Businesses Rethink “Necessary Travel”

The pandemic has caused another shift in thinking in the business world, with a redefining of “necessary travel.”

Some companies that previously considered in-person meetings a necessity are shifting strategy, doing more business virtually while saving money and travel time.

In a recent article from The Wall Street Journal, journalist Christopher Mims describes his experience getting a tour of Arcimoto’s factory in Eugene, Oregon. It’s a sunny day and chief executive John Frohnmayer is showing Mims the ins and outs of the factory while conducting an interview. But Mims isn’t in Oregon. He’s on the opposite coast, relying on technology to help him do his job remotely. The experience turns out to have enough likeness to actually being there – minus the hours (and company money) spent on the plane and in a hotel.

Frohnmayer also says the remote experience has worked for his company and wants to keep it going after the pandemic ends.

Meeting remotely can keep productivity high in a way that business travel cannot when you consider traveling days.

On the other hand, the airline and hotel industries are anticipating that the worst of the crisis caused by the pandemic is over. Delta’s CEO recently shared they expect business travel to lift to 70% of pre-pandemic levels by 2023 while Expedia’s CEO predicts “hotels will come screaming back” post-pandemic.

While time can only tell how the travel and hotel industries will fare in the next few years, it’s clear that virtual work will not disappear when the pandemic does.

Photo by Ryan Tang on Unsplash

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