Thursday 8 February 2018

GUEST BLOG: Where do we meet?

If people are working from anywhere in the world, they can meet anywhere in the world! Do you have virtual teams in your company? Colleagues or team members who are based in different offices? How do you bring them together?
By 2020, 50% of the people will work remotely
More and more companies are working with virtual teams. Technology today allows us to bring people together in a virtual space from different locations around the world. There are actually already a big group of companies which are operating without any fixed office, so called virtual companies. The number of telecommuting workers has actually grown by 115% in a decade and Forbes estimates that by 2020 50% of the people will work remotely

Looking at the United States alone, there are already 3.7 million employees which work from home at least half of their time. This equals around 3% of the US workforce. This unstoppable trend creates a lot of opportunities for companies and employees. Corporates are finally able to recruit talent globally as well as create local footprints without the massive investments of entering a new market. Employees, are finally able to perfectly combine work and life without compromises.
None of the virtual communication tools can match the power of face-to-face meetings
In a world with many global or virtual teams, the way we plan our business travel changes. One would think that if we can work in a virtual environment, we would travel less. This is not necessarily the case, but we will travel differently as well as more strategically.

Video conferencing and virtual environments work well in phases when the team is aligned and the road ahead is clear. But when developing strategies or finding solutions for work challenges, nothing supports more creativity than physically bringing people together. 

Thus, working in virtual teams should always be linked to a number of face-to-face meetings. None of the communication tools can match the face-to-face meeting’s personal touch, so the need to bring people together changes the way we plan and organise business travel. 

Currently, managing business travel for remote teams is difficult mainly because of:

·        Planning and coordination is time intensive.
·        There is little knowledge on how to save costs.
·        Decisions are influenced by personal opinions rather than data.
·        You have to deal with many different applications to bring everyone together.

The way we organise corporate group travel is not efficient at all and that is where TroopTravel – Where do we meet? comes into place.
Meeting location selection is biased by personal opinions
Currently, when deciding on locations, personal opinions are driving the process. TroopTravel combines big data with learning to facilitate the planning and organisation of global groups.

Our case studies show that you can save 56% on travel costs by hosting a global board meeting of 17 travellers from 13 locations in New York / US rather than Nairobi / Kenya. As well, we have shown that two travellers from Madrid and Barcelona can save 60% by meeting in Ibiza or Mallorca rather than one of them flying to the other.

Price is not everything in the location selection process but it is an important factor. In addition to price, we are looking at visa requirements, experience-factor and other relevant elements. In the case of the TroopTravel core team, for example, when we bring everyone together, visa requirements are an important factor for us and we benefit from our own system’s analysis.
No more meetings in offices by 2020
By 2020 when 50% of the workforce works remotely, the way we coordinate meetings with clients, colleagues or partners has changed. In-person encounters will not happen at offices anymore. If people are working from anywhere in the world, they can meet anywhere in the world as well. Thus, a system like TroopTravel becomes crucial for coordination and planning of in-person meetings of people coming from different starting locations.

This post was written by Dennis Vilovic, one of the two founder of TroopTravel – Where do we meet? Connect with the TroopTravel team at the Business Travel Show, stand LP3 and vote for TroopTravel at the Disrupt Awards! .

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