Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Will Videoconferencing Replace Business Travel

There aren’t many people who look forward to going on business trips. They're a hassle and expensive for the organization. Business travelers often feel rushed, which leads to lack of sleep and poor dietary habits, which exacerbates stress. Not to mention dealing with Airports and long-term parking. As a result, many businesses choose to use videoconferencing as much as possible. But do you think that business travel is on its way out? Will Videoconferencing replace it altogether?


The End of Business Travel?


Do we want to strive for the extinction of business travel? Perhaps not, think about the differences between in-person meeting and videoconferencing.


Fluid conversation is usually less frequent when videoconferencing. It’s hard to pin point precisely why. It could be due, partly, to office distractions, as well as any lag that the videoconference has. These issues could be solved with technological advancements. But in general, when people are videoconferencing they have a tendency to stick to the primary task of the meeting instead of allow discussion to flow naturally, which can be a catalyst for creative ideas.


The Benefits of Face-to-Face Time


Conversation evolves much more easily with in-person interactions. This is healthy, and as far as business is concerned, can be quite beneficial. Having an impromptu brainstorming session can result in ideas that can lead the organization down a path that wasn’t previously anticipated. This isn't to say that every face-to-face meeting becomes a game-changing brainstorming session. But if a meeting degenerates into story telling, this is an opportunity for co-workers to bolster their interpersonal relationships and increase moral.


Business Travel is Here to Stay


While many companies turn toward videoconferencing because of the cost and ease of it, it is doubtful that business travel will disappear totally. When we develop business relationships, just like any relationships, we want to meet face-to-face because we're a social species. The benefits of face-to-face meetingsare enough that savvy business owners will not get rid of business travel altogether.

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