What Is The Future Of Business Travel Going To Look Like?

Businesswoman on her cellphone and laptop computer on a train

The pandemic has made a lasting impact on how business is conducted across the world. As offices shut down, more meetings had to be held over Zoom and Teams.

The last year has taught many of us the importance of technology and productivity. However, some people are keen to go back to how the business world used to be.

When it comes to travelling for business, there are both pros and cons of the increasingly digital world. Zoom meetings aren’t as useful for sensitive meetings, like a handover, when you need to understand how the business works inside and out. A simple handshake before an appointment can help to build trust between the two individuals. Not to mention, the invaluable networking and personal development opportunities available when travelling. 

It’s also financially beneficial to travel for business as every dollar spent on business travel translates into $12.50 in incremental value. However, flying across continents every day for various meetings is physically and mentally expensive. It can cost employees their personal lives, and jetlag undoubtedly hinders productivity levels. 

Millennials and Gen-Zers are more likely to adapt to technology and use it to innovate new business ideas. They are comfortable with screens, value technology’s impact on the world and can successfully incorporate it into their work routines. These generations are more likely to favour video calls over in-person meetings in the post-pandemic era. Although, in person-meetings will still be encouraged when absolutely necessary. 

Unfortunately, business travel will resume slower than we initially hoped. In fact, travel prices are expected to more than double over the next year as the travel industry tries to recover from 2020. Prices will also increase as more money is spent on cleaning planes in between journeys and equipping airports with proper sanitation sites.  The increased travel costs and wasted time will likely discourage corporations from hosting international meetings. 

It should be noted that there is a massive difference between travelling from New York to Sydney and catching an internal train from Brighton to Kings Cross. As companies try to cut costs, employees are more likely to be catching trains to London meetings over driving separately.  

The future of business travel is still very much in uncertain territory. However, short train journeys for important meetings seem far more likely than any kind of international travel. Businesses will continue to adapt to the pandemic throughout 2021 with numerous Zoom calls, and Teams setups.

About author

Poppy loves personal finance almost as much as she loves her two cats, Tif and Taz.
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