Since the dawn of automobiles and airplanes, business travel has been ubiquitous. Whether it's an annual sales meeting, or a quick chat with the CEO of your company, we find ourselves riding and jetting around the country and globe in the name of progress.
Just this morning, a man told me of his plan to travel to Italy—for a six-hour business expedition.
'Unreal,' I thought. 'Six hours?' And given that a direct transatlantic flight to Western Europe—even from Boston or New York—takes at least that, he would be spending less time on the ground than even one of his airborne legs.
Personally, I love traveling. And with no marital or child commitments to speak of at this point in my life, I am more than happy to go on business-related expeditions. However, I recognize that not everyone shares my desire. In fact, unified communications—and particularly solutions like videoconferencing—has certainly resulted in reduced savings and increased flexibility.
1. It saves money—companies using videoconferencing have realized a 30 percent reduction in travel costs. For a travel budget that was originally $100,000 annually, that's $30,000 saved. (PGI) (Tweet this)
2. While not every professional flies to meetings four times monthly, those who do lose 65 hours of time in their physical office—more than a full work week! Additionally, they spend an average of seven hours traveling to and from their meetings—nearly a day lost in productivity. (Verizon) (Tweet this)
3. We've used this one before, but its value is worth repeating—employees of UK-based Virgin Media have saved five hours per week by changing meetings over to methods based in unified communications. (ComputerWeekly) (Tweet this)
4. American workers spend 3/8 of their workday in meetings, and American businesses hold 11 million meetings daily. Given that that figure doesn't include the amount of time traveling to and from meetings, imagine the time that everyone could save—times 11 million. (Verizon) (Tweet this)
5. Videoconferencing is not just the hip thing with the IT department—56 percent of CIOs believe that it is a more worthwhile investment than spending money on travel. (PGI) (Tweet this)
6. Unlike myself, most American professionals don't enjoy traveling: 73 percent dislike having to leave loved ones, and 64 percent are worried that they'll get behind by being away. (Verizon) (Tweet this)
7. Only 19 percent of Americans have ever used video for meetings—suggesting that there is significant untapped potential, and that companies are likely to realize even more savings than they already have. (Interact) (Tweet this)