End of last year, we wrote a blog post about the future of travel where we foresee a rise in travelers from underrepresented regions as well as a change in the motivation of travel. Today, we want to share some thoughts about the Future of Business Travel. The future of business travel will bring a complete structural change about how we plan our future business travel.
Let’s look at two mayor trends in how the way we work is changing and its impact on the future of business travel
1st Key Trend – 50% of people will work remotely by 2020
Forbes magazine wrote an article in 2016 about the rise of remote workers. They project that by 2020, 50% of the people will work remotely. There is an unstoppable trend of people working remotely. We have written extensively about the luxury of having an office as a company as well as the advantage of remote working companies to access talent on a global scale and not only within the reach of your physical office locations.
More and more companies have partly or completely remote working teams as well as more startups are founded on the idea of a virtual company; a company without any physical office, just like TroopTravel. The trend of working in remote teams is unstoppable.
2nd Key Trend – In-person or Face-to-Face Meetings cannot be substituted
No technology today nor in the future will be able to substitute the importance of in-person meetings. The magic which happens when people meet can not be replicated by technology. If you compare the travel preferences of the Generation Z which is now entering the job market to how the millennial generation likes to travel, one surprising difference is that the Generation Z prefers in-person communication over virtual communication despite the fact that they have been growing up with technology and virtual communication.
Apart of preferences the is real science behind what happens when people meet in person as well how communication is much more than just verbal. The reading of body language during conversations and meetings, for example. is a feedback tool during conversations. You can gauge the level of interest when talking to someone by reading their body language. People who are playing around with pens, checking their mobiles, etc. are clearly not engaged in a presentation while others who nod their heads and smile are the opposite. These indications allow you to adjust your tone and style of language trying to reengage people. This is very difficult in a virtual communication.
The Future of Business Travel combines Remote Teams and In-Person Meetings
It almost sounds like a contradiction: people are changing from a place where face-to-face communication is very easy (because many people are around) to a remote (and lonely) working situation to than spend more time and efforts in in-person meetings. How can this make sense?
The fourth industrial revolution, which is happening right now, is changing the way we work and what is required from us to be able to work. Computers, Artificial Intelligence, etc will substitute a lot of jobs which are done by human beings today. The most famous example are the Uber drivers. The future of jobs will require more “brain work” than anything else from human beings. Creativity is one of the key elements required from us of how we will work in the future. Interestingly, creativity in teams is one of those things which is very difficult to stimulate over virtual communication. Thus, for any creative meetings, face-to-face communication is key.
The future of business travel will include well planned in-person meeting schedules to continuously foster creativity while we will work from anywhere in the world. In addition, the way we plan meetings with external players (clients, prospects, etc) will change.
Imagine, you work for a company based in the US but you are based in Europe and you want to meet a new prospective client. This prospective client, for example, is someone who works for an Asian company. How would you plan this meeting? You would most probably plan a trip from your European location to the Asian location of the prospect. Or not? What if that person works remotely for that Asian company from Europe? Than both of them meeting in Europe would maybe makes more sense, isn’t it?
The future of business travel will require us to think differently about where to meet with our teams, stakeholders or new clients. We will need systems and platforms which help business travelers to find the best locations to meet. And this is exactly what TroopTravel does.