One of the larger costs to businesses is travel and many organisations try to control this by placing blanket restrictions on travel and/or creating a longer process for employees to get travel costs approved.
Why not think about this in a more strategic way and apply different criteria to different types of travel? What do I mean by this, surely travel is travel..? Not necessarily; there are two very distinct types of travel in most organisations – internal and external - and I think companies can approach their policies for these in different ways.
Let’s look at an example of internal travel.
Many organisation have multiple sites, and some employees might have regular meetings with colleagues at various sites. How might a day look for someone who has to travel 60 miles to reach an office for a meeting? For the purpose of this example, let us assume this person is driving. Based on the time of the meeting and the traffic conditions, the journey from home to office will take between an hour and a half and 2 hours (as an average) which makes a total journey time of between 3 and 4 hours. Do they travel in rush hour and therefore leave home very early and get home late, or do they travel outside rush hour and therefore use up some working time? If they choose to travel in company time, they won’t be able to work to their full capacity. They might have a hands free kit in their car to receive calls, however it’s dangerous to use one to make calls as the drivers attention can be taken off the road. In addition, if they are driving a company car, there will be fuel costs and depreciation of the vehicle. If it is their own vehicle, they will probably be putting in a claim for fuel costs. This is looking quite expensive already.
If they scheduled the meeting using Webex Meetings, their day would look very different. They could drive to their base office, or a closer one, or work from home. They could work on other projects right up until 5-10 minutes before the meeting starts and carry straight on with what they were doing after the meeting finishes. There is no long, tiring car journey and associated costs. Much nicer for the employee and less costly for the company. To give an indication of the actual costs, you could have a Webex Meetings for 5 people lasting an hour, for less than it would cost in mileage for 1 person to make the 120 mile round trip at a mileage rate of .45p per mile (for this calculation I took our average ppm* cost for Audio and the cost of 1 Webex Meetings Named Host licence**);
So how about having a two tier travel policy? If the meeting is internal, consider having it online rather than face to face, would an online meeting do just as well? If it is external, then consider if online would be an acceptable alternative, do you actually need to have it face to face? I meet many of our customers online first when I’m training them, and then subsequently face to face. The large majority of my internal meetings are online.
I’m not advocating never having face to face meetings with colleagues or customers, I still have them when they are needed or important. What I am saying, however, is that meetings do not necessarily have to be face to face, sometimes they work just as well, if not better, virtually!
If you would like to know more about how Webex can help with reducing your travel costs and time, please contact me on my details below.
*ppm – pence per minute
** one Webex Named Host licence can host up to 25 attendees in a meeting