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Will Videoconferencing Replace Business Travel

Business Technology | May 9, 2012

No one likes traveling for business. Airports are a headache, with all that business of removing your shoes, shelling out extra to stow bags, plus the constant delays and cancellations. We have a tendency to overeat on bad fast food or at hotel buffets, also, when we’re traveling for business. Plus there is the lack of sleep. It’s little wonder that so many business people are longing for improvements in videoconferencing technology. After all, if this technology improves sufficiently – the reasoning goes – maybe off-site business meetings, and the business travel that goes with this, might be a thing of the past.

The End of Business Travel?

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

Fluid discussion is often less common when videoconferencing. It’s hard to pin point precisely why. It may be due, partly, to office disruptions, and also to any lag that the videoconference has. These issues could be solved with technological advancements. But generally, when people are videoconferencing they have a tendency to stick to the primary task of the meeting instead of allow conversation to flow naturally, which can bring about creative ideas.

The Benefits of Face-to-Face Time

At in-person meetings, however, agendas have a way of falling by the wayside, and that is a good thing. Meetings may start only after a few minutes of personal chatter and they may end with participants swapping office stories. Again, this can be good. Often, the most effective business ideas arise from these moments of off-topic conversation.

Business Travel is Here to Stay

Yes, business travel is a hassle and videoconferencing is convenient. However, there are times when meeting face-to-face is the best option for generating the most innovative business solutions. Due to this, don’t expect savvy business executives to ever entirely replace business travel with videoconferencing.


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