As a conferencing company, it’s in our nature to promote the benefits of being able meet with people located all over the world without leaving your desk. You can see from several of our other blog posts that we’re not big on travel and truly embrace the benefits of being able to stay home (the whole work/life balance thing).
CareerBuilder recently conducted a survey to find out what kind of travel plans companies had in 2010. They found that three-in-ten (30 percent) companies said they cut back on business travel last year, and of those companies, more than one-third (37 percent) said it negatively affected their business.
When asked how fewer business trips affected their bottom lines, companies reported the following:
- Less effective internal communication – 12 percent
- Fewer sales – 11 percent
- Less effective execution on internal business initiatives – 10 percent
- Less customer loyalty – 8 percent
Many companies, though, are starting to see the light. Using audio conference calls, web conferencing and video conferencing are some ways companies are reining in their travel budgets. Forty-two percent of companies said they rely more on phone/web conferencing now to conduct business with clients, with 31 percent saying they get just as much out of virtual meetings as face-to-face meetings.
And here’s the part I love: The most unusual experiences when traveling reported by the respondents.
- Woman next to me asked me for a drink from my water bottle.
- Our plane was stormed by the Columbian military who thought there was a drug lord on board.
- A client mooned the plane.
- A naked guy tried getting in my cab in Indonesia.
- A drunken passenger next to me insisted my headphones were a bomb.
- U.S. marshals arrested a passenger when the plane landed.
- A guy next to me had a carry-on bag filled with candy, which he kept offering me over and over and over again.
- A woman gave birth on the flight.
- After waking up, I accidentally walked into the hotel’s hallway instead of the restroom in my underwear. Got locked out and could be viewed by the elevator which was all glass windows.
- Manager punched a co-worker on the plane.
- Fell asleep in the airplane restroom.
What does your company have planned for travel in 2011? Do you find that reduced travel has the same effects as those reported by the respondents? Has your company adopted more conferencing in order to battle the budget crunch?