space that keeps noise pollution and distractions away from your important business connections.