With drastic increases in airfares, delays and headaches at the airport, along with pressure to become more environmentally responsible, American corporations may eventually eliminate the need for business travel in favor of teleconferencing.
The use of audio, video and web conferencing tools by both large and small organizations will grow dramatically over the next ten years due to economic conditions, ecological concerns and an increased availability and affordability of teleconferencing technology. According to one research firm, revenues in the videoconferencing industry reached $1.14 billion in 2007.
The switch from air travel to video-conferencing will not only improve companies’ bottom lines and ease their environmental impact, but it will increase employee efficiency, as one-time business travelers are no longer forced to endure flights without Internet access, not to mention the long airport delays that sap productivity.
Some companies have already executed a teleconferencing strategy with great success. Since implementing videoconferencing, telecommunications firm Vodaphone estimates that it has eliminated more than 13,500 flights per year and reduced its carbon footprint by over 5,000 metric tons.