Replacing some business travel with virtual collaboration can save money, cut down carbon emissions and reduce travel-related employee stress.
But it can be a challenge for employees to determine whether it’s best to travel for business or use technology tools to work collaboratively from afar. Here are some ways BCD Travel suggests corporate travel programmes can help:
- Create a matrix. In theory, an ideal policy would include a ‘Should I stay or should I go?’ algorithm – a clear, rule-based decision matrix to help employees decide if a meeting should be face-to-face or virtual. A simple example would be to say teams currently meeting monthly should only meet face to face twice a year and connect virtually 10 times per year.
- Encourage questions. To make potential travellers think about alternatives before they book, offer them questions to assess the options. Some examples:
- How often do I travel to this destination? Could I reduce the frequency of my trips?
- How many people from the company are travelling? Could fewer of us travel?
- What will this meeting achieve face to face that cannot be achieved through other means?
- Who am I meeting? Is it a client or a colleague whom I could meet more easily virtually without harming our relationship?
- What are the financial, environmental and productivity costs? Are the expenditures, emissions and time dedicated to meeting face to face justifiable?
The benefits of virtual collaboration are compelling, especially as a component of a total collaboration management strategy that integrates with corporate travel. But most companies are in early stages with virtual collaboration. Right now, changing mindsets around the necessity of some face-to-face meetings is as important as changing processes.
Source: Travel and Meetings. Image: Pixabay