Nobody likes traveling for business. Airports are a headache, with all that business of removing your shoes, paying extra to stow bags, as well as the frequent delays and cancellations. We often overeat on bad fast food or at hotel buffets, also, when we’re traveling for business. Then there’s the lack of sleep. It’s no surprise that so many business people are longing for developments in videoconferencing technology. After all, if this technology improves sufficiently – the reasoning goes – maybe off-site business meetings, and the business travel that accompanies this, will be a thing of the past.
The End of Business Travel?
But is this a thing that we should strive for in business? Is it the best thing if videoconferencing replaces face-to-face meetings altogether? Possibly not, think about the differences between meetings that are face-to-face versus videoconferencing.
When people around the world sign on to a videoconference, they generally introduce themselves quickly, if necessary, and then dive into the goal at hand. Brainstorming does not often play a large role in videoconferencing; this is partially due to the worry that the connection may fail. As well, there are lots of distractions within the individual’s office that can make fluid conversation difficult.
The Benefits of Face-to-Face Time
Face-to-face interactions are more personal and allow conversation to develop easily. Meetings may last longer if this happens, but the benefits of it can be great. New ideas come from the creative evolution of conversation. While it’s true that every meeting may not become a positive brainstorming session, it can be a great opportunity to develop interpersonal relationships in the workplace.
Business Travel is Here to Stay
Yes, business travel is a hassle and videoconferencing is convenient. However, there are occassions when meeting face-to-face is the best option for generating the most innovative business solutions. Because of this, don’t expect savvy business executives to ever totally replace business travel with videoconferencing.